"Sing out loud, in ESTHER’S HONOR!"
The final command from Ayana Evans during Panoply Performance Laboratory’s (Brooklyn, NY) closing festival, Metamorphosis (Nov 16-18) on Saturday, November 17th. Evans’ is holding her signature sparklers as neon blue & green wrist bracelets sway in the dark to the beat in nearly every hand and the room erupts in song,
“Your love is my love and my love is your love,” all faces turned towards Esther Neff.
We are two thirds of the way through performances on the second evening of the festival and so it’s time for tears, time for joy, seeing soft light in the dark, yes.
Co-founded by Esther Neff and Brian McCorkle, Panoply Performance Laboratory (or PPL) has served as a site of experimentation in performance art for nearly 7 years at it’s Meserole St. location in Bushwick. Before that, PPL's PERFORMANCY FORUM has been hosted by other sites, among them the infamous Grace Exhibition Space (which recently relocated from Brooklyn to Manhattan due to the rising price of rent). Metamorphosis marks the transition of a decade-worth of organizing and collaborative community work that has, both out of necessity and choice, resisted the gate-keeping capitalistic model of the art world, providing integral support to the performance scene in Brooklyn and beyond.
BROAD SENSE: Interviews and Event Recap
Marshall, North Carolina
By Quinn Dukes
Last October, six artists from across the United States were welcomed to the picturesque mountains of Marshall, North Carolina by curators and performance artists, Alice Vogler and Vela Oma for their multi-experiential event, Broad Sense.
I was delighted to receive an invitation to perform in Broad Sense despite the NYC stress cyclone I was managing at the time. I knew it would be a logistical challenge but the promise of nature, crisp air and performing with a group of artists that I have known and respected for years was irresistible. So, I fled NYC. Flight delays led to nearly missing my rental car pickup but I successfully retrieved my car and drove two hours to a magical place in the middle of nowhere. The next morning, I awoke to the sounds of event preparation and artist discussions of material, performance site location and politics. Collectively, the 6 of us (Sandy Huckleberry, Jeff Huckleberry, Joseph Raven, Phil Fryer (Moondrawn), Coorain Devin and yours truly) performed across multiple locations on the 7-acre property for 9 hours.
After Broad Sense concluded, I reached out to Vela, Alice and all participating artists to preserve the event's memory from multiple perspectives. Performance art documentation typically counts on visual documentation but in a campfire discussion, we realized that our collective memories write the history of performance. It was a beautiful weekend of local community exploring unknown paths in sporadic rain showers to discover durational outdoor actions. I am pleased to share the event through the words of the artists and thoughtful curators.
Performance Is Alive has partnered once again with Satellite Art Show to present Miami’s only non-stop performance art program during Miami Art Week. Alive At Satellite features live and video based performance art projects from over 20 artists across the globe. The 4-day performance program celebrates SATELLITE’s mission to honor the significant impact of performance art - an often underrepresented medium during contemporary art fairs.
This year performance artists will embrace the location shift from Miami Beach to the Ice Palace’s 33,000 sq ft parking lot in downtown Miami by exploring beyond the boundaries of a centralized performance zone. Performances are often interactive and durational, allowing the viewer to become sensorially immersed within their experience. Political protest and the quest to harness identity thru social conflict are recurring points of motivation for Alive at Satellite artists. We invite you to join us in protest, drink tea with us on the back of an artist and to witness your first (and perhaps your only) face ballet. In the true spirit of SATELLITE - no two moments will be the same.
One of Brooklyn's central performance art hubs, Panoply Performance Lab (aka PPL) concludes their 7+ years of programming at 104 Meserole Street this weekend. METAMORPHOSIS (or if you are looking at their tradition of hand-lettered show posters as seen above, METAMORHOSIS) is a 3-day performance, community potluck features performances from artists who developed their performance career with the support of the space.
Organizers note "Under the name PPL, the site has operated as a laboratory for the performance art communities of Brooklyn and beyond, home to hundreds of events, gatherings, meetings, exhibitions, think-tanking sessions, projects, and performances." As a PPL viewer and performer, I can attest to the tremendous and unyielding support offered by Esther Neff and Brian McCorkle in performance art, action art and a myriad of other live art forms. Their lab/incubator has fostered the growth of many emerging artists, collectives and think tanks. This weekend is sure to be full of community gratitude, compelling performances and a few tears.
Full schedule outlined below and on our live events listing page.
