UP⬆️NYC Performance Festival Preview


By David LaGaccia

UP⬆️NYC, a new annual performance festival based in New York will take place this Thursday, April 21st, at The Paper Box. The festival, which will feature a variety of experimental and interdisciplinary performance work, includes performance art, noise music, and video in its programming.

The festival comes out of a collaboration between Brooklyn artists Wild Torus and the Estonian performance collective Non Grata. The two groups have performed together extensively through 2015 in the Diverse Universe Performance Festival that culminated in a show at the Gowanus Ballroom in Brooklyn last December; they most recently performed together Friday, April 16th during the Anarchist Book Fair at Judson Church.

NG perf Hurricane Patricia best Oklahoma 2015

Photo: Courtesy of Non Grata

Non Grata is collaborating with New York based Wild Torus to organize a new annual performance festival in the Big Apple called NYC UP, or the New York Underground Performance Festival,” said Non Grata’s Al Paldrok in a statement. “We have been touring together all over Europe and North, Central, and South America, and now have put together a new creative melting pot in New York City.The aim is to bring experiments, non-conformism and creativity back to contemporary art. Festival activities promote cultural fluidity through exchange of ideas, concerns and cultural perspectives.


Non Grata and Wild Torus performing at the Gowanus Ballroom last December during the Diverse Universe Festival.
Photo: Courtesy of Wild Torus

Along with the two groups, the night will feature performances by Yolteotli, Jon Konkol, Uta Brauser, Kim Fatale, and Jen Kutler in live video performance curated by Eric Barry Drasin. The show will also have sound-based work by noise musicians Drums Like Machine Guns, Max Alper, Spreaders, Channel63, and I Say Fuck.

NG perf Brain Wash best New York medium

Photo: Courtesy of Non Grata

Prints, artwork, and other merchandise from participating artists will be on sale throughout the night. The show starts at 7:00 pm with an entry fee of $15, with ticket sales going to artists.The Paper Box is located at 17 Meadow st, in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.


7 Minutes in Heaven at PULSAR on FRI, 2/12

By Laura Blüer

This Friday, February 12, 2016 marks the inaugural evening of performances at PULSAR, a new venue in Brooklyn for body-based art, which will be holding events every month out of the black box space at Catland Books in Bushwick.

PULSAR was conceptualized by collaborators Tif Robinette (aka AGROFEMME) and Ian Deleón, who felt that Brooklyn is in need of more spaces that regularly host performance art. That is to say that Robinette and Deleón are acutely aware that as with any art community, fresh spaces and ambitious curatorial initiatives greatly aid in performance artists’ production of new works and in the birth of new collaborations and connections. In a conversation with Deleón, we discussed his and Robinette’s vision for PULSAR as one that prioritizes pushing artists’ comfort zones by instigating curated collaborations and the merging of artists and audiences of the various distinct genres of embodied art that comprise the medium of performance.

Deleón emphasized his and Robinette’s vision to proactively curate performance events by provoking collaborations between artists who may have never met each other and who perhaps view their work as being of a completely different discipline. Deleón pointed out that artists who self-identify as dancers, performers, or stage actors all employ varying degrees of complementary aesthetic, technical, thematic, and conceptual aspects in their work, yet there seems to be little traceable overlap between these rich spheres in their live manifestations or in those who attend them. The curators hope to inspire a more sustained dialogue between the abundant micro communities of performance in New York City by creating this innovative trans-disciplinary forum and by encouraging artists to create within a different framework than that which they may be accustomed to.

Deleón remarked that one weakness of the Brooklyn performance art community, in spite of its prolificness, is that so much incredible work is produced every day and there are few ongoing archival initiatives, except on a more individual basis (such as on artists’ own websites) and in the case of platforms like Hyperallergic, for example, which is one of the few that covers some Brooklyn performance events. Even so, the vast majority of writing on local performance art is Manhattan-centric. Further, most does not delve as deeply as it could into critical analyses of the work. Or, it fixates on artists’ intent rather than the lasting effect of performance and the political and aesthetic implications of action art within the context it was presented. While there is certainly no formula for writing about performance art, there is a general consensus that artists, curators, and audience should all be paying more attention to the nuances of curatorial lineups and the work itself. Ideally, there would be much more commentary and critique generated about performance art, attempts on multiple levels to understand the origins of a given piece and to interpret it through a myriad of lenses. An approach to writing about, analyzing, and documenting performance in this way is more productive in the long run for both artists and the medium—rather than the popular style of blog posts, articles, and reviews that are rooted in self-promotion, marketing, or spectacle itself. One way that Deleón and Robinette hope to maintain fire from the sparks of pivotal live moments at PULSAR is to push for documentation, interactive analysis, and ephemeral dialogues in the aftermath of each event. They hope that by prompting these continuous post-performance reflections, artists will receive more feedback, which in turn leads to growth in their work.

