City of Tomorrow
Destroy All Monsters
Discoteca Flaming Star
Eva and Franco Mattes
Genesis Breyer P-Orridge
Guido van der Werve
Guy Richards Smit
Joan La Barbara
Joan Juliet Buck
Lilibeth Cuenca Rasmussen
Lynn Hershman Leeson
Lina Viste Groenil
Paul Etienne Lincoln
Sung Hwan Kim
The Bruce High Quality Foundation
Mariana Castillo Deball
The third edition of the internationally biennial of new visual art performance showcases new work by more than 150 of the world's most exciting contemporary artists. Presentations includes 11 new Performa Commissions and, for the first time ever, a Performa Premieres program of 6 remarkable pieces that have never been seen in New York. This year's festival is inspired, in part, by the 100 years that have passed since 'The Founding and Manifesto of Futurism' was published in 1909. The Museum of Modern and P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center participates in Performa 09 with a video screening programme and various performance.
11 Performa Commissions and 6 Performa Premieres Exemplify Incredible Program Coming to New York City
Highlights Include Commissions of Artists Guy Ben-Ner, Candice Breitz, Omer Fast, Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, Mike Kelley, Arto Lindsay, Wangechi Mutu, Christian Tomaszewski, and Yeondoo Jung, and Premieres By Artists Keren Cytter, Tacita Dean, Alica Framis, Loris Greaud, William Kentridge, and Joan Jonas.
Performa 09, the third edition of the internationally acclaimed biennial of new visual art performance, will be held in New York City from November 1–22, 2009, showcasing new work by more than 150 of the world’s most exciting contemporary artists. Presentations will include 11 new Performa Commissions and, for the first time ever, a Performa Premieres program of 6 remarkable pieces that have never been seen in New York. For Performa 09’s opening benefit gala, renowned hostess, hotelier, food writer, and conceptualist Jennifer Rubell will present Creation, a unique dinner sure to be like nothing guests have ever experienced before.
Over its three week-run, Performa 09’s innovative program will break down the boundaries between visual art, music, dance, poetry, fashion, architecture, film, television, radio, graphic design, and the culinary arts, presenting over 110 events in collaboration with a consortium of more than 80 of the city’s leading arts institutions, 40 curators from around the world, and a network of public and private venues throughout the city.
“This promises to be an incredibly exciting Performa biennial,” says Performa Director RoseLee Goldberg, “with more Performa Commissions and Premieres than ever, and a program that mixes disciplines, media, and generations. It will link people and places across the boroughs and bring a broad cross-section of audiences together in a celebration of the extraordinary cultural capital that is New York City. Performa 09 will demonstrate that there is no such thing as an intellectual or creative recession.”
The centerpiece of the Performa 09 biennial is its internationally renowned Performa Commissions program. Initiated by Performa Director RoseLee Goldberg to create new performances for the 21st century, the Performa Commission invites artists — many of whom have not worked ‘live’ before — to create new work especially for the biennial. “I wanted to encourage artists to write the next chapter of live art,” Goldberg says, “to take us in a direction never seen before.” Performa supports its commissioned artists at all levels of development and production, and presents the final work in the context of a world-class biennial, including international touring following the New York premieres.
The 11 Performa 09 Commissions include new works by 9 individual artists and 2 multi-artist projects: Filmed and edited in-camera over the course of twelve months, Guy Ben-Ner will present an unusual "live film” that captures an ongoing phone conversation he has with himself, flying to and fro between Berlin and Tel Aviv, as he sorts out the lives and relationships that he maintains in the peripatetic lifestyle that has become common for the global artist.
Video and installation artist Candice Breitz presents New York, New York, her first-ever live performance, which will feature nearly-identical casts composed of identical twins performing on duplicate sets, moving the analysis of sameness and difference that has been central to Breitz’s video-based work into the space of performance. Interested in probing and unsettling the relationship between history and memory, Omer Fast will trace the arc of a story traveling from a first-person account to an improvised actor's dramatization in an investigation of how personal experience can take flight from reality.
