Performa is pleased to announce Performa 11, the fourth edition of its internationally acclaimed biennial, taking place November 1–21, 2011 in New York City. From Opening Night, with the Performa Commission premiere by Elmgreen & Dragset, to the Grande Finale three weeks later, visitors will experience more than 100 performances, films, radio plays, concerts, and events by some of the world’s most exciting contemporary artists, including 12 Performa Commissions, 6 Performa Premieres, and a host of new Performa Projects by established and up-and-coming artists at locations throughout the city.
Once again, Performa’s innovative program, called “a gift to New York” by critic Jerry Saltz, and “a biennial at its experimental best” by Artforum, will showcase live or performance-related work across disciplines including visual art, music, dance, film, radio, comedy, architecture, and food, providing an unforgettable engagement with the vital urban landscape that is New York City.
In just five years, Performa has re-imagined the biennial concept as a form of radical urbanism, commissioning and producing new work that creates profound and accessible experiences; exploring the role of the historical avant-garde; and showing the significance of live performance in shaping art in the twenty-first century. Bringing together international artists, writers, curators, and the Performa Consortium, the biennial is a highly curated, wide-ranging, and multi-disciplinary program that draws on history, current affairs, and visions of the future. Designed with the experience of the viewer at its center, the biennial engages audiences with the most exciting developments in contemporary art.
Performa’s renowned Commissions originate new performances by visual artists, many of whom have never worked live before. Commissions will range from a film by director Guy Maddin brought to life in unexpected ways; an epic dance battle influenced by Kabuki and hip hop by iona rozeal brown; a six-hour performance inspired by Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro by Ragnar Kjartansson; a performance and installation stretching from New York to the savannahs of Africa by Mika Rottenberg and Jon Kessler; and a work that poignantly examines the opposing currents of creativity and censorship by Shirin Neshat. Other Performa Commissions include Simon Fujiwara, Frances Stark, Elmgreen & Dragset, Liz Magic Laser, Ming Wong, Tarek Atoui, and Gerard Byrne.
Presented in collaboration with a consortium of more than 40 cultural partners, including the New Museum, The Kitchen, the Museum of Modern Art, and Japan Society, Performa acts as a vital “think tank” for New York’s innovative arts institutions, and celebrates the creative history of the city, forging a new collaborative model for New York as the leading cultural capital of the future.
New this year, the Performa Institute will provide an original design for the research and educational component of the biennial. Situated in the Performa Hub, the Institute asks artists, curators, and writers to function as educators, providing daily lectures and demonstrations relating to the underlying themes of the biennial: Language, Translation, and Misinformation; Talking About Sculpture; Russian Constructivism; and Fluxus.
Performa 11 is curated by RoseLee Goldberg and Performa’s team of curators and producers, including Defne Ayas, Mark Beasley, Esa Nickle, Dougal Phillips, and Lana Wilson, and more than 25 curators from the Performa Consortium.
Tickets for Performa 11 go on sale in mid-September.
Major support by Toby Devan Lewis; Lambent Foundation; Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts; National Endowment for the Arts; David and Elaine Potter Foundation; Performa Board of Directors; and Performa Producers Circle.
Performa, a nonprofit multidisciplinary arts organization established by RoseLee Goldberg in 2004, is dedicated to exploring the critical role of live performance in the history of twentieth-century art and to encouraging new directions in performance for the twenty-first century. In 2005, Performa launched New York’s first performance biennial, Performa 05.