Block Universe, London’s leading international performance art festival is celebrating its fourth edition with an expanded ten-days programme – until June 3 – of new commissions, UK premiers, talks, screenings and workshops. 
During this week, Block Universe will present work by some of the most innovative UK-based and international artists working in performance art today, including Maria Hassibi, Hanne Lippard, Giselle Stanborough, Nora Turato and Laura Wilson. Aiming to position London at the forefront of the dialogue surrounding performance internationally, festival director Louise O’Kelly states that this edition will serve as an exploration of themes that act as a counterpoint to current divisiveness created by contemporary politics, focusing on and at the same time questioning utopian ideals of community and collectivity. By addressing the ways that we relate to one another, this year’s festival will also respond to both the larger fabric of society that bind us, and the politics of sex and love in our personal relationships.

Block Universe’s Satellite Programme is also not to be missed. As a new addition to the festival programme and highlights events, there will be specially commissioned performances and exhibitions at the following venues: Bold Tendencies, Bosse & Baum, Tenderpixel, The Ryder Projects and Kunstraum.Today. Today, we highlight six of the most exciting works being staged this year, taking a closer look at the artists behind them.

A Movement Workshop with Maria Hassabi
Maria Hassabi   Staging Solo  2   Photo Thomas Poravas .jpg
STAGING: Solo #2, 2017 | Photo: Thomas Poravas. Courtesy the artist; Koenig & Clinton, New York; The Breeder, Athens
In collaboration with Siobhan Davies Dance, Maria Hassabi will lead a two-hour workshop in response to this year's festival theme, which addresses the ways that we relate to one another and examines personal relationships. Maria Hassabi will take her own practice as a starting point and will explore everyday movements that can be used to stimulate creativity. Much of the emphasis will lie on breathing, weight, muscular strength and the sound of the body, with the aim of making us more deeply aware of the body.
A Movement Workshop with Maria Hassabi takes place on Monday 28 May at Siobhan Davies Dance, 85 St George’s Rd, London.
No Fantasy without Desire, No Destiny without a Daddy by Evan Ifekoya and Victoria Sin
For their new commission, set to debut at the historic Thames Tunnel, Evan Ifekoya and Victoria Sin will present No Fantasy without Desire, No Destiny without a Daddy. Realised as a performative reading of a science fiction script, it imagines potential futures of embodiment within a new socio-political system. Presented as a collection of fragments held together in the form of a narrative script, the work draws on texts such as Ursula le Guin’s Carrier Bag Theory of Fiction, where the format of the story is not to dictate a moral or didactic path, but instead propose a series of situations, ideas and contexts for being.
No Fantasy without Desire, No Destiny without a Daddy by Evan Ifekoya and Victoria Sin takes place on Tuesday 29 May at Railway Avenue, Rotherhithe, London.
Reading by Hanne Lippard
Hanne Lippard Copy.jpg
Courtesy the artist.
Hanne Lippard arranges, composes and combines her own wordplays with words by others. Fragments from everyday speech, sourced from various online platforms, are constantly reworked through the use of repetition, pronunciation and rhythm. Phrases and images associated with contemporary topics such as work, success, and lifestyles are evoked. By merging content and form and through a gentle rhyme, her vivid words begin to lose their prescribed value and modify to take on new meanings. With an almost hypnotic, cleansing approach, the vocal sequences sink into the listener’s mind and create a free form, associative pattern of melodic, linguistic formulas.
Reading by Hanne Lippard takes place on Wednesday 30 May at Somerset House, New Wing, Lancaster Rooms, Strand, London WC2R 1LA, entrance from Lancaster Place.
You Would Almost Expect to Find it Warm by Laura Wilson
Laura Wilson Fold and Stretch 2016  Commissioned by Site Gallery Photo by Jules Lister.jpg
Fold and Stretch, 2016. Commissioned by Site Gallery. | Jules Lister. Courtesy the artist.
Co-commissioned by Block Universe and Franck Bordese, with the support of the British Museum and the Institut Français, this new durational site-specific performance uses dance and fresh dough as an interplay of two living organisms operating in a constant flow of movement. With an uncanny resemblance to human flesh and marble, the material and choreography of the performers draws parallels between the sculptures of Auguste Rodin and those of the Parthenon, in response to the exhibition ​Rodin and the Art of Ancient Greece at the British Museum.
You Would Almost Expect to Find it Warm by Laura Wilson takes place on Friday 1 June at the British Museum, Great Russell St, Bloomsbury, London.
Doing Sub Thinking by Alex Mirutziu
Annenberg Courtyard, Royal Academy of the Arts, London W1J 0BD
Alex Mirutziu2.jpg
Portrait, 2018. Commissioned by Block Universe. Courtesy the artist.
To coincide with his exhibition at Delfina Foundation, Romanian artist Alex Mirutziu will present a new performance work in the courtyard of the Royal Academy of Arts. Referencing philosophical thought, national displays of power and collective agency, Doing Sub Thinking seeks to illustrate the performative forces at play in society. Exploring the de-personalisation of an individual within a crowd, Mirutziu will bring the audience on a journey to make manifest the intangible gaps between thought and action within group dynamics.
Doing Sub Thinking by Alex Mirutziu takes place on Saturday, 2 June, at Burlington House, Piccadilly, Mayfair, London.
Secret Anthem for a World of Values by Andrés Pereira Paz and Juan Diego Tobalina
The Ryder Block Universe.jpg
Part of this year’s Satellite programme, The Ryder is presenting the work of Andrés Pereira Paz (Bolivia, 1986). For Secret Anthem for a World of Values, the artist has conceived a participatory performance and a resulting audio piece at the end. Upon their entrance to the gallery, visitors will be given a set of instructions in order to trigger their thoughts about the emotions felt before moving to somewhere else, at the very moment leaving behind a place that meant something for them. A big roll of paper will be placed throughout the gallery space for the audience to write a sentence that can relate to that farewell situation before experiencing a territorial transition. Once the participant has written it, the information will be rolled and hidden to the next participant, following a similar dynamic as in an exquisite corpse. The text left by the intervention of all visitors will be converted in an audio piece sent via email to each participant during the month of July 2018. 
Secret Anthem for a World of Values by Andrés Pereira Paz and Juan Diego Tobalina takes place on Saturday, 2 June, at The Ryder Projects, 19a Herald Street, London.