Visual artist Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster and composer and performer Ari Benjamin Meyers collaborate in K.62, a musical mystery that involves an audience, an orchestra, a little bit of magic, and a lot of imagination, inspired by Orson Welles’ unforgettable film version of The Trial (1962). Photo and moving image artist Yeondoo Jung will present his first live performance, Cinemagician, in which the audience will be simultaneously shown the reality of a stage production and the illusory effects of cinema, as created live onstage by popular Korean magician Eunkyul Lee.
In the Judson Memorial Church, Mike Kelley will present Day is Done Judson Church Dance, three short performance pieces inspired by the darkly funny vignettes in his 2005 film and video installation Day is Done, including “The Horse Dance of the False Virgin,” “The Judson Church Horse Dance,” and a new “Battle of the Bands”-style work involving 13 people assembled on and around a large ladder playing largely improvised music on horns.
On New York City’s Marathon Sunday, avant-garde music pioneer Arto Lindsay will present SOMEWHERE I READ, a multidisciplinary arts parade featuring over 50 performers marching through the streets, using cell phones as musical instruments and carrying large screens that will receive projections invisible to the naked eye, in an inventive re-thinking of the standard parade format.
Wangechi Mutu will present Stone Ihiga, a multi-layered performance and installation created in collaboration with the riveting vocalist/composer Imani Uzuri. Centered around the practice of lapidation, and specifically inspired by stories of women who have been found guilty of adultery or promiscuity, Stone Ihiga will be a rumination on the fragility and tenacity of our humanity and spirituality, adding translucent surfaces and a live dimension to Mute’s exquisite collage works. Christian Tomaszewski will consider how the future was imagined by the Communist regimes of the former Soviet Bloc in Mother Earth Sister Moon, an archaeological investigation into the fashion and style of the era culminating in a fantastical fashion show with clothing, choreography, set design, and sound all produced in collaboration with Joanna Malinowska.
Inspired by the lost Futurist film Vita Futurista (Futurist Life, 1916), Futurist Life Redux is a new film featuring contributions by an incredible group of contemporary film and video artists—Trisha Baga, chameckilerner, Martha Colburn, Ben Coonley, George Kuchar, Lynn Hershman Leeson, Shana Moulton, Shannon Plumb, Aida Ruilova, Matthew Silver and Shoval Zohar (The Future), and Michael Smith—re-imagining the eleven segments of the original Futurist Life for the twenty-first century.
In Music for 16 Futurist Noise Intoners, an incredible group of musicians and composers from the experimental music world—Blixa Bargeld, John Butcher, Luciano Chessa, Pauline Oliveros, Mike Patton, Anat Pick, Elliott Sharp, and Jennifer Walsche with Tony Conrad, among others—will present an evening-length concert of original scores and newly commissioned compositions for the Futurist instruments intonarumori, or “noise-intoners,” being reconstructed for the first time in their entirety by Performa.
The Performa Premieres program showcases extraordinary live works that have never been shown in New York before. Working closely with each artist for as long as two years or more, the Performa team searches for the perfect venue to host each performance, and makes sure that every detail of the artist’s vision can be fully realized.
For Performa 09, Performa Premieres will be presented by 6 artists: In History in the Making or The Secret Diaries of Linda Schultz, Israeli visual artist Keren Cytter’s first evening-length theatrical production, Cytter combines dance, video, and music to tell the story of liberal activist John Webber and graphic designer Linda Schultz, who are each unexpectedly transformed into the opposite sex in a performance that uses the artist’s trademark “kitchen-sink existentialism” to wittily address the frustrations and confines of social roles.
A stunning 16-millimeter, feature-length film showing Merce Cunningham and his company rehearsing an Event in the craneway of an abandoned Ford Motor factory in Northern California, Craneway Event, by Tacita Dean, marks the second collaboration between Cunningham and Dean and the last appearance made by this legendary choreographer on film.
