FROM DUST TO DUST: CLOSING THOUGHTS ON THE CONTEMPORARY PERFORMANCE ART EXHIBITION, REMAINS BY IAN DELEÓN
In Politics We Trust: Observing JUST SITUATIONS
Various Locations across Brooklyn, NYC | July 2017
By Polina Riabova
Sitting at Panoply Performance Lab (Brooklyn, NY) on Thursday, July 20th I am sweating buckets. “It’s so HOT in there!” I say to Esther Neff, organizer of JUST SITUATIONS (alongside Kaia Gilje and Leili Huzaibah) as I smoke in-between performances.
“It’s just because there’s so many people,” Esther tells me.
JUST SITUATIONS, a “hybrid-convention, festival and ‘political science fair’” with an intent to create alternative structures and “modes” of being under a capitalist, power-hungry system through performative methods, spanned a total of 10 days (July 13 - 23). For an intensive festival involving more than 60 performers (or ‘situators’), the crowd makes sense.
REMAINS PROVES PERFORMANCE ART STILL HAS A PULSE
Fergus McCaffrey, NYC, July 2017
By Ian Deleón
To use the word remains is to invoke in someone associations with death, decay, and possibly even dismemberment. Generally speaking it refers to the parts left behind, once some significant change in status has taken place. That change is usually framed in terms of a negative, destructive event but of course destruction can be a kind of creation as well. The word’s linguistic ties to remaining mean that it can also convey that which lives on, or that which stays put.
In relation to the art of live performance, talking in terms of remains certainly articulates some of the finer points about post-action detritus and extended duration times, but it’s also important to address the aspect of performance art’s own supposed untimely demise. The notion that one art form or another has died at some point is pervasive in contemporary art historical discourse. Painting has died so many times it has spawned zombie movements. But that kind of makes sense, painting was old. But performance art is fairly new...at least, by some accounts.
When we talk about performance in this article we may concede to the influence of its antecedents: of the theater, of dance, of magic, of cinema, of protest. But performance art cannot be all of those things if we are going to have a productive conversation about it. It has to be its own thing, while often appearing in the guise of those other art forms. Performance wasn’t a flash in the pan either, with its death knell rung by an explosion of consumer culture, information, communication or globalization in the early 90s...NO. Performance Art is NOT dead and this exhibition is the proof––the exhumation, the surprise discovery that the remains are intact...and ALIVE.
JUST SITUATIONS - a hybrid performance conference + festival BEGINS TONIGHT IN BROOKLYN AT PANOPLY PERFORMANCE LAB
Performance art organizer-extraordinaires, Leili Huzaibah, Esther Neff and Kaia Gilje have taken on yet another enormously ambitious series of performance events which promise to "host artists and active citizens who are working in performative ways, moving beyond the trending commercialization of art “about” politics." Under the title of "JUST SITUATIONS," over 50 artists are slated to participate/perform/activate the nebulous web of un/convention. The “political science fair” (as it is also referred to by the organizers) begins this evening, Thursday, July 13th at Panoply Performance Lab, Brooklyn, NYC. JUST SITUATIONS opens their programming with specific invitations. Chloë Bass invites viewers to consider how our lives have changed since the election of the 45th president while J. COATL/KEVIN LENNY invites guests to consider how to "make space for engagement."
All events during JUST SITUATIONS are "pay-what-you can" with a sliding scale recommended donation of $5-$20. You can also support this incredible project and the participating artists on the festival's Generosity page. Full festival details are available here.
Performance participants sought, Governor’s Island, NY, June 3-4
Participants needed to take part in a participatory weekend public performance project SLOW DANCE by artist Katya Grokhovsky for DREAM BIGGER : NYC Figment Festival on Governor's Island!
Saturday and Sunday 3rd and 4th of June 2017, 3-6pm
DREAM BIGGER: Figment NYC
*Video of previous version of the project for reference below, no dance training needed, just desire to slow dance, connect and talk to people. You can do any part or all of the set time, with breaks as needed.
