For Immediate Release
September 11, 2017
PERFORMA ANNOUNCES A SITE-SPECIFIC COMMISSION OF PUBLIC INTERVENTIONS AND DESIGN BY BARBARA KRUGER FOR PERFORMA 17,
TAKING PLACE NOVEMBER 1–19, 2017, THROUGHOUT NEW YORK CITY
NEW YORK – ¬Performa, the internationally acclaimed organization dedicated to live performance across disciplines, announces a major new commission and design collaboration with Barbara Kruger for Performa 17, the seventh edition of the Performa Biennial, to take place November 1–19, 2017, at locations throughout New York City.
Kruger’s Performa Commission will insert the artist into the urban street culture that has absorbed, appropriated, and applied her provocative attitude and approach through a series of public art actions, performances, and installations. Expanding upon her iconic photo-collages combining text and image, Kruger will employ these signature effects and strategies to broadcast messages that engage issues of and ideas about power, desire, adoration, contempt, and capital. Using her instantly recognizable white-on-red Futura typeface, the project will include an installation for the popular Lower East Side skate park located beneath the Manhattan Bridge, created in partnership with NYC Parks and skate park designer Steve Rodriguez; the design of a billboard on 17th Street and 10th Avenue in Chelsea; and a full wrap of a classic school bus that will serve as a mobile site for community engagement. Additional strategic public interventions will be announced closer to the opening of the biennial. These elements will take on New York City, unfolding throughout the duration of Performa 17 to immerse audiences in powerful messages grounded in activism, feminism, and community while exploring the role and power of mass media.
“For more than four decades, Barbara Kruger has occupied a unique place between high art and popular culture, between histories, disciplines, and generations,” says RoseLee Goldberg, Founding Director and Chief Curator of Performa. “With this commission, Kruger’s intention to make deeply informed work that is accessible and ‘in the world’ meshes seamlessly with Performa’s vision to use live performance as a platform to do both. It’s remarkable that she is as widely known to millennials as she is to the museum and collector worlds. Kruger’s work is ‘forever radical.’”
The visual identity for Performa 17 will be designed by Kruger and adopted across the biennial’s logo, website, social media, and digital and printed marketing materials, created in collaboration with Project Projects. Kruger’s iconic typography captures the intensity of life in the city, the impact of commercial branding on our daily lives, and the necessity of the critically resistant voice of the artist in the public domain. Kruger’s Performa Commission and Biennial visual identity will interact and intertwine to blur the lines between branding, public art, performance, commerce, and appropriation.
Founded in 2004 by art historian and curator RoseLee Goldberg, Performa is the leading organization dedicated to exploring the critical role of live performance in the history of twentieth-century art and to encouraging new directions in performance for the twenty-first century. Since launching New York’s first performance biennial, Performa 05, in 2005, the organization has solidified its identity as a commissioning and producing entity. As a “museum without walls,” Performa contributes important art historical heft to the field by showing the development of live art in all its forms from many different cultural perspectives, reaching back to the Renaissance. Celebrated worldwide as the first biennial to give special attention to this remarkable history, the Performa Biennial transforms the city of New York into the “world capital of artists’ performance” every other November, attracting a national and international audience of more than 200,000 and garnering more than five million website hits during its three-week run. In the last decade, Performa has presented nearly 600 performances, worked with more than 700 artists, and toured commissioned performances in nearly 20 countries around the world.
The Performa curatorial team is led by Chief Curator RoseLee Goldberg, and includes Performa Curators Adrienne Edwards and Charles Aubin, with contributions from Performa Consortium curators. The Performa program is produced by Esa Nickle. Barbara Kruger’s Performa Commission is curated by RoseLee Goldberg and Esa Nickle, Producing Director, with Job Piston, Special Projects Manager, and Sasha Okshteyn, Associate Producer. Support is provided by the Performa Commissioning Fund, Sprueth Magers, and Commissioning Council member Larry Warsh. Special thanks to Eric Goode, The Park Restaurant and the Turtle Conservancy.
For more on Performa and its programs, including the biennial, please visit www.performa-arts.org and follow us on Instagram @PerformaNYC and Facebook @PerformaBiennial. #PerformaNYC #Performa17
ABOUT BARBARA KRUGER
Barbara Kruger (b. 1945, Newark, New Jersey) graduated from Parsons School of Design in New York City in 1966 and began developing her distinguished, well-known style in the late 1970s. Kruger’s early career in graphic design forms the basis of her photograph-and-text-based works, which take advantage of traditional iconography and slogans to make incisive commentary against pervading social stereotypes and consumerist culture.
Kruger has exhibited extensively throughout the United States and Europe. Recent solo exhibitions of her work have been held in institutions such as the Moderna Museet, Stockholm; the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. She has also participated in exhibitions in major institutions such as the Centre Pompidou, Paris; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. Kruger has participated in several Whitney Biennials, and her work has been featured in multiple publications. She lives in New York and Los Angeles.
Major support for the biennial is provided by the Ford Foundation, the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Toby Devan Lewis, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Performa Commissioning Council. With support from the Estonian Ministry of Culture, the Rolex Institute, Marian Goodman Gallery, Pace Gallery, Sprueth Magers, the David and Elaine Potter Foundation, the Ford Foundation – Institute of International Education, the Robert D. Bielecki Foundation, Fondation Nationale des Arts Graphiques et Plastiques, Institut Français à Paris, the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts, Goodman Gallery, FUSED (French–US Exchange in Dance), and FACE. In partnership with the Brown Arts Initiative, Lafayette Anticipations – Fondation d’entreprise Galeries Lafayette, and the Estonian Contemporary Art Development Center.
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For Immediate Release
August 30, 2017
PERFORMA SPOTLIGHTS NEW EXPERIMENTAL CROSS-BOUNDARY WORKS BY AFRICAN ARTISTS AND WRITERS WITH
AFROGLOSSIA AND A SOUTH AFRICAN PAVILION WITHOUT WALLS
FOR PERFORMA 17, TAKING PLACE NOVEMBER 1–19, 2017,
THROUGHOUT NEW YORK CITY
FEATURING COMMISSIONS AND PROJECTS BY 15 ARTISTS FROM FIVE COUNTRIES ON THE AFRICAN CONTINENT
NEW YORK – Performa, the internationally acclaimed organization dedicated to live performance across disciplines, announces AFROGLOSSIA and a South African Pavilion Without Walls. Both will feature in Performa 17, the seventh edition of the Performa Biennial, to take place November 1–19, 2017, at locations throughout New York City.
These two platforms expand upon Performa’s long history of commissioning, presenting, and contextualizing new multidisciplinary performance by African artists, since the very first biennial in 2005. Performa Institute programs have also delved into the influence of African aesthetics and their circulation in international art movements in public programs such as “Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes” in 2010, which looked at contemporary performance in Africa, as well as conferences on the biennial’s historical anchors, including “Get Ready for the Marvelous 1932-2013” with its focus on Surrealism in 2013, and “Paradiso: Performing the Renaissance” with presentations that explored the African presence in Renaissance Europe in 2015. These investigations sought to understand and document the historical precedence of interdisciplinary art in Africa and to provide a unique lens into the ways contemporary art has developed across the continent and beyond.