This Friday’s performance lineup is INCENDIARY, featuring 7-minute pieces by Ayana Evans, Édgar J Ulloa Luján, Erik HokansonGeraldo Mercado, Jessi T Walsh, Jill McDermid, Joiri Minaya, Panoply Lab. The details about the venue, time and entrance are below. See you at PULSAR to inaugurate a progressive experiment in performance art!

Friday, February 12, 2016
8 pm
987 Flushing Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11206
Morgan Ave L train
$10 @ door
RSVP on Facebook


How Performa 15 Will Re-Discover the Renaissance

Pauline Curnier Jardin, still from The Lady Weather Speakerine in Keys To Our Heart (2012), photo courtesy of the artist and PSM Gallery, Berlin

Pauline Curnier Jardin, still from The Lady Weather Speakerine in Keys To Our Heart (2012).
Photo courtesy of the artist and PSM Gallery, Berlin

By David LaGaccia


Reaching back in time to the Renaissance, Performa 15, the latest edition of the performance focused biennial, begins this Sunday, November 1st showcasing work from new and established artists in the world of performance while interpreting some its earlier perfromative roots.

The month long event will continue until November 22nd, and features over 30 artists who will present work in galleries and sites around New York City including Franceco Vezzoli and David Hallberg, Robin Rhode, Paula Curnier Jardin, Ilija Šoškić, Jérôme Bel, Volmir Cordeiro, and many more. The biennial is curated by Performa founder RoseLee Goldberg, as well as Mark Beasley, Adrianne Edwards, and Charles Aubin. Performances will be held at 35 participating galleries and spaces including WhiteBox, Pioneer Works, St. Bart’s Church, BAM Fisher, the Jewish Museum, White Columns, Performa Hub, and Times Square.

Performa 15’s theme is the Renaissance, which seems broad and remote from contemporary culture, artistic practices and aesthetics in live performance. In a time when streaming media, video projection and the internet are being used as tools in producing performance, it’s hard to relate to a 600 year old — largely European cultural movement that focused on the re-discovery of classical text. The Renaissance, however, could also be a means of “re-discovering” live performance’s own classical history and its significance in a contemporary setting. In an interview with French Culture, associate curator Charles Aubin stated that they chose this theme because it is a way to start conversations between artists to create work, and to make the argument that visual artists have always been involved in the creation of live works.

Erika Vogt, Artist Theater Program, 2014 - courtesy of the artist and Curtis R Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute 2

Erika Vogt, Artist Theater Program (2014).
Photo courtesy of the artist and Curtis R Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute 2

“Last year when we were in planning stage of the upcoming biennial, as a stimulus, RoseLee came up with the idea of jumping back in time and looking at the Renaissance, in order to insist on the fact that visual artists have always been involved in staging live works, be they public ceremonies, pageants, or urban processions,” he said. “In fact, these Renaissance artists were wholly immersed in political affairs, and these events functioned as political stages, where allegories and tableaux vivants depicted mythological themes, but actually served as commentary on current affairs.”

In her book Performance Art: From Futurism to the Present, Goldberg describes the role of artists during the Renaissance as “creator and director of public spectacles, fantastic triumphal parades that often required the construction of elaborate temporary architecture, or allegorical events that utilized the multi-media abilities attributed to Renaissance Man.” Goldberg cites works by Polidoro da Caravaggio, Leonardo de Vinci’s pageant Paradiso (1490), and Gian Lorenzo Bernini’s L’Inondazione (1638) as examples of live performance during the Renaissance.

