Joshua Sofaer

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First presented in Turku in 2000, this performance lecture examines the causes and effects of embarrassment. The lecturer, Joshua Sofaer, sets it as his aim to become embarrassed, live in front of the audience. The theory – a theory, ironically, the performer hopes to disprove – is that because he has set it as his goal, because he articulated that aim – as he must do if he intends to communicate to an audience – then it becomes impossible to achieve. For the second we acknowledge embarrassment as desire, embarrassment slips away. You can’t will yourself into a state of embarrassment. Such an aim is defeated the moment it is spoken.

Embarrassment: A bare-buttocked lecture explores the crux of what it means to perform and watch theatre in real time, embodied by the uniquely human act of blushing, the outward manifestation of something that causes us shame.

Joshua Sofaer (b. 1972 England) is an artist who is centrally concerned with modes of collaboration and participation. For Scavengers (Tate Modern, London; SFMOMA, San Francisco) the public raced around the city answering clues and forming a new gallery exhibition. The Rubbish Collection for Science Museum, London, was a giant archive of the museum’s waste. In 2014 he directed a new staged version of Bach’s St Matthew Passion for Folkoperan in Stockholm. In Summer 2015 he conceived and directed Border Force an immersive nightclub, for Duckie.

Floating Platforms

Joshua Sofaer is collaborating with cognitive neuroscientist Mikko Sams in the Floating Platforms, a project exploring dialogue between performance art, science and humanities, organized by New Performance Turku Festival and Aboagora Symposium. Joshua Sofaer and Mikko Sams will perform at New Performance Turku Festival. Read more here.


Embarrassment: A bare-buttocked lecture, Thursday 1.10.2015 at 8-9pm, TEHDAS Theatre, tickets 7/5 €

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