“AFROGLOSSIA and the South African Pavilion Without Walls, two programs focused on Africa for the Performa 17 Biennial, explore a broad swathe of work by 15 artists living in or originating from five different African countries,” says RoseLee Goldberg, Founding Director and Chief Curator of Performa, and lead curator of the South African Pavilion Without Walls. “The work of each of these artists is powerful and deeply moving in its highly individualized iconography and fluid use of live media to express complex political, social and aesthetic developments. Whether visual artist, photographer, poet or musician, each artist shows an absolute ease in applying any number of media to express bold ideas. It is this feature that is the connecting thread between the artists and that underlines the idea of art itself in countries where community, ceremony, ritual and politics are communicated through live performance with an intensity of image-making, song, music, dance, spoken word and poetry that all hold equal value as cultural markers in civic life.”
Coined by Performa Curator Adrienne Edwards, AFROGLOSSIA is a neologism that riffs on the term polyglossia, defined as the coexistence of multiple languages in one area. The “afro” prefix references the incredible complexity, heterogeneity and multiplicity that is Africa. The AFROGLOSSIA program for Performa 17 highlights a range of artistic voices and coalesces diverse perspectives from various regions of the African continent into a single program platform, allowing viewers to experience distinct approaches to experimental interdisciplinary art and ideas being put forth by artists from Kenya, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Morocco and South Africa. Questions about what is radical, how the conditions of everyday life inform artistic choices, and what constitutes experimentation in cross-boundary performance all emerge as important animating forces in the program’s commissions and projects. Each AFROGLOSSIA commission represents points of convergence where each artist engages a specific set of social, historical, political and economic scenarios and experiences in their own distinct forms. Intermingling fiction, poetry, essays, film, performance, painting, music, video and photography, the program provides a means through which we can contemplate the intersection of radical art and radical politics as articulated by artists from Africa and its diaspora.
“Through my discussions with the artists and my travels in their countries over the past two years—and given the current political climate here in the United States as well as in Africa—it became clear that the power of voice, the resonant ways an individual can speak to the concerns and realities of the collective, was important for this project. The fact that these voices are often challenging, even opaque, obscure and defiant, made them an especially compelling focus, reflective of the artists’ creative lives and values. The vast majority of the artists participating in AFROGLOSSIA were born in the 1970s and came of age in the aftermath of various independence movements. Their experiments with cross-boundary art making and the distinct ethical dimension they bring to their work are natural and logical expressions of their tendency for radical rule-bending,” says Adrienne Edwards, curator of AFROGLOSSIA.
AFROGLOSSIA commissions and projects include:
For her first live performance, the French-Moroccan artist Yto Barrada will present Young Africans. Melding archival research, historical maps, Berber textile manufacturing, film, personal diaries and family photographs, Barrada’s Peforma commission takes as its point of departure her mother’s 1966 visit to the United States under the auspices of Operation Crossroads Africa, during which she became involved with Pan-African revolutionary and socialist movements of the time. Using film, sculpture, song and spoken word, Barrada explores the mythologies and folktales from her mother’s journey in order to contemplate the social, historical and political complexities of her own relationship to her Moroccan identity, which she reveals through deeply personal stories and objects.
Prompted by recent instances of violence against Black African migrants in Morocco, Omar Berrada and M. NourbeSe Philip present an epic-length poem that investigates histories of trans-Saharan encounters using a variety of sources, including administrative documents, travel narratives and musical forms. Over centuries of commercial, spiritual and scholarly exchange, there were times when the Sahara looked more like a bridge than a barrier, a place where cultures met and created new, creolized forms of life. What has happened since? It is a story with a tangled timeline, a tale of silences and unspoken pasts irrupting into the present. Today’s migrants are placing their feet in the forgotten tracks of earlier travelers, tradesmen and the enslaved to reawaken long-forgotten voices. Philip and Berrada, in a polylingual performance accompanied by multi-instrumentalist Amino Belyamani, summon the layered histories and composite identities that make up the dream of a Black Morocco.
Nigerian-born writer, art historian and photographer Teju Cole will present Black Paper, a visceral photographic response to his experiences following the 2016 election. This continuously evolving, large-scale work explores the buried feelings and haunted spaces the artist confronts during mental and physical strolls. The result is a powerful, multipart multimedia performance that interrogates dreams, shadows, legibility and premonition with critical rigor and novelistic intensity.
As part of a Performa Institute residency and experiment, Kwani Trust, a Nairobi-based literary network, will present Everyone is Radicalizing, an experimental subversion of the printed book carried out by the writers and editors of the Kwani Trust. The project includes photography, oral history and film, as well as a series of public programs at the Performa Hub. Everyone is Radicalizing focuses on aspects of radicalization across East Africa with focus on the Kenyan Coast and North Eastern Kenya as nexus of cultures, religions and politics. The project uniquely amplifies the area’s historical and cultural context by taking a broad, exploratory look at phenomena often described in monolithic terms, such as terror, insecurity, violent extremism and radicalization.
For their Performa 17 commission, Ethiopian-born American artist Julie Mehretu and American jazz musician Jason Moran have been collaborating to create an experience that contemplates mourning and abstraction in response to the current political landscape. During this time, Moran has written a score, influenced by New Orleans jazz funeral processions, as a sonic counterpart to Mehretu’s monumental paintings and unique style of mark-making. Mehretu’s works, made in the wake of the recent American election, are frenetic yet contemplative, as her gestures become characters in their collaborative performance.
Kenyan artist Wangechi Mutu returns to Performa through a new commission, Banana Stroke, which builds on a recent shift in her practice towards fermenting, dying, or saturating with dirt the paper materials she uses in her collage paintings, and then deploying them in site-specific action painting. For the Biennial, Mutu uses this dynamic, vibrant approach to realize a live multimedia performance that animates ideas she has long explored in her art, ranging from international political events to the daily uncertainty faced by women in Kenya. Drawing links between New York City, where she is based, and Nairobi, where she has recently opened a new studio, Mutu will present a personal and poetic performance that delves into these two urban centers she calls home.
For her Performa Commission and first major solo presentation at an institution in New York, South African artist Tracey Rose will present The Tracey Rose Show in collaboration with Performa17 and AFROGLOSSIA presents: The Good Ship Jesus vs The Black Star Line hitching a ride with Die Alibama [working title], a multi-part durational performance. For its first part, Rose will create field recordings and video footage of a series of satellite performances carried out and captured around New York City. Immersed in various landscapes throughout the city—from Central Park, to Lower Manhattan, to Times Square—Rose’s collaborators reenact selections of her previous performances, and pay homage to key figures who have influenced her art and this commission, including Vito Acconci, Lorraine O’Grady, and Adrian Piper. The second part explores the idea of battle as an epic journey, referencing the first British slave ship to the Americas, and the shipping line started by Marcus Garvey, founder of the Universal Negro Improvement Association, pointing to the complexity of relations and intricacies of identity between those stolen or sent away from Africa, and those who remained. During the Biennial, Rose’s collaborators will continually develop and rehearse their script while on set, the precision and detail of the content changing, evolving, and sometimes falling apart over time. Each day of the program, rehearsal will culminate with a performance at dusk, the time between light and dark serving as a poetic reference to the subversive binaries at play in the work.
Co-presented with Anthology Film Archives, AFROGLOSSIA’s commissions will be contextualized by a special four-day film program comprising moving image works that influenced the participating artists’ commissions or their overall practice.