From all of us at Performance Is Alive, THANK YOU PPL!!! <3
Dispatch from the opening of AiOP in rainy Manhattan
Thursday, October 11th, 2018
By Alexandra Hammond
Today I quite literally took shelter from the remnants of global-warming-fueled Hurricane Michael in Westbeth Gallery, the indoor extension of BODY, this year’s manifestation of the Art in Odd Places festival. Most performances, which would have taken place outdoors at various locations from Avenue C to the Hudson River, were postponed due to intermittent warm downpours. As I leapt over the curbside reservoirs in the Meatpacking District, I contemplated the effects of the rising sea level on the newly-restored cobblestone streets of this high-gloss neighborhood and headed southwest to the gallery.
We are absolutely thrilled to see the countdown for Art in Odd Places nearing closer and closer. Soon BODY will come to life in so many tremendous forms. The festival curator, Katya Grokhovsky, recently announced an AIOP kick-off party at 14th Street's iconic Beauty Bar on Wednesday, September 26th. So mark your cal for a pre-festival bevie celebration. We've outlined a few must see moments for you below. Just add them to Google Cal, we've made it easy for you.
Also, the AIOP team has proudly released the schedule and project details for all 45 participants this year on their newly designed website body.artinoddplaces.org. In the words of Katya, "It's purple, it's pretty" and is an incredible celebration of female identifying and non binary artists. <3
So there you have it, get to event adding and we look forward to cheering with you September 26th @ Beauty Bar!
WHAT ARE YOUR PRE-PERFORMANCE RITUALS?
I write all of my performances in a notebook, and I'm typically still editing and refining what I've written the day of. I replace the notebook once or twice a year even if its not full, and I've gone through at least a dozen notebooks at this point. I used to write super detailed descriptions of my pieces, but these days I can get away with just putting down some bullet points and a basic score. I also spend the first half of the day of buying last minute props, editing my soundtrack if I’m using one, and forgetting to eat. When I’m at the space I’ll usually begin to move around the area I’m planning to perform in before the show starts. I’ll take big steps and swing my arms and try to just pick up on what the general feeling and energy of the room is. I’m not sure when I picked up this habit, but it helps put me in the moment and keeps me grounded, otherwise my thoughts tend to race a mile a minute. If I’m one of the last people performing that night, I’ll sometimes take a few moments to move around the space and get reacquainted with the feeling of it in between performances. Sometimes people will notice me doing this and will get weirded out, but I don’t mind that because it's just a necessary part of the process at this point.
I don't eat, don't drink and meditate.
For me, it’s not pre-show rituals that are important, but how I’m living my life on a daily basis. Am I honest and brave outside of art making? Am I doing things that connect me to something greater? If I am, my work will reflect that. If I’m not, my work will reflect that, too. So, my goal is to keep myself honest and brave outside of art making so that when I sit down to make work, the honest and brave thing will already be in motion.
Tonight, one of Brooklyn’s prominent performance art spaces, Grace Exhibition Space initiates their fall programming within the walls of their new home on Avenue C (and 11th St.) This move marks a historic transition for the nonprofit gallery space that has fostered the growth and community of Brooklyn-based performance artists and organizations since 2006. Co-Directors, Jill McDermid and Erik “Hoke” Hokanson continue charging forward with the promotion of and “glorification of performance art.”
The news of a Brooklyn space moving to Manhattan is quite rare, especially for a nonprofit organization focused on performance art. But one Bushwick rent increase demand after another led to a clear need for an address change. McDermid hopes to forge relationships between the Brooklyn performance community and the East Village through regular performance programming paired with exhibitions and workshops.
Tonight, Grace at 182 Avenue C features performance work from 5 artists hailing internationally and locally: Martin O'Brien, Miao Jiaxin, Jaguar Mary, Esther Neff and Oya Damla.
Location: 182 Avenue C, New York, NY 10009
Performances begin at 6pm. We look forward to this event kick off and hope to see you there!
From my experience, the time period prior to a live performance includes intentional times of reflection and often ritual. Pre-performance time is sacred. Non-performers can often feel alienated and confused when trying to engage. The truth is, most of us just need to do, our own thing. But what is... that thing? What are y/our pre-performance rituals? I thought this was a perfect topic for our first #PerformanceIsRevealing Series. Throughout this series, we will pose unique questions to current performance practitioners as a way to archive and share y/our practice.
My pre-performance rituals involve days of replaying the performance over and over and over again in my mind until I can actually reach a half-way point. I never see the end of the performance but you better believe I know the color of the room, the smell and my proximity to the audience. I also like to scour Home Depot or Art Supply stores for inspiration and never buy anything.
I am pleased to begin this post series with three artists well known to the Performance Is Alive community: Ernesto Pujol, Kara Rooney and Christopher Unpezverde Núñez. I hope you enjoy the series and consider revealing your process with us too.
