Jake and Dinos Chapman have been commissioned to create a piece for the Performa13 biannual. This New York-based organisation and international event is dedicated to live performance art across the disciplines. Select Performa Commissions and Consortium projects for Performa 13 will celebrate the biennial’s fifth edition to take place November 1 – 24, 2013 at more than 60 venues across New York City.
Among the acclaimed artists who have received the prestigious Performa Commissions and will create new works for the biennial are: Jake and Dinos Chapman (UK), Subodh Gupta (IN), Rosa Barba (IT), Alexander Singh (UK), Marianne Vitale (USA), Raqs Media Collective (IN), Ryan McNamara (USA), Pawel Althamer (PO), Nicholas Hlobo (SA), Tori Wrånes (NO), Florian Hecker (DE) and Rashid Johnson (USA). Additional Performa 13 highlights will also include Pedro Reyes (MX) at the Queens Museum (a new member of the Performa Consortium), Paulo Bruscky (BL) at the Bronx Museum, as well as Ben Patterson (USA), Maren Hassinger (USA) and Tameka Morris (USA) presented as part of the program on Black Performance: Radical Presence at the Studio Museum in Harlem and the Grey Art Gallery, NYU.
“We have a thrilling line-up of new work this year,” says Performa Founding Director and Curator, RoseLee Goldberg, “showing that more and more visual artists consider performance an important medium for expressing their ideas, and that cultural institutions now appreciate performance for its communicability to a broad public and as essential to their programs.”
The centerpiece of Performa’s biennial is its internationally renowned Performa Commissions program. These commissions support visual artists taking a step into the performance world, many of them for the first time in their careers. “Performa Commissions allow for a unique and prolonged working relationship with artists,” explains Goldberg. “We are able to draw on expertise within our organization, providing artists with unparalleled support and in-depth engagement with their ideas, allowing them to experiment and take off in entirely new directions. The resulting works have become significant new markers in the history of artists’ performance.”
Each Performa Commission creates a live experience that engages the viewer and allows for a strong connection between artists and audiences. “Several of the Commissions confront our sense of humanity, of community, and what it means to be a citizen in our 21st century world of immigrant nations,” says Goldberg of one of the biennial’s research themes: citizenship. Others deconstruct the formal elements or materials of performance, such as “the voice,” which will be featured in a special series divided into two separate evening-length concerts, one each for the male and female voice, curated by Performa Curator Mark Beasley.
To date, Performa has awarded 41 Performa Commissions with several Commissions touring internationally following their New York premieres. Beginning with the first Performa 05 Commissions by artists Jesper Just and Francis Alÿs, Performa has gone on to present Commissions by a wide range of artists including Isaac Julien (Performa 07); Nathalie Djurberg (Performa 07); Adam Pendleton (Performa 07); Yvonne Rainer (Performa 07); Francesco Vezzoli (Performa 07); Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster (Performa 09); Omer Fast (Performa 09); Mike Kelley (Performa 09); Candice Breitz (Performa 09); Arto Lindsay (Performa 09); Yeondoo Jung (Performa 09); and Wangechi Mutu (Performa 09); Ragnar Kjartansson (Performa 11); Liz Magic Laser (Performa 11); Shirin Neshat (Performa 11); and Elmgreen and Dragset (Performa 11), among others.
For Performa 13, the Pavilion Without Walls™ program adds an important new dimension to Performa’s mission to investigate the history of artists’ performance and to show its significance in shaping the history of art while also nurturing new work with its commissions program. Based on the national pavilions of the Venice Biennial, Goldberg initiated the Pavilions Without Walls™ as a way to explore in great depth the character of contemporary art and live performance in different countries. Norway and Poland will launch this new initiative that has involved research trips to both countries by Performa curators and producers, curators, critics, museum directors and consulate representatives in New York.
Sissel Breie, the Consul General in New York, comments, “The Norwegian Consulate has worked with Performa for several years and has always been impressed by the unique artworks they present and commission. And the way the biennial transforms the city into a stage for exploring new ideas while challenging the boundaries between art, culture and politics.”
Performa 13 is supported by grants from Toby Devan Lewis, The Lambent Foundation, The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Arts, The Potter Charitable Trust, Trust for Mutual Understanding and public funds from the National Endowment for the Arts. International support is provided by The Royal Norwegian Consulate, The Adam Mickiewicz Institute, Pro Helvetia, The Polish Cultural Institute New York, The Office for Contemporary Art Norway, The French-American Fund for Contemporary Theater, a program of FACE, and FUSED: French U.S. Exchange in Dance, a program of the New England Foundation for the Arts’ National Dance Project, Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the United States, and FACE (French American Cultural Exchange), with lead funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, with additional funding from the Florence Gould Foundation, Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen, The Asian Cultural Council, and The Dena Foundation. Generous support is also provided by the Performa Board of Directors, The Performa Producers Circle, Curators Circle, and the Visionaries.
Founded in 2004 by art historian and curator RoseLee Goldberg, Performa is the leading international organization dedicated to exploring the critical role of live visual art performance in the history of the twentieth century and to generating new directions for the twenty-first century, engaging artists and audiences through experimentation, innovation, and collaboration. Performa’s unique commissioning, touring, and year-round education programs, involving all disciplines, forge a new course for contemporary art and culture, and culminate in the Performa biennial in New York City every other November. In 2005, Performa launched the first-ever biennial dedicated to visual art performance, Performa 05, which was then followed by Performa 07 (2007), Performa 09 (2009), and Performa 11 (2011).
Since its inception, Performa has operated as both an urban and international project demonstrating how organizations can collaborate to present major arts programs that are both artistically innovative and internationally relevant. Performa has developed partnerships with major international institutions, commissioning, producing, and touring work from the Performa program from the very beginning. The Performa Institute, a platform for the research and educational components of Performa, presents lectures, panel discussions, and workshops on an ongoing basis that explore critical issues surrounding performance and its history across disciplines, including visual art, dance, film, music, design, and architecture.
Photo: by Roberto Duque © Artlyst 2013 all rights reserved