South African Pavilion Without Walls
South Africa has long been an area of deep fascination for Performa. Since the first Biennial in 2005, the organization has brought artists and groups such as Bernie Searle, Candice Breitz, Athi-Patra Ruga, Robin Rhode, William Kentridge and Chimurenga to share their singular vision with New York audiences. The South African Pavilion Without Walls at Performa 17 lets the Institute take a deeper look at the country in order to conduct an in-depth investigation into the artistic practices developing in the post-apartheid era, which represents one of the most dynamic and vigorous spaces of artistic practice in a state of constant invention. During the eighties and nineties, artists from different generations simultaneously shifted away from and expanded modes of production that were informed by resistance culture and modern and contemporary western art as they adapted to emerging global changes. For South African artists, art and politics are not separate spheres of practice but complex systems in which they play important cultural and intellectual roles. Performance, in particular, has emerged as a flexible vehicle for these artists living under politically repressed regimes because it is able to speak across the multitude of cultures, languages, tribes, identities, songs and landscapes of South Africa and beyond. Bringing together artists who have developed deeply personal and individual vocabularies in the post-apartheid culture, Performa 17 aims to elucidate the complex strategies and conceptual frameworks defined by the contradiction, disparity, and skepticism generated in the midst and wake of dramatic political shifts, and to reveal their relevance to the global conversation.
Commissions and projects in the South African Pavilion Without Walls include:
Zanele Muholi is a Cape Town-based photographer and “visual activist” best known for her ongoing portrait series Faces and Phases, begun in 2006 and now totaling over 250 black and white portraits depicting LGBT life in South Africa. For her Performa 17 commission, Muholi will create a series of public, interactive installations featuring large-scale photographs, many of which are part of her new archive documenting the faces of friends and communities in her birthplace of Durban. Situated in the streets and public spaces of New York, these forceful black and white portraits of faces will confront viewers in direct yet intimate acts of engagement. During her multipart commission, Muholi will travel across New York’s five boroughs, meeting with LGBT youth of color and other groups, stretching her project beyond the gallery walls and into the very fabric of the city.
For his Performa 17 commission, Kemang Wa Lehulere will present a dynamic sound installation that he and his collaborators have built in a large warehouse studio in Cape Town. Wa Lehulere is known for his poetic drawings, sculptures, and narrative installations featuring wall text, old school desks and chalkboards. This performance continues his artistic exploration of the blurred lines between the individual and the collective in South African life. Wa Lehulere will work with theater director Chuma Sopotela to activate his new sculptures: “machines” that become amplified instruments that can be played by musicians and performers. The sonic performance installation further draws from new artistic research on astronomy, originally sparked by the film “Cosmic Africa” (2003) and the work of African astronomer Thebe Medupe.
Johannesburg-based artist Nicholas Hlobo’s Performa 17 commission expands on an earlier performance installation, umBhovuzo: The Parable of the Sower (2016), an elegant and sensual work involving four men seated atop toweringly high chairs at equally high tables mounted with Singer sewing machines. Representing a cherished “altarpiece” of productivity and potential income in the makeshift squatter homes of apartheid-era townships, as well as the labor and repression symbolized by the American-manufactured sewing machine, the performers sew endless bolts of cotton and raw silk into long tails that pile up on the floor surrounding them. The meditative, durational piece is a striking exploration of domesticity and gender, and of the continuing effects of colonialism on the workforce of South African men and women.
Acclaimed artist William Kentridge will explore Performa 17’s ‘history anchor’ investigating the 100th anniversary of Dada with a new performance based on the seminal sound poem The Ursonate (1922-1932) by Kurt Schwitters, that came to represent the pinnacle of the movement’s experimentation and existentialism. Kentridge’s new lecture performance follows his successful first commission for Performa 09, I Am Not Me, The Horse Is Not Mine (2009), which marked the first personal appearance by the artist in one of his performances. This commission will include a new film made especially for the New York performance, as well as live accompaniment by musicians performing on stage with the artist. The performance will be presented at The Half Church in Harlem.
For Mohau Modisakeng’s Performa project, the Soweto-born artist will lead a procession that will travel through the streets of New York City, stopping at historically significant landmarks along the route throughout Harlem and uptown Manhattan, and ending in Times Square. Engaged in a loosely choreographed dance composed of walking, running, jumping, falling, leaning and sitting, the performers will move through public space carrying their personal possessions, baggage, and furniture, drawing parallels between the historical displacement of South Africans subject to racial segregation and forced removals, and the displacement associated with today’s global mass migrations.
Founded in 2004 by art historian and curator RoseLee Goldberg, Performa is the leading organization dedicated to exploring the critical role of live performance in the history of 20th century art and to encouraging new directions in performance for the 21st century. Since launching New York’s first performance biennial, Performa 05, in 2005, the organization has solidified its identity as a commissioning and producing entity. As a “museum without walls,” Performa contributes important art historical heft to the field by showing the development of live art in all its forms from many different cultural perspectives, reaching back to the Renaissance. The Performa Biennial is celebrated worldwide as the first biennial to give special attention to this remarkable history. The Biennial transforms the city of New York into the “world capital of artists’ performance” every other November, attracting a national and international audience of more than 200,000 and garnering more than five million website hits during its three-week run. In the last decade, Performa has presented nearly 600 performances, worked with more than 700 artists, and toured commissioned performances in nearly 20 countries around the world.
The Performa curatorial team is led by Chief Curator RoseLee Goldberg, and includes Performa curators Adrienne Edwards and Charles Aubin, with contributions from Performa Consortium curators. The Performa program is produced by Esa Nickle.
For more on Performa and its programs, including its Biennial, please visit www.performa-arts.org.
Major Support for the biennial is provided by Ford Foundation, The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Toby Devan Lewis, The National Endowment for the Arts, and the Performa Commissioning Council. With support from Estonian Ministry of Culture, Rolex Institute, Marian Goodman Gallery, Pace Gallery, Sprüth Magers, David and Elaine Potter Foundation, Ford Foundation - Institute of International Education, Robert D. Bielecki Foundation, Fondation Nationale des Arts Graphiques et Plastiques, Institut Français à Paris, Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts, Goodman Gallery and FUSED (French-US Exchange in Dance) and FACE. In partnership with Brown Arts Initiative, Lafayette Anticipation - Fondation d’entreprise Galeries Lafayette, and the Estonian Contemporary Art Development Center.
+1 212 202 3402
For Immediate Release June 7, 2017
PERFORMA ANNOUNCES CIRCULATIONS, PERFORMA 17’S ARCHITECTURE AND PERFORMANCE PROGRAM BIENNIAL TAKING PLACE NOVEMBER 1–19, 2017, THROUGHOUT NEW YORK CITY. PROGRAM TO INCLUDE PROJECTS BY ARCHITECTS AND ARTISTS - INCLUDING FRANÇOIS DALLEGRET, TARIK KISWANSON, EIKO OTAKE, JIMMY ROBERT, BRYONY ROBERTS AND MABEL O. WILSON, AND ALEX SCHWEDER AND WARD SHELLEY
NEW YORK – Performa, the internationally acclaimed organization dedicated to live performance across disciplines, announces Circulations, an ambitious architecture program for Performa 17, the seventh edition of the Performa Biennial, to take place November 1–19, 2017, at locations throughout New York City. Circulations builds upon Performa’s sustained commitment to revealing how performance can be a radical tool to rethink architecture’s uses and aesthetics. It will unfold as a multilayered program comprised of site-specific live performances and architectural experiments in iconic and unexpected architectural venues throughout the city and region, as well as a symposium and a scholarly publication.