Murakami Saburo, Passing Through, 1956. Performance views, 2nd Gutai Art Exhibition, Ohara Kaikan, Tokyo, ca. October 11–17, 1956. Photo: Otsuji Seiko Collection, Musashino Art University Museum & Library, Tokyo. © Otsuji Seiko and Murakami Makiko. Courtesy Musashino Art University Museum & Library. Photo: Otsuji Kiyoji.
Summer Performance Art Show at Fergus McCaffrey
By Ian Deleón
“Ruins unexpectedly welcome us with warmth and friendliness; they speak to us through their beautiful cracks and rubble”.1
For six weeks this summer, Fergus McCaffrey gallery in Chelsea, NYC will present a unique program of more than twenty-five live performances by internationally acclaimed and emerging artists Máiréad Delaney, Hee Ran Lee, Daniel Neumann, Clifford Owens, Nigel Rolfe, and Liping Ting.
You may have noticed a new name for the Performance Is Alive correspondence team when we published "ARTISTS IN HOPE: A SOFT POLITICAL DISSENT" by Polina Riabova. I first met Riabova at one of Fritz Donnelly's infamous performance events at BIZARRE Bushwick. We spoke casually about the Brooklyn performance community as live performers slung chocolate sauce all over themselves, the venue and anyone in their path (you know, normal performance stuff.) Months later we picked up our conversation at Grace Exhibition Space where Riabova expressed an interest in writing about performance. Intrigued by her poetic approach and fresh immersion into performance art, I found Riabova to be an apt addition to the site. In our interview, Riabova explains her relationship to writing, immigration and highlights a few standout performance pieces. - Quinn Dukes
Maybe it's the warmer weather, maybe it's the temporary escapism but we are really looking forward to New York Armory Week. Several art fairs have upped their performance art programming and some, well, we just can't seem to get any information from... thus is art week. So here it is, our top NY Armory Week 2017 performance art picks. Hope to see you around!
The evening begins with Nora Stephens introducing herself and her onstage compatriots (Cecilie Beck, Eli Tamondong and Naomi Elena Ramirez) by read-singing from a sheet. Stephens credits a previous work for bringing the collaborators’ together, earnestly looking up from page to audience. “Welcome to our show,” the performers’ harmonize warmly, arms extended in greeting while colorful, glittery outfits sparkle as they move about. They come together in the center of the room and hold flower-like positions. Silently - slowly - the flowers wilt. Within minutes they are in a heap on the floor and begin to transform and undulate as the human bodies roll backwards into the space.
It was Friday night in the East Village and I decided to give Colby Cannon Welsh’s performance, "Millennials," a shot. I was not previously exposed to Welsh’s work but his flashy email invitation and direct invite caught my attention.
Upon arrival, I was herded into the brown brick lobby of the historic NYC Public Bath Building, now known as Bathhouse Studios. Two women holding iPads asked the crowd who wanted to give their phone numbers as a way to participate in the performance. They entered our anonymous digits into a Google form and later handed us a small piece of paper with instructions to leave our ringers on and place the call on speaker upon answering.
Performing our Reality / Dreaming our Escape - Notes from Satellite 2.0
Alexandra Hammond for Performance is Alive
It’s just before the opening of Satellite 2.0 and the Parisian hotel in Miami Beach is as ready as it will ever be. Each room has been cleared of furnishings and occupied by a gallery, curatorial project, artist collective or publication. Many have been transformed beyond recognition while others, including our booth for Performance is Alive, revel in the dingy tones of cream and pale-peach paint, making use of the vaguely sordid yet standardized markers of the hotel’s architecture of transience: dated carpeting, wall-mounted televisions and lamps.
We have covered the linty carpet with an uncanny layer of adhesive plastic rug-guard topped with beige drop cloths. Artist, Curator and Performance is Alive founder Quinn Dukes has been performing and managing performance events for years and knows that “performers get messy”. She is keen to support the artists and tend to the realization of their works as much as possible under the constraints of a nonexistent budget and the hotel setting. The only rule: no fire.
After a day and a half of nearly round-the-clock preparation (more for many of the elaborate booths) the Satellite Art fair feels like a possible setting for a Borges story: a world within the world, with its own sense of time and cultural mores.
