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Grex Talks Presents: Between Group Relations and Performance with Olive Demar

May 6 @ 5:30 pm - 6:30 pm PDT

May 6, 2021 5:30-6:30 PM (PST) on Zoom

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GREX, the west coast affiliate of the A K Rice Institute, invites you to a presentation and discussion led by board member Olive Demar (née Mckeon) who published an article in December 2020 titled “Learning from Experience: Disciplinary Hybridity between Group Psychoanalysis and Performance.” Her article considers the cross-disciplinary connections between group relations conferences and performances that experiment with group encounters. Olive will share some examples of artistic works that explore emergence, authority, and self-reflexivity in groups. Moving beyond a resemblance between the fields, she will discuss a case study of an artistic project that hybridizes with group relations: a work by artist Leigh Ledare titled The Task (2017). Ledare’s project stages a Tavistock conference as a work of art. The hybrid space between performance and Tavistock contains anxieties and confusions: what happens when elements of one field enter another? As an example of disciplinary hybridity, Ledare’s project reveals the difficulties of working at the boundary and intersection between two fields.

Beyond introducing the argument, Olive will share reflections on what led her to write the article and how she relates to the subject matter. The questions that the article poses are also alive in her life as someone who straddles several domains of practice. The session will invite further discussion concerning the participation of artists in group relations as well as how others may experience being at the boundary between multiple fields or disciplines.

The presentation will last ~25 minutes and will be followed by an open discussion.

Bio of the Presenter

Olive Demar, PhD is a cultural historian informed by Marxist, feminist, and psychoanalytic methods. She serves as the editor in chief of Dance Chronicle, a peer reviewed journal for dance research. Her articles have appeared in TDR: The Drama ReviewLateral, and Performance Research. Her essays have received the Founding Editors Award from Dance Chronicle and the Sally Banes Publication Prize Honorable Mention from the American Society for Theatre Research. She holds a doctorate from the University of California-Los Angeles, completing a dissertation on historical materialist approaches to San Francisco modern dance history. Her poetry chapbook, Communism is up there and we are down here but it is happening now, was published by Timeless Infinite Light (Oakland). Her poetry has appeared in Black Box: A Record of CatastropheTripwire: a journal of poeticsthe ElephantsArmed Cell, and Open House. She currently teaches at Smith College and Emerson College. She attended her first group relations conference at UCLA in 2013 and joined the Grex board in 2019.


May 6
5:30 pm - 6:30 pm PDT