For Immediate Release
September 11, 2017


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 and follow us on Instagram @PerformaNYC and Facebook @PerformaBiennial. #PerformaNYC #Performa17

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.

Media Contact:
Victoria Kung
+1 212 202 3402