The lobby is now equipped with a giant cereal bowl, titled F+++ Off, fashioned from a modified Doughboy pool and filled with enlarged Captain Crunch pieces sculpted out of foam. A bubble-bath fountain shaped like a giant milk carton pours down from above. Its creators, Jen Catron and Paul Outlaw don bathing suits and float in doughnut-styled inner tubes from time the fair opens until it closes each day. They take their job seriously, just like the exotic car rental agency that normally shares the lobby of the Parisian and continues its usual business throughout the fair, tending to and lending out a small stable of Lamborghinis and Rolls Royces that are parked out front.
Curator Jesse Firestone (creator of the Soothing Center and an organizer of the fair along with Founder Brian Whiteley) stops into our booth for Performance is Alive. Jessie, Quinn and I joke that if we had to stay at the Parisian forever, we would survive and make our own world. Like the Eagles’ Hotel California, but with more exuberance and less downfall.
The fantasy of the self-sustaining art-pod was particularly poignant in the days immediately following the presidential election. The final dissolution of the myth of American exceptionalism calls for action, and the temporary world-building represented by repurposing a hotel for a few days of art viewing (even as it participates in the commercial crush of Miami art week), can be seen as a utopic gesture, perhaps even an act of love towards a world that has revealed itself as a more troubled place than we had imagined.
Nestled on the second of three floors of this most wacky and artist-powered of the Miami art fairs, Performance is Alive’s room 15 was poised to be occupied by the first of its politically-charged performances. Artists addressed the interconnected subjects of landscape and environmental destruction, race, gender, consumer capitalism, labor, violence and eroticism. In short, the range of issues that arise when the medium is the ever-political, ever-present body.
Earlier this year, I had the great honor of participating in a residency coordinated by the Feminist Art Group and IV Soldiers Gallery in Rosekill, NY. During that residency, I collaborated, cooked, performed, cleaned, chopped fire wood, tended to a fire for 12 hours and shared the most profound moments and memories of my artistic career with members of the Feminist Art Group. Fellow participants, Lorene Bouboushian and Kaia Gilje presented a daring and physically challenging performance across an overgrown field at Rosekill. Contained within giant plastic water containers, Bouboushian and Gilje yelled towards eachother, using sound as the only directional tool. The scale and physical intensity of the piece was so wonderfully bizarre and unlike other performances that I had witnessed ... anywhere!
Bouboushian is presenting a new project this week entitled, extent of explosive lament at The Exponential Festival based in various locations across Brooklyn, NY. I can't wait to experience Bouboushian's latest performance dimensions and invite you to experience this work first hand. Full details below. - Quinn Dukes
#AliveAtSatellite - Performance IS Alive PRESENTS 4 DAYS OF PROGRAMMING AT SATELLITE ART SHOW, MIAMI ART WEEK
We have been hard at work reviewing hundreds of performance proposals from incredible performance artists across the globe for #AliveAtSatellite, Performance Is Alive's non-stop programming at SATELLITE ART SHOW during Miami Art Week 2016. We are incredibly delighted to present these daring projects from an amazing group of artists. Throughout the fair’s duration multi-media performance artists confront a myriad of contemporary issues such as body politics, race, economic inequality, climate change and intimacy in the digital age. Over twenty short form, durational and video based performance works will be presented throughout SATELLITE 2.0. We hope to see you in Miami but if you can't join us on the beach, stay tuned for live stream details! - Quinn Dukes + Alexandra Hammond
SATELLITE ART SHOW // The Parisian Hotel, 1510 Collins Ave., Miami Beach, FL 33139
PRESS PREVIEW: December 1st: 12 – 3 pm
December 1st: 3 pm – 10 pm
December 2nd: 12 pm – 10 pm
December 3rd: 12 pm – 10 pm
December 4th: 12 pm – 6 pm
Confirmed artists include: Agrofemme and Ian DeLeon (NYC), Thomas Albrecht (NY), Trevor Amery (CA), Joseph Bigley (NC), Monica Jahan Bose (DC), Hector Canonge (NYC), Alberto Checa (FL), Dominique Duroseau (NYC), Ayana Evans (NYC), Sean Fader (NYC), Whit Forrester (Chicago), Vanessa Dion Fletcher (Chicago), Philip Fryer (Boston), Elan Jurado (NYC), Olga Kozmanidze (Moscow, RUS), Jenna Maurice (TN/CO), Sergio Mora (FL), Violet Overn and Emma Sulkowicz, Miriam Parker in collaboration with Christina Smiros and Jo Wood-Brown (NYC), Sarah H. Paulson (NY), Miles Pflanz (NYC), Selma Selman (Bosnia/Herzegovina) Alexandra Sullivan (NYC), Marcela Torres and Chase Calloway, J.R. Uretsky (RI)