Robin Rhode, still from Piano Chair (2011), photo courtesy of the artist and Lehman Maupin Gallery

Robin Rhode, still from Piano Chair (2011).
Photo courtesy of the artist and Lehman Maupin Gallery

It will be interesting to see how such a range of contemporary artists will interpret and develop work based on the Renaissance. The opening night’s main performance is a collaboration between Italian artist Franceco Vezzoli and dancer David Hallberg in a work titled Fortuna Desperata. Being held at St. Bart’s Church, the work is described as “the birth of ballet”, and according to the event’s description, “the performance revives and translates ballet’s beginnings and the period’s pageantry for a contemporary audience, bringing the past into dialogue with the present.”

Paula Curnier Jardin in her commissioned work, The Resurrection Plot, will explore the pageantry associated with Renaissance performance. Held at Pioneer Works on November 4th, 5th and 6th, the performance will being descibed as “a series of singing tableaux vivants“. In an interview with French Culture she states that, “My performance will tell the story of 4 grotesque characters, first dressed up as kinds of ‘occultist -land-dealers’ but very quickly ending up in only their underwear, playing in a magical puddle where one large tongue wearing a jacket made of shells is singing for them.” According to the event’s description, the work will pay homage to painter Giuseppe Arcimboldo, ceramicist Bernard Palissy, and writer François Rabelais.

Ilija Šoškić of the former Yugoslavia, whose work has been in performance, installation and video art, will perform Maximum Energy – Minimum Time at WhiteBox on Saturday, November 21st. As stated on the biennial’s website, the performance will commemorate the suicide of Russian Soviet poet Vladimir MayakovskyŠoškić will re-perform parts of his past works from Conversation, Controversy, and Maximum Energy – Minimum Time as a part of this performance.


Ilija Šoškić, Maximum Energy – Minimum Time (1975).
Photo courtesy of the artist and WhiteBox

The biennial will also feature several out-door performances, including work from artist Brazillian artist Eleonora Fabião who will be performing a series of actions called Things That Must Be Done Series. According to the release, the performances will be set around Wall Street in lower Manhattan and will feature actions that act as “meditations on verticality, possibility, instability, and vulnerability in capitalist societies.” Fabião will be accompanied by several collaborators including Viniciús Arneiro, Sebastián Calderón Bentin, Frances Cooper, Pablo Assumpção B. Costa, Liz Heard, Irene Hultman, Bettina Knaup , André Lepecki, Felipe Ribeiro and Cecilia Roos.

Painter Oscar Murillo, whose work includes participatory installations such as a functioning chocolate factory at David Zwirner, will also “take up residence” for a week (November 16th through the 22nd) at the Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House. He will use participatory installations to talk about labor exploitation, emerging economies, and outsourced industry.

Edgar Arceneaux, A Time To Break Silence, 2013, digital video still - Courtesy of Susanne Vielmetter Gallery

Edgar Arceneaux, digital video still from A Time To Break Silence (2013).
Photo courtesy of Susanne Vielmetter Gallery

Along with commissioned and curated performance works, Performa will also feature several artist talks with artists such as Jérôme Bel, Ryan Gander, Heather Phillipson, Ulla von Brandenburg, and more.The biennial will also include artist classes for those interested in a more hands-on performance experience. Edgar Arceneaux will host a class about the development of his Performa work, Until, Until, Until…, and Wyatt Kahn will host a puppet making class based on his commissioned performance, Work.

Performa was founded by RoseLee Goldberg in 2004 where it “fosters learning, critical discourse, and deeper engagement in performance by directly supporting its scholarly investigation.” The arts organization states that is focuses on “performance”, a word that can defined within a large range of live performance disciplines such as opera, dance, theater, music, and performance art. Performa began its biennial in 2005 with Performa 5 as a means to showcase performance as an important artistic medium; this will be the sixth edition of the biennial and the tenth year of its existence.

For a complete listing of artists, times and events participating in Performa 15, please refer to the biennial’s website.

This weekend in performance art

Get ready for an autumn weekend packed with performance art in New York! Grace Exhibition Space and The Sphinx Returns (curated by Whitney V. Hunter) will host Social Health Performance Club organized by Ian Deleón and Zachary Fabri this Friday from 9-11pm. Saturday at Panoply Performance Lab is CASINGS and TREATMENTS, curated by René Kladzyk as part of No Wave Performance Task Force starting at 8pm. Sunday from 4-6 is the first conversation—called “Resistance / Persistence”— in the series TALKaCTIVE: perfomance art conversation series, organized by Hector Canonge. See below for details on these events. See you there!

