Ant made his first works under the name Rotozaza – a performance-based project starting in 1998, which ended up spanning theatre, installation, intervention and writing-based works. His work, though varied in tone and content, has consistently played with a tension between liveness and automation. Most often, this has involved guiding people through unrehearsed performance situations, and since 2007 it has included the audience themselves within structures loosely defined as Autoteatro. Rotozaza became a partnership with Silvia Mercuriali, and ended in 2009 after their last production Etiquette, which was also the first Autoteatro work. Since then Ant has worked with Tim Etchells, Christophe Meierhans, Britt Hatzius, Gert-Jan Stam, Glen Neath, Joji Koyama and Sam Britton to create the works listed here which continue to tour internationally – over 60 different language versions exist of the various Autoteatro productions created so far.
His performances occasionally require no-one to travel; a paradoxical outcome (for an art committed to liveness and presence) which in turn informed his recent advocacy and research project, ShowingWithoutGoing.live
In more recently years his practice has expanded into a wider investigation of radical trust, risk-taking and leaps of faith, most obviously via the ‘automatic workshop’ The Thing. Starting 2018, an ongoing collaboration with Rita Pauls produced multiple iterations of the Mouth Piece project, as well as an in-depth workshop. In 2023 he launches Time Based Editions with David Bergé, a series of ‘live books’ combining print and audio.
Other solo projects include experimentation around ‘live portraiture’ as The Other People: structured encounters with people from non-theatrical milieu.
He was head dramaturg for ‘Projected Scenarios’ at Manifesta7 Biennial for Contemporary Art and often contributes to projects by others, including Ivana Müller, Anna Rispoli, Jerome Bel and Forced Entertainment.
Ant has also worked as coach / mentor for artist programmes such as MAKE (Ireland), A-PASS, Sound Image Culture (Belgium) and Dasarts (Netherlands) where together with Edit Kaldor he designed and mentored a 10-week block, ‘Every Nerve’. He has created and led workshops worldwide, including ‘Fantasy Interventions – Writing for Site-Specific Performance’, ‘Raising Voice in Public Space’ with Edit Kaldor and ‘Mouth Piece Workshop’ with Rita Pauls. His collaboration with Christophe Meierhans to create an ‘automatic workshop’ (The Thing) develops ideas behind Someone Else and his earlier work with Kaldor.
Borderline Visible begins as a journey from Lausanne to Izmir in 2022 by two artist friends, one of whom experiences health problems half-way and has to stop. As the other continues towards Turkey, suddenly alone, the narration grows into a moving and troubled psychogeography as it shifts between ‘we’ and ‘I’, present and past, piecing-together value and meaning from the very human ruins of aspiration, history, and language.
Ant Hampton’s careful, at times miraculous process of reconnection gradually lights up a constellation: voices and earthquakes, the Sephardic diaspora, tourism and forced movement, breakdowns and dementia, the end of the Ottoman Empire, swifts and swallows, Eliot’s ‘The Waste Land’ and an urgent insight into hidden atrocities at the edge of Europe being funded from its centre.
Borderline Visible (2023) is the first iteration in the Time Based Editions series.
Time Based Editions is an imprint of PHOTOGRAPHIC EXPANDED PUBLISHING ATHENS.