Estonian group NonGrata ignites the NYC Anarchist Art Festival, feminist porn artist, Madison Young, presents a new performance at Grace Exhibition Space, previously featured artist PREACH R. SUN premieres a new performance video AND MORE! An incredible weekend for performance art. - QUINN DUKES
FRIDAY, APRIL 15, 2016
SATURDAY, APRIL 16, 2016
SUNDAY, APRIL 17, 2016
Last month I witnessed an evening of performance at Panoply Performance Lab in Bushwick, Brooklyn. Performancy Forum featured local artists: Huisi He, David Ian Griess, Sara Debevec, Jon Konkol and Emily Oliveira. Debevec embodied an anthropomorphized insect self. Griess looped home video in dedication to his grandmother. Konkol threw up condiments while yelling in German at his latex-blob children. He tiptoed barefoot thru active mousetraps while reciting self-affirmations on “making it“ in NYC. Lastly, Oliveira presented a complex, 3-part performance exploring female archetypes within Catholic doctrine.
Following Emily Oliveira’s performance, I spoke with fellow audience member and feminist artist powerhouse, Katya Grokhovsky about Oliveira’s piece. We mutually agreed on its success. The following day, a VERY heated online Facebook discussion began between several audience members about Oliveira’s work. Albeit somewhat difficult for me to negate individual names here - I have decided that since the online post/conversation was initiated with some anonymity (and has thus since been deleted) – I will keep individual names out of this post. But I will say, that the dissatisfaction and frustration toward Oliveira’s work stemmed mostly from male audience members. Several prominent performance art leaders within the Brooklyn community were polarized on the work. I thought to myself, WHOA! – I can’t believe I am reading such drastically different critiques on a work that I deemed so successful! Oliveira’s performance hit several nerves. So much so that a divide grew between Brooklyn’s intimate performance art community. Which, in my mind, really means something. Yes, critical dialog in performance art is much needed and the only thing missing in this discussion was the perspective of the artist. So... I reached out to Oliveira and offered an opportunity for her to discuss her intentions and respond to the FB critique. Since Performance Is Alive is devoted to sharing the words of the artist - I am delighted to share Emily Oliveira’s voice with you here. - QUINN DUKES
CURATORIAL RECAP: THOMAS ALBRECHT, BUTCH MERIGONI + ALICE VOGLER AT FOUNDATION FIGHTING BLINDNESS BENEFIT
I was given the opportunity (thank you Susie Watkins!) to bring together an incredible group of artists to present performances at Foundation Fighting Blindness' benefit event, Taste for Sight. This unlikely pairing of performance art plus benefit within a winery was all very intriguing to me. In addition to the many wines available, the audience present at this benefit also got a "taste" of sincere, daring and inquisitive performance. For most guests, this was the first time they heard the words "performance art." I am deeply grateful to Thomas Albrecht, Butch Merigoni (plus 9 performers!) and Alice Vogler for braving the non-traditional aspect of the evening and forging forward to present dynamic work. The benefit was a wild success. Please consider donating to the cause at blindness.org. - Quinn Dukes
BUTCH MERIGONI >> All Of It (Part 2)
ALICE VOGLER >> Disappearance
Earlier this month Bakehouse Art Complex (Wynwood, Miami) premiered Brian Whiteley’s solo exhibition entitled Ghoulish Gestures. The exhibition was organized by guest curator Jesse Firestone. According to Firestone, Ghoulish Gestures is the result of multiple conversations with Whiteley about the reception and interpretation of his clown personas. Whiteley’s clown performances have enraged local communities across Chicago and Brooklyn, contributing to Youtube users naming Whiteley "the worst asshole ever"! Firestone also notes that “while Brian's impetus for these performances is noble - to show the people how easily the media can be manipulated- there is serious a breakdown in communication or translation because people are so enraged by the works that they can’t even see what his performances are doing. This gallery show presents a unique opportunity to remove the performances from their initial making, illuminate the inner workings that make these performances so viral-ready, and qualify them within a larger practice. It’s all about framing.”