“Performance and architecture always go hand in hand. From our daily routines, to the spaces that Performa identifies as frame or backdrop for Performa Commissions, it is the built environment that shapes our behavior and impacts our understanding of space,” says RoseLee Goldberg, Founding Director and Chief Curator of Performa. “Since the late 1970s, when new building commissions were scarce, architects used performance to put their concepts into practice, even before constructing their first buildings. Performa 17 puts a spotlight on this little-known history, while initiating live works that reveal current architectural sensibilities and modes of thinking in new ways.”
Examining one of architecture’s primary concerns—the movement of bodies in space—and entering into present-day political and social debates, Circulations will gather together architects, artists, curators, performers, and theorists to explore the predicaments of contemporary urban life, and to enact possible alternatives in new commissioned live works and collaborative projects. The program will offer an extensive survey of the historical use of performance within architectural practices, while also positioning such performances within a globalized, digitalized world where architecture exceeds the limits of the built environment. The resulting commissions, projects, and scholarship will establish a new critical benchmark for architecture and performance, and reveal the myriad ways that bodies and buildings inform and transform one another.
“New York, with its dense urban fabric and complex history—from its Downtown mystique to its real estate–driven present—is the ideal location for a program like this,” says Charles Aubin, the principal curator of Circulations. “The artists and architects treat the city as a platform for experimentation where human beings and their activities confront the built environment. Performance offers imaginative new ways to examine our preconceived ideas about architecture and reassess its agendas.”
Circulations will bring to life “The Environment-Bubble,” a widely influential blueprint by the Montreal-based architect François Dallegret, for the first time since it was first proposed in 1965. Dallegret’s “Bubble” was envisioned as a flexible, temporary dome, capable of hosting multiple occupants, with a central mainframe containing domestic appliances and new technologies. Initially conceived to enhance Reyner Banham’s thinking in “A Home Is Not a House,” a seminal text on ecological building practices published in Art in America in 1965, the “Bubble” became a reference point for generations of architects seeking radical ways to challenge the division of public and private spaces. For Performa 17, Dallegret will collaborate with Los Angeles–based architect, François Perrin, and Los Angeles-based choreographer, Dimitri Chamblas, to turn the “Bubble” into an active site of physical and intellectual engagement. This itinerant, inflatable structure will roam across New York City, presenting programming that revisits the utopian ambitions of the 1960s and scrutinizes their relevance to the present day. Daily dance workshops, open to the public, will further the project’s aspirations to bring individuals together and shape temporary communities.
A Swedish artist of Palestinian descent, Tarik Kiswanson expands upon his multifaceted upbringing to address hotly debated notions of interwoven identities and cultural hybridization. His Performa Commission takes as its starting point the artist’s early emotional memories and spatial sensations from his Swedish hometown of Halmstad. The artist will transfigure these recollections of childhood into an epic coming-of-age performance by a group of teenage boys, singing a new a cappella composition that ruminates on the turbulent world of migration, displacement, and the meaning of home. Co-commissioned and co-produced with Lafayette Anticipations – Fondation d’entreprise Galeries Lafayette.
Based in New York since 1976, the Japanese-born choreographer and dancer Eiko Otake has spent four and a half decades refining a subtle, choreographic grammar grounded in extreme slowness, shared vulnerability, and a sense of time that is larger than the human life. For Performa 17, the artist will push her body to the limits of dance and insert her singular, ethereal figure within the architecture of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. On three consecutive Sundays during the Biennial, Otake will interrogate the spaces and meanings of all three of The Met’s locations—the encyclopedic museum on Fifth Avenue, the modernist project incarnated in The Met Breuer, and the uncanny reconstruction of a medieval past at The Met Cloisters. Curated by Limor Tomer, General Manager of Live Arts at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
For his Performa Commission, Bucharest-based, French artist Jimmy Robert will inhabit Philip Johnson’s Glass House in New Canaan, Connecticut, transforming the modernist icon into a stage for an intimate performance that delves into the intersections of architecture, visibility, and black representation. Drawing on the house’s idiosyncratic features, Robert has devised a score of choreographic phrases, music, and poetry for two performers, who will engage in a subtle game of looking and being looked at. Robert’s layered performance will turn the Glass House into an arena where exposure, representation, and power can be thought anew. Co-commissioned with The Glass House. Co-curated with Cole Akers, Curator of The Glass House.
Marching On is a project by Bryony Roberts and Mabel O. Wilson, architects and professors at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation (GSAPP), in collaboration with the Marching Cobras of New York, a Harlem-based after-school drum line and dance team. The project will explore the crucial role of collective performance in urban African-American neighborhoods. Set in Marcus Garvey Park, Marching On will highlight the significance of marching and organized forms of collective performances as acts of both cultural identity and political resistance. Commissioned by Storefront for Art and Architecture.
For Performa 17, American architects and artists Alex Schweder and Ward Shelley will present The Newcomers, a nomadic architectural installation and durational performance that resonates with contemporary social anxieties. The duo will build and live in a suspended refuge that will evolve and migrate over a weeklong performance. Each day, Schweder and Shelley will work together to disassemble their temporary home, turn its materials into a makeshift bridge, and then reconstitute their raft-like shelter in a new location, where they will spend the night once again. As architects and urbanists face new environmental challenges, Schweder and Shelley propose a nimble form of habitation that challenges the discipline to think beyond permanence.
PUBLICATION AND PERFORMA INSTITUTE
Performa 17 will launch a groundbreaking publication focusing on works by architects who challenge the limits of their discipline by incorporating actions, happenings, and staged situations into their practice. A companion to the biennial’s curatorial initiative, this new publication will compile historical and contemporary examples of architects and collectives working with performance, among them Coop Himmelb(l)au, OMA/AMO, Ricardo Bofill, Diller + Scofidio, Francis Kéré, and Andrés Jaque/Office for Political Innovation. The publication will shed light on how performance has underscored the relationship of the built environment to questions of labor, security, race, migration, mobility, environment, gentrification, and modes of public assembly. Co-edited by Charles Aubin, Performa curator, and Carlos Mínguez Carrasco, Associate Curator at New York’s Storefront for Art and Architecture and 2016 Oslo Architecture Triennale Chief Curator with the After Belonging Agency.
Alongside this publication, Performa 17 will complete the Circulations program with a symposium presented by the Performa Institute on November 11, 2017, which will examine how performance can serve to challenge and question our understanding of buildings and cities. Gathering together international and American architects, artists, and scholars, the symposium will present visitors with a spirited, fast-paced series of talks, screenings, readings, and panel discussions. In line with Performa’s previous public programs, this unorthodox symposium will permit speakers and audience members to circulate freely in a specially designed Performa Hub, commissioned by Performa from the Berlin-based architect Markus Miessen for this edition.
Founded in 2004 by art historian and curator RoseLee Goldberg, Performa is the leading organization dedicated to exploring the critical role of live performance in the history of twentieth-century art and encouraging new directions in performance for the twenty-first century. Since launching New York’s first performance biennial, Performa 05, in 2005, the organization has solidified its identity as a commissioning and producing entity. As a “museum without walls,” Performa provides important art historical heft to the field by showing the development of live art in all its forms from many different cultural perspectives reaching back to the Renaissance. The Performa Biennial is celebrated worldwide as the first biennial to give specialized attention to this remarkable history, transforming the city of New York into the “world capital of artists’ performance” every other November. Performa attracts a national and international audience of more than 200,000 and more than five million website hits during its three-week run. In the last decade, Performa has presented nearly 600 performances, worked with more than 700 artists, and toured commissioned performances in nearly 20 countries around the world.