Alica Framis presents Lost Astronaut, an ongoing performance-installation exploring the possibility of living on the moon through the ironic and fictional character and activities of a female astronaut, who will live in a tent for three weeks during the biennial, residing among drawings and prototypes by artists and writers—including Marina Abramovic, Brian Keith-Jackson, and Rita McBride, among many others—that aim to both parody and make a claim for women’s presence on the moon. In Loris Greaud’s project for Performa 09, a video of a breathtaking fireworks display in Abu Dhabi (designed by internationally acclaimed pyrotechnicians Groupe F in collaboration with Greaud, and involving the hip hop group Anti-Pop Consortium) that recreates the bioluminescence of deep-sea creatures through flashing blue lights in the night sky will be shown on the giant MTV screen in Times Square.
A comic and visually dazzling performance by renowned South African artist William Kentridge, in I Am Not Me, the Horse is Not Mine, the artist himself gives an unusual presentation related to his current opera-in-progress: a work inspired by Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich’s satirical opera The Nose, based on the Nikolai Gogol short story of the same name.
Reading Dante, a large-scale performance by video and performance pioneer Joan Jonas, is based on elements from Dante’s epic fourteenth-century poem the Divine Comedy, collaging footage shot in four locations—the Canadian woods, 1970s New York, a ruin surrounding a lava field in Mexico City, and a shadow play in Italy—together to translate Dante into Jonas’s own remarkable “infernal paradise.”
For the Opening Night Benefit Dinner of Performa 09, Jennifer Rubell has created a series of food installations and delicious surprises that will lead guests on an interactive food journey through all floors of the experimental venue X Initiative.
The Museum of Modern and P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center will participate in Performa 09, the third edition of the internationally acclaimed biennial of new visual art performance presented by Performa, a nonprofit interdisciplinary arts organization committed to presenting and researching performance art. Performa 09 runs from November 1 to 22, 2009, at more than 80 venues throughout New York City. This year's festival is inspired, in part, by the 100 years that have passed since "The Founding and Manifesto of Futurism" was published in 1909.
Among the events at MoMA are an opening-night performance by Fischerspooner; a psychedelic video compilation by Brody Condon; and the film series Nuts and Bolts: Machine Made Man in Films from the Collection. P.S.1 hosts the exhibition 100 Years (version #2, ps1, nov 2009). See below for detailed information.
MoMA and Performa 09 Programme
Performance 6: Fischerspooner
November 1, 2009, 6:00–9:00 p.m.
The Donald B. and Catherine C. Marron Atrium, second floor
MoMA and Performa 09 present Fischerspooner's Between Worlds (2009), a pop spectacle developed in conjunction with Fischerspooner's new recording, Entertainment. The performance runs continuously, with no clear beginning or end, on a large central stage, inviting the audience to view the piece from all sides. With source material provided by The Wooster Group and inspired by phenomena ranging from Japanese theater to the early years of the U.S. space program, this new performance continues Fischerspooner's interest in exploring the spaces between art and entertainment, reality and fiction, intentions and mistakes. Performance 6: Fischerspooner is part of MoMA's ongoing Performance Exhibition Series.
Brody Condon: Without Sun
Monday, November 2, 7:00 p.m.
The Roy and Niuta Titus Theater 2
As part of Performa 09, MoMA presents Brody Condon: Without Sun, a video compilation of "found performances" (online videos of people who recorded themselves while having psychedelic experiences). The screening is followed by a live recreation by two performers—an actor mimicking the voices and a dancer matching the body movements—who repeat the gestures of these individuals' drug-induced journeys. Following the performance, Condon discusses Without Sun and its relationship to Case, his upcoming performance adaptation of William Gibson's classic cyberpunk novel Neuromancer (1984), to be held at the New Museum as part of Performa 09.
Condon is a New York-based artist, born in Mexico in 1974. His work combines a fascination with video and role-playing games, countercultural communities, new-age subcultures, and art history, which he rolls into moving image installations and performative situations.
Modern Mondays is a weekly program that brings contemporary, innovative film and moving image works to the public and provides a forum for viewers to engage in dialogue and debate with contemporary filmmakers and artists. Modern Mondays presents new and newly rediscovered film and media works with the director in attendance, stimulating discourse, dialogue, and interaction in a social setting.
