The 6th edition of the biennial brings together more than 30 artists from 12 countries around the world to participate of a programming including Performa Commissions, Performa Projects, Performa Premieres, Performa Institute, Performa Hub, Pavilion Without Walls, and more-breaking down the boundaries between visual art, music, dance, poetry, film, and architecture.
Performa, the internationally acclaimed organization dedicated to live performance across disciplines, launches the sixth edition of its biennial and celebrates the organization's tenth anniversary. Performa 15 will take place on November 1–22, 2015, at locations across New York City. Performa 15 brings together more than 30 artists from 12 countries around the world to participate in three weeks of exciting programming including Performa Commissions, Performa Projects, Performa Premieres, Performa Institute, Performa Hub, Pavilion Without Walls, and more—breaking down the boundaries between visual art, music, dance, poetry, film, and architecture. Performa 15 highlights Australia as a focus for Pavilion Without Walls, and launches a pioneering partnership with Lafayette Anticipation, Paris.
"The program takes the viewer across a wide spectrum of ideas, providing examples of what it means to be a visual artist working live," says RoseLee Goldberg, Founding Director and Curator of Performa. "Each work contains complex issues, of society, art and politics, and each artist uses the many layers of live performance to express their individual viewpoints, engaging audiences in the process."
Opening night: Sunday, November 1
Italian artist Francesco Vezzoli in collaboration with dancer extraordinaire David Hallberg, principal of the American Ballet Theatre and the Bolshoi Ballet, will present Fortuna Desperata, an original performance that takes the Renaissance as a point of departure, creating choreography reflecting the origins of ballet in the 15th century. One-night-only, Fortuna Desperata will take place at New York's landmark St. Bart's church on Park Avenue.
The centerpiece of the biennial is the Performa Commissions, where visual artists take a step into the performance world, many of them for the first time in their career. These artists receive significant support to conceive and realize their work. To date, Performa has awarded over 50 Commissions. Performa 15 Commissions include Edgar Arceneaux: Until, Until, Until…, Jérôme Bel: Ballet (New York), Pauline Curnier Jardin: The Resurrection Plot, Ryan Gander: Ernest Hawker, Agatha Gothe-Snape: Rhetorical Chorus (LW), Juliana Huxtable: There Are Certain Facts That Cannot Be Disputed (a co-commission with MoMA), Jesper Just: Untitled, Wyatt Kahn: Work, Laura Lima: Gala Chickens and Ball, Oscar Murillo: Lucky dip, Robin Rhode: Arnold Schönberg's Erwartung—A Performance by Robin Rhode, Francesco Vezzoli and David Hallberg: Fortuna Desperata, Erika Vogt: Artist Theater Program, and Zheng Mahler: New York Post- et Préfiguratif (Before and After New York).
Performa Projects enable artists to create new work that is generally more process centered, and sometimes more intimate, inviting a closer look at the expanded mechanics of performance. Projects include Derrick Adams: Pablo Fanque's Circus Royal/SIDESHOW, Performa Poetry Series: What if someone told u you were significant?, and Will Rawls: Personal Effects.
Performa Premieres presents exceptional live works that have premiered elsewhere, for the first time in New York. Performa 15 Premieres include Volmir Cordeiro: Inês, Heather Phillipson: FINAL DAYS, and Ulla von Brandenburg: Sink Down Mountain, Rise Up Valley.
Pavilion Without Walls
The Pavilion Without Walls was established at Performa 13 to forge strong partnerships between New York and select countries around the world. This year, in partnership with Performance Space and Artspace in Sydney, and the Institute of Modern Art in Brisbane, the Pavilion Without Walls showcases Australia's most vibrant and significant artists, presenting live performances, historical research, and analyses of the cultural landscape of Australia through the lens of contemporary art. The Australian Pavilion will feature artists Agatha Gothe-Snape, Brian Fuata, Richard Bell, Zheng Mahler, Justene Williams, collective WrongSolo and Art Historian Terry Smith.
The Performa Hub is an architectural commission that functions as the biennial's headquarters. Open daily from noon to 8pm, the program includes screenings, panel discussions, artists' seminars, a lounge, and visitor information center. Celebrating an activated dialogue between architecture and performance, the design for this year's Hub is the first selected by architectural competition. The winning proposal was designed by Christoph a. Kumpusch and his office Forward slash (/) ARCHITEKTUR.
The Performa Institute fosters learning, critical discourse, and deeper engagement in performance history and contemporary art through year-round programming. Situated at the Hub during Performa 15, Performa Institute programs run daily throughout the biennial. Process-driven residencies enable artists to explore the possibilities of performance, oftentimes transforming the Performa Hub into a setting that molds itself to the unique needs of each project. Artists-in-residence include Chimurenga: Library, Jonathas de Andrade: A Study of Race and Class—Bahia >< New York, Eleonora Fabião: Things That Must Be Done Series, and WrongSolo: Cardinals.
Performa 15 inaugurates a pioneering partnership with Lafayette Anticipation-Fondation d'enterprise Galeries Lafayette, Paris. Driven by the same profound commitment to artists—mentoring and supporting them at every step in their process to deliver visionary and cutting-edge works—Performa and Lafayette Anticipation join forces to produce an ambitious program of performances, installations, screenings, and talks, including works by Ulla von Brandenburg, Volmir Cordeiro, Pauline Curnier Jardin, Simon Fujiwara, Christodoulos Panayiotou, and Erika Vogt.
The Consortium is a network of New York City's arts and cultural institutions, all presenting and supporting performances and exhibitions that align with Performa 15's diverse programming. Performa Consortium projects are curated, produced, and presented by participating organizations and institutions. This year's consortium of more than 30 institutions includes Aperture Foundation, Art In General, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Danspace Projects, El Museo del Barrio, Martha Graham Studios, Marian Goodman Gallery, The Museum of Modern Art, National Archives at New York City, New York Society for Ethical Culture, NYU Fales Library, PARTICIPANT INC, Printed Matter, Ray Johnson Estate, Rhizome, Roulette, Swedish Cottage Marrionette Theatre, 3-LD, Times Square Arts, and White Columns.
The curatorial team for Performa 15 is led by RoseLee Goldberg and includes Performa curators Adrienne Edwards, Charles Aubin, and Mark Beasley, as well as curators from a consortium of more than 30 cultural institutions. Performa 15 is produced by Esa Nickle.
For information and tickets, visit the website.
Concetta Duncan, SUTTON, T +1 212 202 3402 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Becky Elmquist, Performa, T +1 917 971 9401 / email@example.com
Opening Night Sunday, November 1, 2015
By Francesco Vezzoli and David Hallberg
A Performa Commission
St. Bart's Church 325 Park Avenue New York