Jimmy Robert, Imitation of Lives, 2017, A Performa Commission for Performa 17. Photo © Paula Court. Courtesy of Performa and The Glass House.
Wangechi Mutu, Banana Stroke, 2017, A Performa Commission for Performa 17. Photo © Paula Court.
Jesper Just, True Love is Yet to Come, 2005. A Performa Commission for Performa 05. Photo © Paula Court.
Nathalie Djurberg, Untitled (Working Title Kids & Dogs), 2007. A Performa Commission for Performa 07. Photo © Paula Court.
Lauren Nakadate and James Franco, 2011. A Performa Commission for Performa 11. Photo © Paula Court.
Ragnar Kjartansson, Bliss, 2011. A Performa Commission for Performa 11. Photo © Paula Court.
Shirin Neshat, Overruled, 2011. A Performa Commission for Performa 11. Photo © Paula Court.
Mika Rottenberg and Jon Kessler, Seven, 2011. A Performa Commission for Performa 11. Photo © Paula Court.
Francis Alys, Rehearsal II, 2005. A Performa Commission for Performa 05. Photo © Paula Court.
Iona Rozeal Brown, battleofyestermorrow, 2011. A Performa Commission for Performa 11. Photo © Paula Court.
Mike Kelley, Extracurricular Activity Projective Reconstruction #32, 2009. A Performa Commission for Performa 09.
Performa Commissions invites artists - many of whom had not worked ‘live’ before - to create new work, especially for Performa. At the core of Performa’s mission, and a central feature of its biennials, is the creation of new work by contemporary artists at various stages in their careers. Throughout this critically acclaimed Performa Commissions program, artists receive substantial financial awards and unique production support to realize powerful, intellectually reflective, and artistically innovative works of live performance.
The Commissions Program welcomes both artists who already use live elements in their work and those who are experimenting with performance for the first time. Artists are encouraged to expand their artistic vision through the use of live performance, resulting in truly original productions. Receiving a Performa Commission gives artists the rare opportunity to create new work without the confines of a predetermined venue or budget. Acting as a commissioning agency as well as a production company, Performa provides a support system for its artists, from initial proposal through opening night and touring, that far surpasses the customary assistance given by its nonprofit counterparts and those of the commercial sector alike. As producers, Performa has developed a flexible and responsive production process allowing for exceptional variety in scope and scale to premiere the final work in the context of a world-class biennial.
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Past Biennial Commissions
Performa 17 Commissions
Kemang Wa Lehulere
Julie Mehretu and Jason Moran
Performa 15 Commissions
Pauline Curnier Jardin
Jesper Just and FOS
Francesco Vezzoli and David Hallberg
Performa 13 Commissions
Raqs Media Collective
Performa 11 Commissions
iona rozeal brown
Elmgreen & Dragset
Liz Magic Laser
Laurel Nakadate & James Franco
Mika Rottenberg & Jon Kessler
Performa 09 Commissions
Guy Ben Ner
Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster & Ari Benjamin Meyers
Christian Tomaszewski & Joanna Malinowska
Performa 07 Commissions
Isaac Julien & Russel Maliphant
Performa 05 Commissions