—Laura Blüer


Friday, September 25th
Social Health Performance Club

Grace Exhibition Space & Gallery

This Friday, 9/25, we meet again at Grace Exhibition Space and Gallery for a special programming event in The Sphinx Returns at GES. Organized by Ian Deleón and Zachary Fabri, this iteration of SOCIAL HEALTH PERFORMANCE CLUB will feature live performances by Zachary Fabri, Rafael Sanchez, Geraldo MercadoJoiri Minaya, and Heeran LeeSocial Health Performance Club gathers as a collective of artists to produce events, exhibitions, and other public art projects. The Club itself is framed as a performance, gathering together as action, understanding social relationships as artistic processes.

RSVP on Facebook
Entry by donation
Grace Exhibition Space
840 Broadway, 2nd Floor
Brooklyn, NY 11206


Saturday, September 26th
Panoply Performance Laboratory

“CASINGS AND TREATMENTS,” the second of a two-part performance event series curated by René Kladzyk as part of No Wave Performance Task Force, centers its inquiry around how the masculinized body is housed and modified in the performance of gender identity. Through interrogating masculinity in its material manifestations via human bodies, a group of performance artists will enact gender construction as process, co-constitutive relation, and ephemeral ideation. Behold, artist IVY CASTELLANOS completes actioned tasks exploring the masculine gendered body, while VINCENT TILEY investigates restraint, control, and desire operationalized through the gaze, the skin functioning as artifice and sensual site of action, as Vincent hovers “rather motionless in a suit that is also a painting that is also a hammock that is also a sex swing.” ANDY KUNCL engages with movement, sensory stimulation, and inanimate/animate constructive interaction in collaboration with a posse of movers, COLBY CANNON plays with protection, power, and muscle growth, while STUDIO ROSSI BRODY enacts a crime-scene investigation TV show in “Man Forensics,” operating as social scientists, comedians, and erotic provocateurs.

Image via Studio Rossi Brody: http://studiorossibrody.tumblr.com

RSVP on Facebook

104 Meserole Street (between Manhattan and Leonard)
Brooklyn, NY 11206

Sunday, September 27th
TALKaCTIVE: perfomance art conversation series
“Resistance / Persistence”

Hosted at the Queens Museum, Unisphere Gallery
2:00 – 4:00 PM

Participating artists: Thomas Albrecht, Chun Hua Catherine Dong, Rory Golden, LuLu LoLo, and Nyugen Smith.
Mediator / Critic: Harley Spiller, Deputy Director of Franklin Furnace Archive, Inc.

TALKaCTIVE: performance art conversation series is a new program that fosters dialogue and exchange among Live Action Art practitioners, encourages commentary about Performance Art, and prompts reflection about performative processes, methodologies, and styles. Every session is organized around a relevant topic in Performance Art, and the presentation of works by a group of selected artists who share their work, discuss their approach to Live Art, and engage in open conversation with critics, curators, and attending audience. The monthly series consists of a presentation, panel, and open Q&A session where participating artists screen documentation of their work, a curator or critic contextualizes the works presented, and a moderator mediates the exchange of information and resources. TALKaCTIVE is an independent initiative created and organized by artist Hector Canonge. Hosted at the Queens Museum, the monthly series is free of charge and open to the general public.

Image: Chun Hua Catherine Dong

Queens Museum
New York City Building Flushing Meadows Corona Park
Perimeter Rd, Queens, NY 11368

Coming up at ABC NO RIO | Affect Surgery: A One Night Exhibition of Performance Art

AFFECT SURGERY will occur this Thursday, July 16 at ABC No Rio. Artists Tif Robinette (aka. AGROFEMME), Uniska Wahala Kano, Jodie Lynkeechow, Rudi Salpietra, and Naked Roots Conducive will present new performance works with regards to the social body and performative operations. The venue, founded in 1980 and renowned for its “Punk Matinee” series—among other anarchist and community initiatives—is a site that encourages works dealing with issues that resonate in the Lower East Side, a neighborhood still haunted by gentrification’s constant outward push. Curated by Esther Neff of Panoply Performance Laboratory, the exhibition includes works that respond to the question, “Can we use performance art to research empathic strategies for resistance and solidarity?”

ABC No Rio is located at 156 Rivington St, Nueva York 10002
The show starts at 7:30pm, and more details can be found here on facebook.

— laura blüer