We are delighted to collaborate with Satellite Art Show again this year during Miami Art Basel Week (December 6-9, 2018). This year, Satellite Art Show moves to its largest location thus far and will be located across from NADA Art Fair (Miami, FL). Over the past 2 years, we have presented the most comprehensive performance art program available and look to present the same for 2018.
Check out our programming from 2017 here.
Artists are invited to submit performance, performance art, live art, action art, durational and performance based video projects to our #AliveAtSatellite Open Call. Projects with complex technical needs may not be well suited for the space. Performances will be held outdoors and throughout the fair grounds from 3pm-10pm. Consider lighting, power and tech needs within your proposal.
There is no application fee. Submission deadline is September 1st, 11:59 EST. Selected artists will be notified in mid-October.
Performancy Forum: Civic Reflex / Reflejo Civico
by Luke Mannarino
Over the course of six evenings from April to November of 2018, Panoply Performance Laboratory will be programming artist’s who will be “sustaining and framing ‘civic’, ‘civil’, and ‘reflexive’ performance practices and performance theories.”
The first two installments of Civic Reflex / Reflejo Civico took place in April and May of this year. Some necessary time has passed since the two evenings have happened, and taking the time now to reflect upon them has been an important part of the process. I will be covering each of the performance evenings not only to generate written documentations of each performance but with the intention of placing them all into context with each other.
Awilda Rodriguez Lora is a performance choreographer and cultural entrepreneur. Born in Mexico, raised in Puerto Rico, and working in-between North and South America and the Caribbean, Rodríguez Lora's performances traverse multiple geographic histories and realities promoting progressive dialogues regarding hemispheric colonial legacies, and the unstable categories of race, gender, class, and sexuality. Rodríguez Lora has been an invited guest artist at the Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance (BAAD), Brooklyn Museum, New York University, the Art Institute of Chicago, Columbia College Dance Center, University of Michigan and Universidad de Puerto Rico, among others.
Rodríguez Lora’s work was recently included in “Comfort Level,” a show at Field Projects Gallery, on view May 3-June 9th, and in “Tool Box” a limited artist’s edition and fundraiser for Agite-Arte, both co-curated by Alissa D. Polan and me, Sarah G. Sharp, and performances at La Mama Theater and the Brooklyn Academy of Music among others. We asked Awilda to create a performance for the “Comfort Level” closing party, La Mujer Maravilla: 4654, which was incredibly moving. I sat down to discuss creating that performance and her creative influences just two days before she performed La Mujer Maravilla: Cuerpa at The Brooklyn Museum, which was part of the Radical Women: Latin American Art, 1960-1985 exhibit.
Our community continues to grow with the addition of Luke Mannarino to our correspondence team. Luke is a Brooklyn-based performance artist, writer and facilitator with a curiosity for the human/technology relationship and passion for LGBTQ activism. We discussed the local performance community and subtlety of performance writing in our interview conversation here. Please help me welcome Luke to our global community! I hope you enjoy learning about Luke's live art perspective. - Quinn
Let's Talk about Art in Odd Places - Interview with Founder, Ed Woodham and AIOP2018 Curator, Katya Grokhovsky
Each fall, the streets of New York City (more specifically 14th Street) are injected with a higher and more concentrated dose of public installation and performance art via Ed Woodham's grass-root initiative, Art In Odd Places. Curated by performance artist and curator, Katya Grokhovsky, this year's festival and corresponding exhibition exclusively features female identifying artists. After reviewing the largest number of applications ever received in the organization's 14-year history, Ed and Katya spoke with us about AiOP's exciting history, the necessity for reclaiming public space and the decision to focus on the (female) BODY. It is a great honor to share our discussion with you here and stay tuned for the incredible list of participating artists for AIOP 2018 BODY. - Quinn
Last December, artist and writer, Alexandra Hammond asked the visitors of Performance Is Alive at Satellite Art Show, "What Keeps You Up at Night?" It was a pleasure to witness the piece in it's full 3-hour duration. Unfortunately, I did not have an opportunity to participate in the conversation because there was never an empty spot at the "campfire!" I came up with a cascade of responses as I simultaneously eavesdropped and welcomed our guests. What keeps me up... planning art fairs, worrying about artists traveling internationally, posting on PIA... I'm sure you can create a laundry list of your own and I hope you do in comments! Luckily, the dutiful ethnographer transcribed her conversations of which I am pleased to share with you here for our latest Artist Feature. - Quinn Dukes
We are always happy to share performance opportunities, especially for events in beautiful locations! For the past 11 years, Marcy B. Freedman has curated performance on the Saunders' Farm, a 140- acre historic, working farm on Old Albany Post Road in Garrison, NY. Performance art proposals are due June 1, 2018. Full details below.
