Ant Hampton (b. 1975, lives and works in Germany) is a British artist, writer, and performance maker. His work began in 1998 under the name of Rotozaza. Since 2007, his Autoteatro series tours widely and includes Etiquette, The Quiet Volume, Cue China, OK OK, This Is Not My Voice Speaking, The Extra People, and Crazy but True. Ant often collaborates with other artists, including Tim Etchells, Christophe Meierhans, Britt Hatzius, Glen Neath, Gert-Jan Stam, Ivana Müller, and Anna Rispoli.
Ant Hampton’s performance works vary greatly in content and tone, yet always involve an explicit tension between, on the one hand, formal or structural elements that are fixed and unchangeable, and on the other, what has to be lived and negotiated in the moment. Since 1999, he has explored a strategy of guiding people through unrehearsed performance situations. This began with works in front of an audience where guest performers, different every time and often non-professional, would agree to follow instructions without any prior preparation. Later, this developed to include the audience themselves, in often small-scale and intimate formats such as cafes (Etiquette) and library reading-rooms (The Quiet Volume). More recently Ant’s practice has been marked by a step away from the idea of art as a safe or autonomous space towards works (Someone Else, The Thing) where a participating ‘audience’ take meaningful risks and experience real consequence.
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