The Performa curatorial team is led by Chief Curator RoseLee Goldberg, and includes Performa curators Adrienne Edwards and Charles Aubin, with contributions from Performa Consortium curators. The Performa program is produced by Esa Nickle.
For more on Performa and its programs, including its Biennial, please visit www.performa-arts.org.
The Performa Commissioning Fund for Performa 17 is supported by grants from Toby Devan Lewis and the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and by the members of the Performa Commissioning Council. Additional program support for the Biennial is provided by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Ford Foundation/Institute of International Education, Lambent Foundation, David and Elaine Potter Foundation, Arison Arts Foundation, Estonian Ministry of Culture, Estonian Contemporary Art Development Center, Lafayette Anticipations – Fondation d’entreprise Galeries Lafayette, Institut Français à Paris, and FUSED (French–US Exchange in Dance). Marching On by Bryony Roberts and Mabel O. Wilson is supported by a grant from the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council.
+1 212 202 3402
For Immediate Release March 7, 2017
PERFORMA ANNOUNCES DETAILS FOR PERFORMA 17
NOVEMBER 1–19, 2017
THROUGHOUT NEW YORK CITY
PERFORMA ANNOUNCES FIRST COMMISSIONS TO INCLUDE PERFORMANCES BY
YTO BARRADA, WILLIAM KENTRIDGE, JULIE MEHRETU AND JASON MORAN,
ZANELE MUHOLI, WANGECHI MUTU, AND MORE
BIENNIAL INVESTIGATES DADA AS HISTORICAL ANCHOR
NEW YORK – Performa, the internationally acclaimed organization dedicated to live performance across
disciplines, announces select commissions and the historical anchor for Performa 17—the seventh
edition of the Performa Biennial, to take place November 1–19, 2017, at locations throughout New York
Since its inception, Performa has been a leader in commissioning artists whose work has collectively
shaped a new chapter in the multi-century legacy of visual artists working in live performance. Founded
by art historian and curator RoseLee Goldberg, the organization is dedicated to exploring the critical role
of live performance in the history of twentieth-century art, as well as its enormous significance in the
international world of contemporary art.
Performa 17’s team of curators and producers will present commissions and projects around curatorial
research themes focused on a cross cultural dialogue between Africa and the West, the legacy of Dada,
and the intersection of architecture and performance, that represent timely opportunities to work with a
diverse range of global contemporary artists. The resulting commissions and scholarship examine
immediate and critical concerns confronting our urban centers, the shifting political and cultural currents
of our turbulent world today, and ultimately the role of the arts and of artists in supporting afflicted
communities. This edition of the Biennial will focus on the sociopolitical context informing contemporary
art today, and how best to engage audiences in significantly understanding and absorbing its aesthetics
and intrinsic values. Additional commissions, projects and details will be announced in the coming
“Performa provides an extraordinary platform for showing the important role of art in society. Through live
performance we touch people directly, change their minds, and introduce them viscerally to the
complicated emotional and aesthetic expressions of artists responding to the world that we inhabit,” says
RoseLee Goldberg, Founding Director and Chief Curator. “For the past 18 months, we have
examined how artists in several cities on the African continent—Johannesburg, Nairobi, Dakar—consider
performance as an extension of their creativity in multiple disciplines—music, dance, film, image
making—and how each artist takes us into distinct histories and sensibilities. Along with artists from
Guadeloupe, New York to Paris, we are excited to announce the first commissions emerging from this
PERFORMA 17 COMMISSIONS INCLUDE:
YTO BARRADA (Morocco/France)
WILLIAM KENTRIDGE (South Africa)
TARIK KISWANSON (Sweden/Palestine)
KEMANG WA LEHULERE (South Africa)
JULIE MEHRETU (Ethiopia) and JASON MORAN (USA)
ZANELE MUHOLI (South Africa)
WANGECHI MUTU (Kenya)
KELLY NIPPER (USA)
JIMMY ROBERT (France)
TRACEY ROSE (South Africa)
PERFORMA 17 HISTORICAL ANCHOR: “100 DEGREES ABOVE DADA”
For each Biennial, the Performa team selects a historical movement to anchor the artists, curators, and
Performa Consortium’s research in the rich history of artists’ performance from around the world. For
Performa 17, the historical research investigation is Dada, which Goldberg regards as the “Big Bang” of
interdisciplinary twentieth-century art. The Dada movement began in 1916 with the founding of Emmy
Hennings and Hugo Ball’s Cabaret Voltaire in Zurich, fueled by a desire to devise new ways of making art
in the midst of a ferocious World War, and to bring together the community of artists, poets, musicians,
filmmakers, and dancers residing in close proximity in neutral Switzerland until its end. The movement
attracted and influenced Europe’s avant-garde, including artists Jean Arp, Marcel Duchamp, Hannah
Höch, Richard Huelsenbeck, Francis Picabia, Kurt Schwitters, Sophie Taeuber, and Tristan Tzara. Live
performance, in particular, served as a prime vehicle for spreading the concepts and belief systems of
this small band of conscientious objectors under the fraught and unstable sociopolitical conditions of this
period. During this time, artists moved with ease between disciplines, driven by an insistence on activism,
art events, and performance.
The title “100 Degrees Above Dada” is inspired by French Nouveau Réalisme critic Pierre Restany’s 1961
exhibition, 40° au-dessus de Dada (40 Degrees Above Dada), which aimed to reexamine Dada beyond
its nihilistic origins, and reflect on its language and poetry amid a new Modern context. With Performa 17,
the Biennial similarly seeks to question how artists, curators, and writers are approaching Dada 101 years
after the movement began, and how it continues to reverberate in our cultural landscape. Several
commissioned artists will work closely with Performa’s curators to develop performances that will
reinvestigate the defining ideas and concepts of Dada from new contemporary perspectives.
PERFORMA COMMISSIONING COUNCIL
Performa announces the launch of the Performa Commissioning Council to provide direct support for
artists as they move through the creative development process of each new Performa
commission. The Commissioning Council will work similarly to a museum acquisition committee, providing
an exclusive group of patrons the opportunity to not only invest in a work of art but also gain intimate
access to the artist and their creative process. Looking ahead to the upcoming Performa 17 Biennial in
November, this initiative encourages a personal relationship with Performa’s curators and artists aligned
with the organization’s key mission of commissioning new performance projects in visual arts.
Performa’s commissioning process has been the hallmark of the organization since Shirin Neshat’s first
live performance, Logic of the Birds (2001), originated and produced by RoseLee Goldberg. Performa has
produced some of the most memorable and critically acclaimed performance pieces in the medium’s
history, by artists including Robin Rhode (2015), Ragnar Kjartansson (2011), Mike Kelley (2009), Isaac
Julien (2007), Yvonne Rainer (2007), and Francis Alÿs (2005). Working closely with Performa’s curators
and producers, artists are challenged to develop live performances, often for the first time. These seminal
experiences gained along the Performa Commission process have often continued to impact their artistic
trajectory to incorporate multi-disciplinary elements into their practice. Dedicated to commissioning artists
from all mediums and backgrounds, the Performa Commissioning Council will support this core initiative
to present performance art to audiences around the world.