For the 12th year in a row, Collaborative Concepts has been invited by Sandy Saunders to create a temporary exhibition of outdoor sculpture and installation art on his 140- acre historic, working farm on Old Albany Post Road in Garrison, NY. For the ninth year in a row, a program of performance art will be curated by artist and art historian Marcy B. Freedman.
Last December #AliveAtSatellite artist, Ayana Evans, presented "Slick and Gritty" - a video screening and panel discussion organized to benefit Geraldo Mercado's family members who fell victim to the disastrous path of Hurricane Maria. The family farm was destroyed and US aid was minimal in their rural area of Sierra Alta. Geraldo's grandparents, Ruder and Brunilda Caraballo, as well as his great-aunts Rosa Sanchez and Catalina Sanchez, struggled to replace the roof on their homes.
The initial fundraising goal for Slick and Gritty was successfully surpassed per the tireless promotion and advocacy of Evans. The family has been busy with repairs and I thought it would be a perfect time to re-connect with Ayana and Geraldo for updates and event reflections. There is still much work to be done in Puerto Rico, please consider donating to the Viajero Hurricane Relief Fund.
Talking hotels, coyotes morphing into seductive, queer bearded men, grandmothers drifting away on glaciers: just a few of the surreal scenes from HOLIDAYS IN / COYOTE, a play directed by Jess Chayes and written by Adam R. Burnett in collaboration with the cast and crew. The play was presented by The Tank as part of this year’s Exponential Festival - an extensive, annual nonprofit presenting performance throughout Brooklyn and Manhattan during the month of January. I ventured out to the city on a blistering cold evening to see the production during it’s week-long run (Jan 14th - 20th).
Last December, a plastic covered and patriotic "Diane The American Swimmer" portrayed by NYC based performance artist, Diane Dwyer, set the out to Miami Beach with a very specific message about climate change. Learn more about this great "American Swimmer" in our latest artist feature! - Quinn Dukes
Katya Grokhovsky is a powerhouse-bad-ass-feminist who employs video, collage, painting, sculpture and performance art within her artistic practice. She is brave, daring, unwavering and I am thrilled to present her as our 2018 inaugural FEATURED ARTIST. Grokhovsky was born in Ukraine, raised in Australia and completed her MFA at the School of the Art Institute Chicago. She has an impressive artist residency, fellowship and international exhibition history that she has undoubtedly worked tirelessly to achieve. Katya is also an independent curator who curated, among others, projects such as “CALL OF THE WILD: Pioneers, Rebels and Heroines” at VOX Populi Gallery (Philadelphia, PA) in 2015 and most recently announced her appointment as lead curator for Art in Odd Places NYC edition premiering this fall (October 2018).
Last December, Katya performed "Bad Bad Woman" in conjunction with our programming presented at Satellite Art Show, Miami Art Week 2017. After witnessing the 2-hour durational piece, I felt empowered, exhausted and curious. I am delighted to continue the investigation of Bad Bad Woman with you here. Read, Enjoy and Share! - Quinn Dukes
Performance is alive Presents 4-days of programming during miami art week once again at satellite art show
Performance is Alive brings yet another ambitious, 4-day performance art program to Miami Beach for Satellite Art Show. This year's program features interactive performances, durational works, a panel discussion with slumber party, performance video screenings, lectures and because performance is never entirely predictable, the unknown! PIA artists are encountering the complexity of migration, oppressive patriarchal constructs, trans identity, mental health care, silencing, race relations and many other human rights issues threatened by the Trump administration. So join us for the only non-stop performance art uprising during Miami Art Basel! #AliveAtSatellite #notbasel #performanceisalive
FROM DUST TO DUST: CLOSING THOUGHTS ON THE CONTEMPORARY PERFORMANCE ART EXHIBITION, REMAINS BY IAN DELEÓN
FROM DUST TO DUST: CLOSING THOUGHTS ON THE CONTEMPORARY PERFORMANCE ART EXHIBITION, REMAINS
FERGUS McCAFFREY GALLERY, NYC
By Ian Deleón
THE LONELINESS OF THE LONG-TROUBLED ARTIST
Going back as far as the Renaissance, when artists sought to differentiate themselves from the trade of craftspeople, an idea has persisted that the true artist is an outsider to the world––isolated and divinely inspired. Early on, artists were thought to be unified under the astrological influence of the planet Saturn, which explained their supposed melancholia and detachment. In their study Born Under Saturn: The Character and Conduct of Artists, Margot and Rudolf Wittkower dissect these persisting assertions and stretch an eclipsing hand of doubt over them while reaffirming their deep, symbolic significance, “Alienation, in effect, was a rung by which artists sought to climb the social ladder.”
And just how far up that social ladder have artists been able to climb?
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.