The presentation of performance art exhibitions can be incredibly challenging, especially without the presence of the live performer. I thought this was an excellent opportunity to hear directly from Whiteley about his performance interventions and am wildly excited to share our conversation with you. Ghoulish Gestures runs thru Tuesday, March 1st so if you are in or near Wynwood, Florida take the time to witness this wonderfully outrageous exhibition. (Bakehouse, Swenson Gallery, 561 NW 32nd St, Miami, FL 33127) - Quinn
INTERVIEW WITH BRIAN WHITELEY
QUINN DUKES: How do you bridge the gap between those who see your "absurdist" and "disrespectful" behavior as promoted via reporting with the true intention of the work? Do you think the individuals who respond with such incredible disdain later find the connection between the anonymous clown and you, Brian Whiteley the artist? Does this matter?
BRIAN WHITELEY: I have no desire to bridge the gap between the public’s opinion and the motivation behind the work. For me, the beauty with this style of performance is that it lives on in a mythical form. The average person who reads the paper and watches the news is suddenly confronted with the idea that there are clowns haunting the local cemetery, or that Sasquatch may be in one of our parks. To me that is the best thing about the work. Few people connect the dots, and when they finally do they are typically thrilled to have found out the mystery. I like to think that no matter the response, the fact that someone had a moment to pause and reflect on something other than the daily grind, that I provided him or her with a moment of intrigue.
QD: What led you to creating work within the crux of media hype and translation?
BW: The origin of this work began several years ago when I was heavily into performing as Bigfoot. I would capture myself on video skulking through the woods, then send the footage into "professionals" (under a pseudonym) for their review. I'd conduct interviews with the crypto experts and learn as much as I could about their beliefs. I had dozens of conversations, people claiming that Bigfoot was a product of a fallen angel mating with a beast, people claiming that Bigfoot could turn himself invisible to avoid detection, people claiming that they knew other people living with Bigfoot, people claiming Bigfoot abducted them, etc. I would use these conversations as inspiration in my own studio practice where I dressed like Bigfoot and created art around the themes the experts disclosed.
At a certain point I thought it was important that I speak with some Bigfoot hoaxers too, so I began reaching out to them as well. One hoaxer in particular still stands out, a mister Rick Dyer. Rick Dyer famously toured a fake Bigfoot body he created throughout the United States, stopping at various festivals and charging people money to see the corpse. He told me that he would make over $20,000 per stop. He consistently had huge lines at each festival; people were dying to see proof of Bigfoot's existence. Rick Dyer based his entire carnival sideshow on a similar stunt pulled in 1968 by a fellow named Frank Hansen. Hansen also toured a creature around the country to wide acclaim. Hansen’s gimmick involved a fake body in a block of ice that he called “The Iceman”. The intrigue was so great that the Smithsonian Institution even expressed interest in acquiring it. Inevitably, when it came time to let real scientists examine the remains both Dyer and Hansen had to concede the truth of the hoax. When pushed on why he hoaxed, Mr. Dyer explained to me the there is an inherent thirst for truth of otherworldly existence. This was a pivotal statement for me.
Fast forward a few years, I am now also heavily invested in all things clowns. Why Clowns? I went to clowning school around the age of 12 and it has had a major lingering effect on me. Anyways, I started doing the cemetery clown performances on a whim, basically because Greenwood cemetery was close to my art studio. Passing it one day, I thought to myself, I wonder what a clown would do in a cemetery? The very next day I went inside with a book bag stuffed with a clown suit. I changed into character behind a mausoleum and then had someone film me strolling through the headstones with balloons in my hand. The footage was great, and I thought, I should send this in to someone for review. There aren't really professionals on this sort of sighting, so I sent it to the South Slope News (a small news outlet in Brooklyn) they ran a piece on my clown performance....and then the NY Daily News, Brooklyn Mag, Village Voice, NY Mag, Huffington Post, Gothamist, Pix 11, News 12, etc . all picked it up. NPR did an exclusive on the creepy clown pandemic and listed my clown persona on the list. The coverage was extensive. My mind was blown. The comments online provided me with plenty of fuel for my studio practice, where like Bigfoot, I would dress as a clown while I made the work.