Founded in 2004 by art historian and curator RoseLee Goldberg, Performa is the leading organization
dedicated to exploring the critical role of live performance in the history of twentieth-century art and
encouraging new directions in performance for the twenty-first century. Since launching New York’s first
performance Biennial, Performa 05, in 2005, the organization has solidified its identity as a
commissioning and producing entity. As a “museum without walls,” Performa provides important art
historical heft to the field by showing the development of live art in all its forms from many different
cultural perspectives reaching back to the Renaissance. The Performa Biennial is celebrated worldwide
as the first biennial to give specialized attention to this remarkable history, transforming the city of New
York into the “world capital of artists’ performance” every other November. Performa attracts a national
and international audience of more than 200,000 and more than five million website hits during its threeweek
run. In the last decade, Performa has presented nearly 600 performances, worked with more than
700 artists, and toured commissioned performances in nearly 20 countries around the world.
The Performa curatorial team is led by Chief Curator RoseLee Goldberg and includes Performa Curators
Adrienne Edwards and Charles Aubin, with contributions from Curators at Large Defne Ayas and Mark
Beasley as well as Performa Consortium curators. The Performa program is produced by Esa Nickle.
For more on Performa and its programs, including the Performa Biennial, please visit http://performaarts.
Toby Devan Lewis, Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Institut Français à Paris and FUSED,
French-US Exchange in Dance.
+1 212 202 3402
November 19, 2016—November 22, 2016
at Mana Contemporary
Artistic directors and curators Mafalda Millies and Roya Sachs have joined forces to present Virtually There, a performance inspired by Oskar Schlemmer’s Triadic Ballet (1922), hosted by Performa Visionaries at Mana Contemporary in Jersey City. With choreography by iconic “punk ballerina” Karole Armitage; costumes by the renowned Brazilian designers the Campana Brothers; staging by Whitney Biennial artists Kate Gilmore and Heather Rowe; music by underground French composer Charles Derenne; and creative production by technology innovators MATTE Projects.
Opening Night is co-hosted by the Performa Visionaries, with proceeds to benefit Performa.
Book tickets here
The live streaming of Performa alum Luciano Chessa's Opera, Extremist Banquet at the Castle by the Lake, will start on September 22, 2016 at 5am, as part of the festival TRANSART16 in Bolzano, Italy, where Chessa previously conducted Performa's commission The Orchestra of Futurist Noise Intoners in 2010.
A unique chance to acquire museum quality pieces by some of Performa's most revered alumni artists including Kelly Nipper, Derrick Adams or Pauline Curnier Jardin among others.
All works are now available on Artspace
Sept 8, 9 & 10, 2016 at 7pm
18 Wooster Street
RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org
Inspired by his commission for Performa13 hosted by the Swiss Institute on Wooster Street in 2013, Jeffrey Deitch invites Eddie Peake to present HEAD, a new work that builds on a series of performances created over the past few years for numerous galleries and spaces, including Tate Modern, London (2012), Chisenhale Gallery, London (2012) and Performa, New York (2013). Articulating the complex strains of intimacy that develop between people, Eddie Peake has developed a gallery-based performance in which the relationships between an ensemble are made palpable through a series of choreographed gestures and interactions.
GAVIN JANTJES AND NANDIPHA MNTAMBO IN CONVERSATION.
Co-presented by the Institute of Fine Arts, NYU and Performa Institute
Thursday, September 15, 2016, 6:00 - 7:30p.m.
at The Institute of Fine Arts at New York University
1 E 78th Street
New York, NY 10075
Free with RSVP
Performa Curator Adrienne Edwards premieres her exhibition "Blackness in Abstraction." This show traces the presence of the color black in art, with a particular emphasis on monochromes, from the 1940s to today.
at PACE Gallery, 534 W 25th St, New York, until Aug 19, 2016
Read an interview with Adrienne Edwards here
Watch Who Can Write About Performance Art online here
Carrie Mae Weems Field of View and Other Minor Considerations
Friday, October 2, 2015, 6:30 pm
Performa is pleased to announce Carrie Mae Weems’ Field of View and Other Minor Considerations, a playful and poignant reflection on the artist’s life and career, as the latest installment of its Portrait of the Artist series. This lecture was rescheduled from March 26th, 2015 due to fire incident in a neighboring building.
Using excerpts of critical commentary provided by scholars Daphne Brooks and Tavia Nyong’o and bits of music and text, Weems considers the cultural context of her artistic production. This unique combination of perspectives—both a personal account and an informed analytical reasoning—will illuminate Weems’ singular influence on contemporary art in general and black and feminist studies and art in particular. Read more...
Portrait of the Artist is a series of public events presented by the Performa Institute that focuses on exploring the historical context and significance of individual artists who work across a broad range of disciplines, from the 1960s to the present.
Organized by Performa Curator Adrienne Edwards.
Free admission - reserve your ticket here
34 Stuyvesant Street,
New York NY10003
The Performa Institute is supported by Lambent Foundation for Tides Foundation, Toby Devan Lewis, Ford Foundation, David and Elaine Potter Foundation, The National Endowment for the Arts, New York State Council on the Arts, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, and NYU Steinhardt Department of Art and Art Professions.
The heart of Times Square after dark probably isn’t the most genial setting for Schoenberg and the mournful atonality of “Erwartung,” or “Expectation,” his 1909 monologue for a solo soprano, and a pillar of musical modernism. But the South African artist Robin Rhode, who will stage the work there in the fall as part of the 10th anniversary of Performa, the performance-art biennial, said that when he heard Times Square was a possibility for a piece based on the Schoenberg work, he leapt at it.
“I love the idea of bringing to life a trained and informed structure and having that play itself out in a very public way to a mostly unexpecting audience,” said Mr. Rhode, whose commission to create the piece was just announced, along with the commissions of several other prominent artists, for “Performa 15,” which will take place across the city Nov. 1 through Nov. 22.
“Erwartung” presents a lone woman, wandering in a moonlit forest, pining for a lost love. Mr. Rhode, 39, who often presents performances in public spaces that are based on drawings or sculpture, said he saw the narrative as a metaphor for black women in apartheid-era South Africa “waiting for men who had to leave for long periods to go work in mines, essentially in exile, or men held by the police, with no date of return.”
“I saw the skyscrapers as the forest and the billboards as the moonlight,” he said. “I imagined the soprano being lost in this kind of mass audience.” Of the work, which will take place in a domesticlike stage setting marked off by doors used in low-income South African homes, Mr. Rhode added, “The risk factor of doing something like this in Times Square is immense, to put it lightly.”
Performa’s 2015 commissions will also include the artists Jesper Just, Francesco Vezzoli (in collaboration with the ballet dancer David Hallberg), Pauline Curnier Jardin and the choreographer Jérôme Bel, who will stage performances by an ensemble composed of both trained and untrained dancers. The commissions, which will include more artists to be named later, are being planned to coalesce around a loose focus of this year’s biennial on performance art’s deep historical roots, reaching at least to the Renaissance and spectacles like Leonardo’s machine-driven “Feast of Paradise” for the Sforza court in Milan in 1490.
“Robin has a wonderful mix of classical art history and on-the-street ideas, and I found that a really interesting combination in the context of what we’re trying to do this year,” said RoseLee Goldberg, Performa’s founder, who added that she hoped the biennial — which has presented 592 performances, worked with 732 artists and played to more than 200,000 viewers over its first decade — would be seen as having “truly legitimized performance in the academic and museum world and beyond.”
