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Keynote Lecture: The Return of the Ridiculous

Joe Kelleher

Abstract The Return of the Ridiculous

Joe Kelleher

There are acts and decisions from which, we might suppose, there is no turning back. Acts of faith. Acts of protest. Acts of desperation. The acts and actions of others, let’s say, which we see for ourselves or else hear tell of, where even the most everyday, unexceptional life is framed momentarily as exceptional. And, in the same moment, judged as ridiculous. Mis-seen, mis-heard, mis-reported it may be — but even so (or so we imagine) exposed and understood. Joe’s lecture, through consideration of a range of examples across performance, protest and everyday life, will consider the nature — and the politics — of “ridiculous” acts, involving ridicule and indifference indeed, but also the care that the ridiculous might demand from us, not least when we see it for ourselves.

Joe Kelleher’s keynote lecture is part of the HZT-SNDO program that takes place Wednesday nine till Friday eleven September in Veem. Since last year’s edition, SNDO invites an external guest to follow and engage with the three-day program and the students. The guest, a prominent figure from the art world, academia or in other ways exploring subjects that SNDO and HZT as educational institutes find relevant for the students to encounter, is invited to follow the students presentations, engage in dialogue with them during the closed session, and finally for a closing evening keynote lecture and discussion – for which the doors are again opened for a wide audience.

After last year’s delightful event with professor Irit Rogoff, this year we are equally excited to welcome professor Joe Kelleher who will present the keynote lecture titled The Return of the Ridiculous. Robert Steijn, choreographer, writer and a long-term teacher at the SNDO will offer a response leading to opening the discussion towards the audience. The evening will be hosted and moderated by Lisa Skwirblies, mentor of the third year SNDO students.

11 September 2015


Joe Kelleher

School voor Nieuwe Dansontwikkeling (SNDO), Hochschulübergreifendes Zentrum Tanz Berlin (HZT)