BW: After the excitement of the Greenwood cemetery clown performance subsided, I decided it was time to readdress Bigfoot. I wondered why was Bigfoot was confined to fringe news stories and outlets like the National Enquirer. My thought was, the story needs a new twist. I decided the best thing to do was to confront an urban population with his existence, instead of keeping him in the forest. I conducted my "Prospect Park Bigfoot" sighting in early 2015 during the blizzard, this was a highly elaborate hoax that ended up going mega viral as well.
In the summer of 2015 my "Chicago Cemetery Clown" piece debuted on CBS prime time news. The viewership was the most to date.
QD: Is there a relationship with Paul McCarthy's clown motif? If so, how. If not, can you discuss the differences?
BW: There are a number of artists that I am inspired by, Paul McCarthy is definitely one. I similarly have a disdain for painting, love performance art and provoking both the public and the art crowd. I mean his “Christmas Tree” piece in Paris got him punched in the face, so yeah I have a lot of respect for that man. In terms of thematic elements, the clown can be easily connected to Paul McCarthy and many other artists. I see the clown and Bigfoot as universal tools for artistic exploration, vehicles of escape from the self. All that being said, I believe my work is different in that my goals lie in calculated and elaborately planned out performative attacks on the media and the public, existing mainly outside the art arena. Additionally, I source almost all of my content from paranormal experts and professional hoaxers, not by visiting museums or studying contemporary artists. While I revere many artists, I try not to be influenced by them, I find it a lot more fascinating talking to real people with unique perspectives. I have never been inspired by looking at a triangle on canvas.
QD: To confirm, there is no live performance happening within Ghoulish Gesture correct?
BW: No live performances, just documentation of the performances.
QD: How does it feel to present performance artifacts and video void of live actions?
BW: The fact that there is no live performance does not make this any less of a statement on performance, methodology, and the art of creation. It actually strangely helps to elevate the performances into a higher echelon, celebrating the acts. Plus, there are plenty of performance remnants present.
In regards to the sculptures specifically, for this exhibit using fabric from my clown suits that I performed in at the cemeteries creates them all. They are inspired by murderabilia created by the likes of serial killers such as John Wayne Gacy who famously painted clowns while on death row. Ed Gein was also an inspiration, he notoriously used human body parts to make furniture and clothes, like his belt made out of human nipples. They are the artifact of the crime, and in my case, artifacts of the performance. The idea being that you are inescapably confronted by the performance, it lives on and on in new and unique forms. I additionally imbued them with as much human attributes, especially elements of sexuality to them, each one with a glory hole. It suggests that these costumes are primed and ready for someone to climb inside, to perform their own subversive actions. To have the performances live again. They are a vehicle for anonymity.
QD: Does social media act as another "performer" within your work?
BW: Absolutely, the sheer volume of interest, comments, shares, is of vast importance to the work. People are unknowingly helping to publicize performance art. This is great because social media typically serves as a platform for people to celebrate themselves and stalk former lovers. Without social media, and news outlets need for advertising revenue, there would probably be an editor making sure Bigfoot or clowns were not covered. It is a game changer for all artists, and I suggest finding your own way to manipulate it.
Join the revolution of outsider practices; painting is dead, for real.
select installation images
Brian Whiteley is a Brooklyn based artist who explores phobia, paranormal experience, the occult and religious phenomena through research, performance, and visual art practice. Most recently he has focused on hijacking the media-machine through absurd and anonymous, public performances. His practice capitalizes on our obsession with the unreal, the uncanny and our apparent, underlying need for these strange fascinations to be actualized. You may have inadvertently seen one of his performances as creepy clowns or bigfoots on the news, which garnered millions of views on the internet and were featured in hundreds of press articles (CBS News, Daily Mail UK, Huffington Post, Brooklyn Mag, Gothamist, Chicagoist, AOL News, NY Daily News, NPR, etc.).