Brody Condon: Without Sun is organized by Sally Berger, Assistant Curator, Department of Film. Modern Mondays is made possible by Anna Marie and Robert F. Shapiro. Additional support is provided by The Contemporary Arts Council of The Museum of Modern Art.
Nuts and Bolts: Machine Made Man in Films from the Collection
November 1, 2009–January 2, 2010
The Roy and Niuta Titus Theaters
On February 20, 1909, "The Founding and Manifesto of Futurism" was published in Le Figaro. Italian poet Filippo Tommaso Marinetti (1876–1944) called for a cultural movement aimed at a mass audience that would reject the sober and genteel conventions of the bourgeois world and accept the speed, technology, and dynamism of the early twentieth century. Thus was born the cultural, political, and ideological movement known as Futurism.
The Futurists—painters, writers, musicians, and filmmakers—were drawn to and promoted an unsentimental aesthetic perception informed by technology and the machine age. The roots of Futurism simultaneously embraced and rejected a broad scope of philosophical, political, and cultural issues that were thrown into flux at the end of the nineteenth century. The rise and growing importance of urban centers, nationalism, and technology replaced outmoded reverence for academia, museums, libraries, aristocracy, and religion. In "The Founding and Manifesto of Futurism," Marinetti breathlessly announces the coming Futurist revolution, in which the heretofore dark night is "illuminated by the internal glow of electric hearts." He speaks the language of the machine age and venerates bolts, padlocks, snorting machines, hungry automobiles, and enormous grappling irons.
Nuts and Bolts: Machine Made Man in Films from the Collection was created especially for Performa 09's celebration of the centenary of Futurism, after Performa Director RoseLee Goldberg approached MoMA about presenting a series of Futurist-related films from the Museum's collection. Through its selection of films, Nuts and Bolts addresses Marinetti's attraction to a mechanical being in the reign of the machine age. Such a being would be endlessly energetic, productive in the factory, free of sentimentality, and immune to disease and death. Throughout cinematic history mechanical creatures—robots, androids, humanoids, cyborgs—have often reflected both the discord and the connection between man and machine, a concept Marinetti proclaimed a century ago in Le Figaro.
Organized by Anne Morra, Assistant Curator, Department of Film in collaboration with Performa 09. Sincere thanks to Sony Pictures Entertainment, Toho Co. Ltd., Lana Wilson, and RoseLee Goldberg.
Performance 6 is organized by Klaus Biesenbach, Chief Curator, with Jenny Schlenzka, Assistant Curator for Performance, Department of Media and Performance Art, The Museum of Modern Art. The Performance Exhibition Series is made possible by MoMA's Wallis Annenberg Fund for Innovation in Contemporary Art through the Annenberg Foundation. Additional support for this exhibition is provided by John and Amy Phelan.
Tickets: Available for purchase via the Performa website at http://www.performa-arts.org.
$20 general admission; $16 Performa Members; $10 students and seniors.
100 Years (version #2, ps1, nov 2009)
curated by Klaus Biesenbach and RoseLee Goldberg
100 Years (version #2, ps1, nov 2009) is an exhibition that gathers important happenings, actions, moments, and gestures to outline a history of performance art that is still largely unknown. Organized by P.S.1 and Performa on the occasion of Performa 09—which is inspired by the one hundred years that have passed since The Futurist Manifesto first appeared in 1909—100 Years will travel to other venues, with content varying and developing over time. For each version, works can be added to or subtracted from, or include a greater local emphasis, depending on the venue.
Organized by P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center and Performa. The exhibition is made possible by the Annual Exhibition Fund of P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center with generous support from the Julia Stoschek Foundation.
November 1, 2009–April 5, 2010
P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center
P.S.1 Admission: $5.00 suggested donation; $2.00 for students and senior citizens
free for MoMA members and MoMA admission ticket holders.
Media Contacts: Dan Tanzilli
Lana Wilson Performa
More information is available at http://www.performa-arts.org
Different venues, New York