“When we started, there were people who would wriggle their noses and say, ‘That’s weird,’ ” Ms. Goldberg said, “and I think what we’ve done is changed a lot of minds.” RANDY KENNEDY
Link to article: http://bit.ly/Performa15
Performa—the internationally acclaimed organization dedicated to live performance across disciplines—announces Performa 15, the sixth edition of the renowned Performa Biennial, to take place November 1 – 22, 2015.
Performa 15 will celebrate the 10th anniversary of Performa, established in 2004 to make known the significance of artists’ performance in 20th century art history and to provoke new directions for artists’ performance in the 21st century, and ten years since the first edition of the biennial in November 2005 (Performa 05), which quickly established the Performa Biennial as not only the first of its kind internationally, but also as one of the most important cultural events on the international art-world calendar. The quality and originality of Performa’s ground-breaking Performa Commissions, from opening night in 2005 of Jesper Just’s True Love Is Yet to Come, to the most recent in 2013 of Ryan McNamara’s Meem; A Story Ballet About the Internet, and including riveting works by Isaac Julien, Wangechi Mutu, Mike Kelly, Nathalie Djurberg, Adam Pendleton, Shirin Neshat, Elmgreen and Dragset, Rashid Johnson and Ragnar Kjartansson among others, launched the careers of many younger artists and presented unforgettable new directions for performance from established artists. Performa Commissions and the full spectrum of the Performa Biennial program changed the very nature of live art by artists triggering a broad public interest in this inventive new material and gaining for the genre an entirely new appreciation from museum curators and directors, as well as from scholars, academics, and writers, and members of print, television and on-line media criticism and journalism.
Performa 15 will once again fan out across the city of New York for three action-packed weeks, providing an entirely new approach to the urban setting as staging ground for art and culture. Working in collaboration with some of the city’s most adventurous cultural institutions, and discovering venues or repurposing them to frame the original material of each of the Performa artists in the biennial, the city becomes the ‘performance capital of the world’, building on New York’s remarkable history since the 1960s, and especially the phenomenon of ‘downtown,’ as a magnet for avant-garde artists from across disciplines and around the world.
“It is thrilling to look back on ten years of Performa and to see a roster of extraordinary work that is the result of the exceptional commissioning and producing process that our organization provides. We focus on artists, their powerful dreams and imagination. We also focus on audiences, creating optimum situations for experiencing new work. Our goal is for visual artists to venture into performance and in so doing change the cultural landscape of the city, and for New Yorkers (and visitors) to experience the artists’ work, and their city in new and exciting ways,” said RoseLee Goldberg, Performa Founding Director and Curator.
Each edition of the Performa Biennial begins with a historical anchor that grounds contemporary performance in the history that came before. Past themes for the Performa Biennial have included Italian Futurism (Performa 09), Russian Constructivism (Performa 11), and Surrealism (Performa 13).
Performa 15 will explore the Renaissance as a precedent to today’s performance, drawing attention to the role of artists at that time as makers of live works -- pageants, triumphal processions, court fetes, fireworks, royal marriage celebrations and allegorical tableaux. Collaborative, interdisciplinary, and site-specific, such activities also frequently communicated unveiled messages of the politics and philosophy of the patrons who sponsored them. “Even Leonardo da Vinci created performances,” Goldberg says.
Looking back to the Renaissance, and forward to a new decade with performance now firmly positioned in museums and within academia as a viable form and as a multi-tiered discipline to engage audiences of contemporary art and media culture, Performa 15 will reflect on a broad range of approaches to live performance, showing a depth and variety of material that continues to open new possibilities of visual art performance in the 21st century.
Performa continues with a dedicated team who bring both curatorial knowledge and producing expertise to working with artists. Performa 15’s curatorial team includes founding director and curator RoseLee Goldberg and Performa curators Adrienne Edwards, Mark Beasley, Charles Aubin, and curators-at large Defne Ayas, and Lana Wilson, as well as curators from the Performa Consortium, a selective network of New York City’s most adventurous cultural institutions. Recipients of Performa’s new Andrew W. Mellon Curatorial Fellowships will also contribute to Performa 15, nurturing the next generation of curators while developing hands-on curricula for curatorial studies in performance art.
Announcements on Performa Commissions, Pavilion Without Walls, The Performa Hub, and the Performa Consortium program to follow.
Founded in 2004 by art historian and curator RoseLee Goldberg, Performa is the leading organization dedicated to exploring the critical role of live performance in the history of twentieth-century art and to encouraging new directions in performance for the twenty-first century. Since launching New York’s first performance biennial, Performa 05, in 2005, the organization has solidified its identity as a museum without walls. In the last decade, Performa has presented 592 performances, worked with 732 artists, received over 200,000 attendees, and has toured commissioned performances in 17 countries around the world.
For more on Performa and its programs including the Performa Biennial, please visit http://performa-arts.org/.
Performa 15 is supported by the Andy Warhol Foundation, Ford Foundation, Lambent Foundation, the Australian Arts Council, Fondation Galeries Lafayette, The National Endowment for the Arts, Toby Devan Lewis, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, La MCUFEU, Mission Culturelle et Universitaire Française aux Etats-Unis, and Institut Français.
AVIV Vodka I
Join the conversation: @PerformaNYC #Performa10Years
Concetta Duncan, Sutton PR, +1 212 202 3402 / Concetta@SuttonPR.com.
RAY JOHNSON, “Please Add To and Return To”
Presented by Performa, in collaboration with the Estate of Ray Johnson
“Please Add To and Return To” is a mail art activation celebrating the life and work of artist Ray Johnson (1927-1995). Johnson’s body of work spans many media, and he is well known for his intricate and complex collages. Johnson, known to many as the father of the mail art movement, distributed “templates” of his original drawings via USPS with the instructions “Please Add To and Return To Ray Johnson” or send to someone else entirely. Upon receiving works back, Johnson would typically either photocopy and recirculate the altered versions or add them to his archive.
To find out more and take part click here
PARADISO: PERFORMING THE RENAISSANCE
Friday, April 24, 1:00–5:30 p.m.
Saturday, April 25, 1:00–5:30 p.m.
NYU Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development
34 Stuyvesant Street
New York NY10003
A groundbreaking conference historically situating the vibrant experimentation and interdisciplinarity that characterizes contemporary artists performance today in the Renaissance
Presented by the Performa Institute And NYU Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development
Free admission - reserve your ticket here
Seating is limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Performa is pleased to announce Paradiso: Performing the Renaissance, a groundbreaking conference historically situating and addressing the vibrant experimentation and interdisciplinarity that characterizes contemporary artists performance.
The conference extends Performa’s curatorial research platform to include “the Renaissance,” an extraordinary historical precedent to today’s performance art practices, when artists, architects, and scientists worked across genres, creating live events that significantly contributed to civic and cultural life.
As with previous Performa biennials, which each use a singular historical period (Italian Futurism in 2009, Russian Constructivism in 2011, and Surrealism in 2013) to address the importance of live performance in shaping the art and ideas of twentieth century art, the “Renaissance” will serve as the main historical anchor for the upcoming Performa 15 biennial. Our investigation into this period has included a series of seminars, readings, and scholarly meetings with artists and academics throughout the year, and culminates in Paradiso: Performing the Renaissance, the Performa Institute’s capstone event with presentations by a select group of world-renowned specialists whose interests straddle both the Renaissance and its relevance for contemporary art and culture today.