Brian Whiteley earned a Masters in Fine Art at the School of Visual Arts in New York and is represented by the Christopher Stout Gallery, New York. Whiteley's clown alter ego "Flap Jack" is featured in NPR as one of the top ten scariest clowns.
Last month I attended Plays of Domesticity - an evening dedicated to the domestic stage and it's performability at Glasshouse in Brooklyn, NY. Run by artists, Lital Dotan & Eyal Perry, Glasshouse is a multi-purpose exhibition space with a history of promoting and challenging performance art amidst domestic archetypes.
Upon my arrival, Lital quietly guided me downstairs to a crowded nook where Zach Trebino presented “Story of the Eye.” Despite my elevated stairwell view, I could barely see the performance. I eventually saw a woman, skirt raised, stroking a cucumber positioned Lynda Benglis-style. Before I knew it, the audience was clapping and moving on to the next performance location. What did I just see? (Or rather, not see?) Time restrictions and space limitations quickly became a dominating element to the evening’s curation.
While getting a glass of wine, I discovered two alternating performance schedules. Each artist was given two, twenty-minute time slots so viewers could experience all the works but…. this is performance art, it never works out as planned.
I tiptoed upstairs and caught the final moments of Sara Debevec’s, Cockroach. Outfitted in a cockroach mask, Debevec spoke through a vocoder about the challenges of being, well, a cockroach. Debevec’s humor undoubtedly drew from her own apartment residency woes, resulting in a monologue befitting to the NYC audience. Her performance was entertaining but I do not (and likely will not ever) hold empathy for a cockroach. (Sorry Sara!)
The performance schedule led me to the downstairs living room where two actresses casually presented “Happy Returns” by Natalie Bates. The somber narrative explored a deceased character’s need for forgiveness in hopes of reaching the “Rainbow Room” of heaven.
Across the hall, Ivy Castellanos and 4 female performers clad in black attire entered the lower level gallery with tools, duct tape, nails, black trash bags, rectangular black boxes and red caution tape. Each performer remained focused on their own set of tools and tasks. Despite the insinuation of material, no objects were fabricated. Ivy wrapped shiny black tape around a steel phallus form while chaos struck all around her. 5 minutes into the performance, I found myself lost amidst the disjointed resonance of nails being pummeled, foam core being cut with a saw-tooth blade and the slick swish of black plastic bags gathering air. With eyes open, Castellanos’ performance imagery was a whirlwind of moving black shapes - With eyes closed - a complex composition.
Unfortunately, I missed roughly half of the performances presented throughout the evening including those by Jenni Messner, Mia Schachter and Tusia Dabrowska. But, like I said before, no matter the pre-planned structure, performance art always seems to create its own time/space/anti-structure which is precisely the magic that Glasshouse cultivates. You can check out upcoming exhibitions at Glasshouse here! - QUINN DUKES
Thursday, January 28th
Trauma salon : disorder & detachment
Panoply Performance Lab
104 Meserole St, Brooklyn, New York 11206
Suggested donation $5-20
Curated by Valerie Kuehne/The Super Coda: nostalgia is life-threatening. mercury retrograde is a real thing. how much more can you tolerate? how many systems have you recycled in your life?everything is necessary. more will be revealed. everyone's in love. everybody's terrified. we are a collective book; writing & editing each other, always. in such a way, we endlessly sustain.
Artists > Jon Konkol // Jeanann Dara // Karl Cooney // Thomas Bell // Valerie Kuehne & the Wasps Nests
LIVE PERFORMANCE and Exhibition Opening
Katya Grokhovsky, Touch It
56 Bogart St, Brooklyn, New York 11206
The evolving installation Pleasure Principle, by Katya Grokhovsky, currently on view in +/- Project Space will culminate in an interactive public performance, in which the audience is given permission to touch, hold and caress the objects from the installation, transcending boundaries between the art and the observer. Through the act of permission, Grokhovsky will share the maker's privilege of accessing the work physically, as well as the experience of pleasure in making it, juxtaposing the visual pleasure of viewing versus physical experience of performative actions. Live Performance Response: Christen Clifford
Saturday, January 30th
Lisa Levy, The Artist Is Humbly Present, a 2-day durational performance
Christopher Stout Gallery, New York
299 Meserole Street, Ground Floor, Brooklyn, New York 11206
1-6pm (January 30-31st)
Referencing Marina Abramović's seminal 2010 performance at Moma, "The Artist is Present" as a symbol of contemporary art world pretense, Levy will recreate her own version of Marina Abramović's 2010 performance at Moma, "The Artist is Present" as her own "The Artist Is Humbly Present."
