Performa 13

Feast Your Eyes: Subodh Gupta Cooks Up a Performa Commission


For an artist who’s never performed before, eight days of cooking dinner for 50 to 60 people is a demanding way to start. “It hasn’t been easy,” said Subodh Gupta, whose paintings and sculptures often address the food and utensils of Indian kitchens. “It’s been very tough.” Last night’s meal, a commissioned piece for Performa 13 that runs through Nov. 16, was about to begin at 168 Bowery, an old subway station turned pop-up event space. Mr. Gupta, casually outfitted in a black puffy vest over a colorful T-shirt and violet glasses, had been preparing the five-course feast since 11 a.m. Read More


Talking Ambition, Taking Apart ‘Lean In': Six Women Tackle Gender Politics in the Arts

Even for the staunchest supporters of the cause, discussing gender inequity in the art world can get very grim very fast. Bleak statistics on gallery representation and auction records elicit (understandable) groans, and more time gets spent maligning the problems than working on them. Fortunately, the six women participating in last week’s “62 Years Later: Gender Politics in the Arts” discussion at Robert Miller Gallery avoided gloom, expressing optimism and frustration in near equal measure. In conjunction with the gallery’s Lee Krasner exhibition, three of the fiercest female forces in New York’s art world—RoseLee Goldberg, founding director and curator of Performa, artist Laurie Simmons and Anne Pasternak, president and artistic director of Creative Time—spoke about ambition and achievement along with Lauren Flanigan, an opera soprano and nonprofit director, Heather Watts, formerly the principal dancer in George Balanchine’s New York City Ballet, and moderator Sylvia Ann Hewlett, the esteemed author and economist. Read More

Art and Dance

May I Buy This Dance? Nope, Not Yet! A Pas de Deux With the Art World Heats Up

Steve Paxton, 'Satisfyin Lover,' (1967), from "Some Sweet Day." (Courtesy Museum of Modern Art)

One evening in mid September, some 300 people packed into the Judson Memorial Church for a panel discussion on the rise of dance in the art world. About midway through, Ralph Lemon dropped a bomb: “I wait,” he said, “for the day when a museum acquires a dance.”

Mr. Lemon, a dancer and visual artist who prefers to be called simply a “conceptualist,” didn’t mean the sweat-stained costumes, sets and other ephemera that are often the only relics to prove that a dance has happened, but instead something far more controversial: the dance itself—the, as he put it, “performance as object.” Read More


Performa Hosts Sparkling First Benefit Auction

RoseLee Goldberg at the Performa Benefit with Mike Kelly print in background (Courtesy Rozalia Jovanovic)

“I tell you how much money to spend, and you spend it,” said Sara Friedlander standing on a podium in a gold-sequin skirt and a jean shirt tied at her waist. “It’s like I tell my husband.” Ms. Friedlander, a post-war and contemporary art specialist at Christie’s, was moonlighting last night as an auctioneer at Performa’s first benefit auction.

The benefit for Performa, which organizes a performance art biennial in New York, was held at the Flag Art Foundation’s Chelsea gallery, which was filled with sun for almost the entire evening as guests sampled porcini mushroom pastry puffs and endive spears filled with crab salad while surveying the works at auction by artists like Mike Kelley, Laurie Simmons, Christian Marclay and Shirin Neshat, among many others. A black crown fashioned from black leather and rhinestone studded stars, by Rashaad Newsome, sparkled in the sunlight streaming in from the balcony. A dancer with the Trisha Brown Company said he had bid on the Marclay piece, a torn corner of a page from a comic book. Read More


Clifford Owens and Kara Walker at MoMA PS1: An Epilogue With RoseLee Goldberg

Clifford Owens, Studio Visits: Studio Museum of Harlem, 2005. Part of Performa 05. Performance view with RoseLee Goldberg. Courtesy the artist and the Studio Museum in Harlem.

Last week, artist Clifford Owens told The Observer in an interview that he planned to force a sex act on an audience member for his final performance at MoMA PS1. The performance, based on a score written by artist Kara Walker, called for French kissing an audience member and demanding sex. He had performed it several times during his 10-month residency at the museum, and planned to take the performance further and to break out of a comfort zone he had settled into. In response to the news of Mr. Owens’s plans, which we shared in search of comment, Ms. Walker responded via email that she wasn’t aware of his plans for his final performance and stated, “If he goes through with it he leaves no room for imagination or freedom of choice.” The next day, when she withdrew her involvement from Mr. Owens’s performance, demanding, via email, that he “cease and desist” from using her score, The Observer found itself an unwitting participant in the evolution of that last performance. Read More


‘You Know You Want It, Baby': Clifford Owens Is Joined by Kara Walker, in Her First Live Performance

Kara Walker and Clifford Owens at MoMA PS1. Courtesy Rozalia Jovanovic.

The artist Kara Walker had a surprise cameo today in Clifford Owens’s last performance in his exhibition “Anthology” at MoMA PS1. It was a resolution, it seemed, of what began unfolding last week when Mr. Owens made known to Gallerist in an interview his intention to force a sex act on an audience member during his last performance in accordance with a set of instructions Ms. Walker had given to him to enact. Yet, while Ms. Walker had supplied the instructions, or a “score” as Mr. Owens calls them (as did 27 other artists) she had no idea, we learned from her in an email, that he planned to take her instructions so literally for this performance, instructions which read, in part, “Force them against a wall and demand Sex.” As a result, she called off her involvement with the performance. Thus, when the door opened today and Ms. Walker appeared and walked slowly toward Mr. Owens, the performance, we knew, had taken a turn no one could have expected. Read More

Performa 11

Performa 11 Roundup

(Courtesy Performa 11)

As Performa 11, the fourth edition of New York’s performance art biennial, unfolds over the first three weeks of November, Gallerist will be reporting on the events as they happen, and publishing frequent reviews of what we see. We invite you to read our ongoing coverage, organized by the day of the event we attended, in the articles below. This list will be regularly updated throughout the month. Details for upcoming events are available on Performa 11’s website. Read More


Performa 11 Release Complete Performance Calendar

"Love Letters in Ancient Brick" (2011), by Mai-Thu Perret, performance still. (Photo: Performa)

Performance art fans, start planning your November. Performa 11, New York’s performance art biennial, today announced its full slate of events, which will run from Nov. 1 through Nov. 21. Tickets are now available for the epic array of events.

Festivities kick off on Nov. 1, with the debut performance of Danish duo Elmgreen & Read More