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Contemporary Artists and Curators To Discuss New Approaches to Performance in Museums and Galleries

Contemporary Artists and Curators To Discuss New Approaches to Performance in Museums and Galleries

NOT FOR SALE: Artists’ View
A Panel Discussion Moderated by Art Historian and Critic RoseLee Goldberg

November 18, 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm. Reception to follow.
Einstein Auditorium, New York University
34 Stuyvesant Street, NYC
Between 3rd and 2nd Avenues at 9th Street

With panelists:
Marina Abramovic, artist
Tania Bruguera, artist
Klaus Ottmann, philosopher, critic, and curator
Debra Singer, Executive Director and Chief Curator of the Kitchen

In conjunction with New York University’s Department of Art and Art Professions, PERFORMA presents NOT FOR SALE: Artists’ View.

NOT FOR SALE: Artists’ View will cover how artists today view institutions and the marketplace as performance “sites.” How does the changing role of the modern museum as lively cultural center shape the artists’ ideas? Can “museum safe” performance still be radical and provocative as were the earlier performances of the 1970s, which were made outside the institutional framework? A distinguished panel of artists and curators will discuss their modus operandi in regard to these questions.

NOT FOR SALE: Artists’ View is a dynamic continuation of the discussion on performance and its relationship to the museum, gallery, and collector that was begun last April with “Not for Sale: Conserving and Collecting Ephemeral Artwork in the 21st Century.” Panelists Chrissie Iles, Robert Storr and Joan Jonas elaborated on the paradox of capturing radical and ephemeral ideas for historical record as well as a broader debate regarding how museums and galleries conserve this work. The participants provided an overview of recent history, describing performance as well as installations that were made to counter the institutions of the museum and the commerce of the art gallery.

PERFORMA presents Not for Sale at a time when performance related exhibitions are being held concurrently at the Grey Art Gallery (Electrifying Art: Atsuko Tanaka, 1954-1968) Art In General (re:source) and the New Museum (Adaptive Behavior). This dynamic programming points to an escalation of performance and the need for a critical context to discuss the new work. PERFORMA would like to thank Grey Art Gallery for its support of Not for Sale.

PERFORMA is a non-profit interdisciplinary arts organization founded to commission and present new performance work in the visual arts. Drawing upon the rich history of performance in New York City, PERFORMA will provide a vibrant context to expand the possibilities and accessibility of live performance for artists and audiences. PERFORMA’s mission is based on the conviction that live art is a vital form that reflects political, artistic, and social issues of our times. PERFORMA is a sponsored project of the New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA).

RoseLee Goldberg, Founding Director and Curator, is an art historian, critic and curator who pioneered the study of performance art with her seminal book Performance Art from Futurism to the Present. A former curator at the Kitchen in New York, Ms. Goldberg, Associate Adjunct Professor of Contemporary Art, has taught at New York University since 1987.

Department of Art and Art Professions, New York University, Steinhardt School of Education, The Department of Art and Art Professions is committed to the construction of new knowledge through the creation of art and innovative academic research. The Department brings students, practicing artists, educators, and art professionals together in a richly interactive, multidisciplinary community that fosters imaginative art-making and intellectual exchange.


Marina Abramovic
Marina Abramovic, born in 1946 in Belgrade, Yugoslavia, is without question one of the seminal artists of our time. Since the beginning of her career in Belgrade during the early 1970s, Abramovic has pioneered the use of performance as a visual art form. The body has always been both her subject and medium. Exploring the physical and mental limits of her being, she has withstood pain, exhaustion, and danger in the quest for emotional and spiritual transformation. Abramovic’s concern with creating works that ritualize the simple actions of everyday life like lying, sitting, dreaming, and thinking; in effect the manifestation of a unique mental state. As a vital member of the generation of pioneering performance artists that includes Bruce Nauman, Vito Acconci, and Chris Burden, Abramovic created some of the most historic early performance pieces and is the only one still making important durational works. She was awarded the Golden Lion for Best Artist at the 1997 Venice Biennale for her extraordinary video installation/performance piece Balkan Baroque and in 2003 received the Bessie for The House with the Ocean View. Her work is included in many major public collections worldwide

Tania Bruguera
Tania Bruguera is an interdisciplinary artist working primarily in behavior art, performance, installation and video. She has been a participant in Documenta 11 (Germany) as well as in several biennales such as Venice (Italy), Johannesburg (South Africa), Sao Paolo (Brazil), Shangai (China), Havana (Cuba), and Site Santa Fe (United States.) Her work has also been exhibited at The New Museum of Contemporary Art (United States); The Museum of Contemporary Art of Chicago (United States); Boijmans van Beuningen Museum (The Netherlands); Museum fur Moderne Kunst (Germany); The Whitechapel Art Gallery (England); Centro de Arte Contemporaneo Wifredo Lam (Cuba) and Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes (Cuba). In 1998 she was selected as a Guggenheim fellow (United States). In 2000 she received the Prince Claus Prize (The Netherlands.) Her work is part of the collection of the Museum fur Moderne Kunst (Germany); Daros Foundation (Switzerland); JP Morgan Chase Bank (United States); Museum of Modern Art, artist book collection (United States); Bronx Museum (United States); Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes (Cuba); Centro de Arte Contemporaneo Wifredo Lam (Cuba); The New Museum for Latin American Art (England.) She received her MFAs from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (United States) and Instituto Superior de Arte (Cuba). Her BFA is from Escuela de Arte San Alejandro (Havana). She currently lives and works between Chicago and Havana.

Klaus Ottmann
Klaus Ottmann is a philosopher, critic, and curator. He has written numerous essays on art, design, and philosophy, and is the author of The Genius Decision: The Extraordinary and the Postmodern Condition, The Essential™ Michelangelo, The Essential™ Mark Rothko; Wolfgang Laib:
A Retrospective, and Life, Love, and Death: The Work of James Lee Byars. Dr. Ottmann has curated over forty exhibitions, including Wolfgang Laib: A Retrospective; Life, Love, and Death; The Work of James Lee Byars, a critical retrospective; Extreme Existence, a group show focusing on performances and video by, among others, Tania Bruguera, Patty Chang, and Chantal Akerman; and Social Strategies: Redefining Social Realism. He lives in New York.

Debra Singer
Debra Singer was recently appointed as the Executive Director and Chief Curator of The Kitchen, one of New York City’s oldest nonprofit, multidisciplinary art and performance spaces. She previously served as the associate curator of contemporary art at the Whitney Museum of American Art for many years, where she recently co-organized the 2004 Whitney Biennial. During her tenure at the Whitney, she also organized solo exhibitions of the work of Tom Burr, Joseph Grigely, Arturo Herrera, Paul Pfeiffer, Helen Mirra, Jennifer Pastor, Paul Sietsema, and Sarah Sze, among others, and the New York presentation of The Quilts of Gee’s Bend. She also founded the Whitney’s SoundCheck series, an ongoing performance program of music and literary events as well as organizing the sound and performance components of the 2002 Biennial Exhibition and the sound component for BitStreams (2001). Singer was formerly the branch curator at the Whitney Museum of American Art at Altria, where she organized numerous exhibitions, as well as producing Performance on 42nd, a free series of dance, music, theatre, and literary events.

For further information, please contact info@performa-arts.org or 212. 533. 5720.