Participants include Pauline Curnier Jardin, artist, David Hallberg, Principal Dancer, Bolshoi Ballet and American Ballet Theater; Zach Layton, musician, curator, and PhD candidate at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute; Kate Lowe, Professor of Renaissance History and Culture and Co-director of the Centre for Renaissance and Early Modern Studies, Queen Mary, University of London; Alexander Nagel, Deputy Director for Academic Affairs, Director of Graduate Studies, and Professor of Fine Arts, New York University; Shahzia Sikander, artist; Pamela Smith, Seth Low Professor of History and Director of the Center for Science and Society, Columbia University; Claire Tancons, independent curator; Rebecca Zorach, Professor of Art History, Romance Languages, and Literatures, The College Director of Graduate Studies, Art History, and Senior Chair, Society of Fellows in the Liberal Arts, University of Chicago; and Our Literal Speed, a text-and-art and media opera collective. Daily conference schedule to follow.
Tracing the correlations between contemporary art and the Renaissance, we traverse a medley of themes that allow for new understandings of this pivotal historical cultural movement and our own time, including public spectacles such a processions, parades, and pageants and the artist’s role as creator and director of these events; the African presence in Renaissance Europe; performance in the course of history as an open-ended medium realized by artists unconcerned with the limitations of more established art forms and interested in creating a presence for their works in important social contexts; the profound cultural, economic, and artistic interactions and exchanges between Western and non-Western cultures during the Renaissance; explorations of the body during the Renaissance and its relation to art and performance; the “theater of nature”; unexpected similarities between polyrhythmic musical styles in the 14th and 20th centuries; and propositions for new methods of teaching Renaissance art history that are responsive to the ways artists create today.
The Performa Institute programs are supported by the Lambent Foundation, Toby Devan Lewis, Ford Foundation, David and Elaine Potter Foundation, The National Endowment for the Arts, New York State Council on the Arts, and New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, with additional support from NYU Steinhardt Department of Art and Art Professions.
INTONARUMORI: Orchestra of the Futurist noise intoners
A Performa commission, directed by Luciano Chessa
Feb 12, 2015, ArtScience Museum of Singapore
“Today, noise triumphs and reigns supreme over the sensibility of men,” Russolo wrote in “The Art of Noises,” a Futurist manifesto of 1913. Luigi Russolo (1885–1947)—painter, composer, builder of musical instruments, and a member of the Italian futurist movement from its inception, represents a crucial moment in the evolution of twentieth-century musical aesthetics. His Intonarumori (“noise intoners”) were a set of wooden sound boxes each with cone-shaped metal speaker on its front, where sound was generated by turning a crank, while tone and pitch were controlled with a lever—the sound of the nascent machine age brought to life. The instruments were first presented on August 11, 1913, in a press concert at Milan’s Casa Rossa, headquarters of the Futurist Movement. Lost by the early 1940s, the first reproduction of Russolo’s earliest Intonarumori orchestra—a set of 16 noise intoners—was completed in 2009 by composer/musicologist Luciano Chessa. Chessa, whose monograph “Luigi Russolo, Futurist: Noise, Visual Arts and the Occult” is the first to be dedicated to Russolo and his art of noises, toured with the Intonarumori through all the major European festivals, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, New York City’s Town Hall, and Art Basel Miami Beach.
In collaboration with the Italian Cultural Institute and Performa, ArtScience Museum presents two full performances on February 12, 2015 at 7:30pm and 8:45pm by The Orchestra of Futurist Noise Intoners. Each performance will be accompanied by a short talk by Chessa.
January 16, 2015 at Cleveland Museum of Art
Performa is pleased to announce artnet's support as it embarks on its second decade.
Performa is funded through the generous support of corporations, foundations, government agencies, and individuals.
Extensive coverage of PARADISO: A Tribute to the Renaissance, Peforma's gala, is now in W magazine. PARADISO was sponsored by W, and was co-hosted by Editor-in-Chief Stefano Tonchi.
The J. Paul Getty Museum, the Getty Research Institute, and Performa have commissioned a new work by Performa 07 Commission artist Yvonne Rainer, The Concept of Dust, or How do you look when there's nothing left to move?, which will be presented along with Assisted Living: Do You Have Any Money? (2013) on October 3 and 4 at the Getty Museum as part of her exhibition "Yvonne Rainer: Dances and Films."
The exhibition continues until October 12.
This exhibition is the first to present live performances of Rainer’s dance works alongside other aspects of her practice: theoretical and lyrical writing, sketches and scores, photographs of performances, documentary and experimental films, and an audio recording of one of her early performative lectures. Together these convey a vivid picture of Rainer's production from 1961 to 1972, and its proximity to the visual arts of the time, notably to minimalist sculpture.
For more information, visit Raven Row.
MILLENNIUM FILM JOURNAL profiles Performa 13's Man with a Projector in its current issue, No. 59, calling it "a brilliant and necessary addition to Performa 13."
At the intersection of visual art, performance, and cinema, Man with a Projector presented a rare chance to see important historic works and new film and video performances by Malcolm Le Grice and Guy Sherwin, two artists associated with The London Film Makers’ Co-operative. The Co-op—a group of British experimental filmmakers active in the 1960s and '70s—radically transformed the dialogue around the cinematic experience. In an atmosphere of dynamic debate and daring experimentation, the group challenged the illusionistic tradition of cinema and insisted on more active, participatory experiences, focusing their attention on film projection as a live event, and often employing multiple screen projections, live filmmaking, performances, and installations.
Once left behind by the competitive market, live art is now everywhere — thanks in large part to its staunchest advocate RoseLee Goldberg.
I was standing in Marian Goodman Gallery’s booth at the Frieze Art Fair last year when a young girl in jeans and a T-shirt asked me whether I’d rather feel too busy or not busy enough. Nonplused, I said that on the whole, I’d rather be too busy, and she asked me why. I said that I didn’t know, maybe because it made me feel important. She considered this for a moment, then recited a passage by Heidegger.
By then, I knew that this — the girl, my nervous response, the entire situation — was part of a performance by the British-German artist Tino Sehgal. I asked her to repeat the Heidegger quote, as it was a lot to take in. This caused some tittering among the growing crowd, which felt a bit mean-spirited (she was a real child, after all). But the girl complied with my request, then turned and glided away. A moment later, she was replaced by another girl, who approached a different adult and asked him whether he’d rather feel too busy or not busy enough. When I left, there was already a line to the booth. By the end of the day, it snaked around the corner.
Read the feature in full here.
Watch videos of RoseLee's favorite moments from Performa, also featured in T magazine, here.
PERFORMA 11: STAGING IDEAS
By RoseLee Goldberg. Edited by Jennifer Piejko. Text by Yulia Aksenova, Defne Ayas, Mark Beasley, Claire Bishop, James Franco, Boris Groys, Jens Hoffmann, Dan Fox, Greil Marcus, Katie Sonnenborn, Sarah Thorton, Alex Waterman, Sue Williamson, et al.
Joan Jonas, a pioneering figure in performance and video art, has been chosen to represent the United States at the 2015 Venice Biennale.
Her Performa Premiere, Reanimation, was originally created for dOCUMENTA (13) with jazz pianist Jason Moran, and was co-presented with Roulette for Performa 13.
****The New York Times