Performance

Rituals of Rented Island at the Whitney Museum of American Art

Julia Heyward, God Heads, performance part of “Performances: Four Evenings, Four Days” at the Whitney Museum of American Art, February 28, 1976. Courtesy the artist

Peggy Phelan said it best: “Performance’s only life is in the present.”[1] Slippery in designation and impermanent by nature, a performance is not the same as the video of a performance. The viewer must be present for not only the sights and sounds of the performer, but also the smell, the temperature, the crowd, the fidgeting in a folding chair, or standing on a concrete[…..]

#Hashtags: The Ethnicity Exhibition

Lorraine O’Grady. Untitled (Mlle. Bourgeoise Noire and her Master of Ceremonies enter the New Museum),
1980–83, printed 2009. Gelatin silver print. 7 1/4 x 9 1/4 in. Courtesy the artist and Alexander Gray Associates, New York.

#race #ethnicity #gender #institutions #access #identity Since the Civil Rights Era, it has become commonplace for marginalized ethnic communities to instate their own institutions of sociological and cultural study such as university Ethic Studies departments and museums like Brooklyn’s Museum of Contemporary African Diaspora Arts. In the face of extreme prejudice and exclusion from the discourses of history and art, many have felt the necessity[…..]

Radical Presence: Black Performance in Contemporary Art at NYU’s Grey Art Gallery

Jean-Ulrick Désert. Negerhosen2000 / The Travel Albums, 2003. From a series of forty digitally printed images, pigmented inks, and pencil on archival paper with mixed media collage. 11 3/4 x 8 1/4 in. Courtesy the artist.

How is Blackness performed?  Most African American contemporary artists will admit in confidence that they are often expected to perform their Blackness for the power players of the art mainstream, regardless of their choice of artistic medium. Artists working in two dimensions such as Kerry James Marshall, Kara Walker, and Wangechi Mutu have gained currency by creating work that makes the construction of black identity[…..]

Janet Cardiff: The Forty Part Motet at The Cloisters

Getting to the Janet Cardiff installation at The Cloisters was like a modern-day quest for some kind of Holy Grail, which in the end seemed appropriate. After my phone died at the 191st St. subway stop—leaving me with no guide through the unfamiliar paths of Fort Tryon Park—and after circling the labyrinthine rooms and hallways that make up The Cloister’s architecture, I finally found The Forty[…..]

Chris Burden: Extreme Measures at the New Museum

Chris Burden. Documentation of Selected Works 1971-1974 (film still), 1971-75. SD Video, color and black and white, sound. 34:38 min. Courtesy of The New Museum.

Chris Burden is one of the legendary giants of performance art. In his seminal body pieces from the early 1970s, he orchestrated a series of daredevil brutalities and tests of the body’s resilience. Burden has had a more prolonged career, however, as a large-scale installation artist who masterminds feats of engineering that seem divorced from the body: scaled-down replicas of major bridges, a giant scale[…..]

If the World Changed: Singapore Biennale 2013

Teamlab. Peace Can Be Realized Even Without Order, 2012; interactive digital installation; dimensions variable. Courtesy of the Artist and Singapore Art Museum.

Premised on the obliquely hypothetical question “What if the world changed?”, the Singapore Biennale 2013 (SB2013) is presented as a deconstructed entity centered on allusive keywords—or “tags” in internetspeak—such as “histories,” “intervention,” and “materiality” in order to highlight the transmutative and the transformative qualities of the art produced in the region. With a collaborative team of 27 curators instead of an artistic director helming the show,[…..]

The Fun of the Fair: Sydney Contemporary

Kim Joon, Bird Land - Chrysler, 2008, digital print, 47 x 83 inches, Sundaram Tagore Gallery, Hong Kong, New York, Singapore

Depending on who you ask, anywhere between eight thousand and thirteen thousand people attended the vernissage of the world’s newest art fair, Sydney Contemporary. By the end of three and a half days, the fair had attracted almost twenty-nine thousand visitors eager to see the offerings from eighty-three Australian and international galleries, presenting the work of more than three hundred artists. The physical scale was[…..]