In her version, Levy will present herself completely naked, silent and sitting on a toilet. Across from her will be another toilet, which visitors may sit on across from her as in the original Abramović performance. That toilet will be presented lid closed with visitors responding to Lisa's performance however they wish, with the exception of touching her.
Incessant by Mirland Terlonge
500 25th St, Brooklyn, New York 11232
Incessant… is an art performance that begins with being asked for a dance. Over 15 participants will take their turns on a hill in Green-Wood Cemetery. All will bear the weight of my body for a dance in a place full of rich history, life, and death.
TALKaCTIVE: Performance & Sound
New York City Building ,Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Queens, New York 11368
The first monthly TALKaCTIVE program dedicated to the discussion and exploration of various themes in Live Art, starts the new year with an event focusing on “Performance & Sound.” After spending several weeks presenting works and initiatives in South America, Hector Canonge resumes the presentation of the monthly performance art conversation series” at the Queens Museum.
Artists > Alex Romania // Brian McCorkle // Valerie Kuehne // Gregory Paul // Cory Bracken
OŚĮRĮŚ <•> TRÅNSÎT ::: a VV/LD TØR∇S ritual
113 Stockholm Street, Storefront 1A, Brooklyn, New York 11221
Join VV/LD TØR∇S Et Al for a Mid_Conscious Extrapolation of Non_Verbal Transmissions of Sacred Mysteries_Of_Osiris and Divine the Secret Influence of Homo_Capensis on the World_Of_Today
Artists> WILD TORUS // YOLTEOTLI • Kino and Ixtel • // Alex Romania // Mike Sidnam
SHOUT OUT TO NON-NYC PERFORMANCE ART EVENTS this weekend >>>
Friday, January 29th
Performance Exhibition Opening
RE/DE/RE-Construction featuring Kledia Spiro
Nine Dot Gallery
763 Main St, Worcester, Massachusetts 01610
Kledia Spiro (1987, Tirana, Albania) creates videos, performances, installations, and paintings. She uses Olympic Weightlifting as a symbol of survival, empowerment and celebration. Weightlifting becomes a vehicle for discussing women’s role in society, immigration and times of war.
Friday, January 29th - Sunday, January 31st
DURATION & DIALOGUE PERFORMANCE ART FESTIVAL/SYMPOSIUM
86 Miller Street, Toronto, Ontario M6N 2Z9
Katzman Contemporary is excited to announce its inaugural performance art festival, curated by Natasha Bailey, Dario Del Degan, and Johannes Zits. Duration & Dialogue welcomes 26 national and international artists to investigate the concept of “duration” through multifaceted artistic responses.
QUINN DUKES is a Brooklyn, NY based performance artist, activist and curator.
Ana María Montenegro
Art In Odd Places
Bad Bad Woman
Bakehouse Art Complex
Brooklyn Arts Exchange
Christopher Stout Gallery
Chun Hua Catherine Dong
Colby Cannon Welsh
Contemporary Performance Research
Cynthia Post Hunt
David Ian Griess
El Museo De Los Sures
Feminist Art Group
Foundation Fighting Blindness
Grace Exhibition Space
Great American Performance Art Festival
Hee Ran Lee
Linda Mary Montano
Mette Loulou Von Kohl
Miami Art Week
Monica Jahan Bose
New York Live Arts
NY Armory Week
Out Of Site Chicago
Panoply Performance Lab
Performance Art Exhibition
Preach R. Sun
Progressive Performance Festival
Sarah H. Paulson
SATELLITE ART SHOW
Slick And Gritty
Spring Break Art Show
The Exponential Festival
The Feminist Art Project
The Silent Barn
Vanessa Dion Fletcher
Venice International Performance Art Week
Vermont Performance Lab
Whitney V. Hunter
Ziere & Carter