Art Moves: Performance 1960 to 2010

Art Moves: Performance 1960 to 2010

Curated by RoseLee Goldberg

In her groundbreaking book Performance Art: From Futurism to the Present (1979), art historian and curator RoseLee Goldberg showed that performance is central to the history of 20th century art. With her launch of Performa 05, the first biennial of visual art performance, in 2005, she predicted that performance would become “the medium of the 21st century”—and indeed, its time has come. Museums around the world are establishing performance departments, including, most recently, the Museum of Modern Art, and several museums currently being built will have dedicated performance spaces. Moreover, following Performa’s lead, biennials worldwide are making performance a central theme of their programs. Art Moves: Performance 1960 to 2010 is an exhibition that shows how performance has come to be at the center of the discussion on the latest developments in 21st century art and culture.

An overview of performances made since 1960, this exhibition will consider performance in the context of five conceptual frameworks: visual art, postmodern dance, sound and new music, new media, and political engagement. “Visual Art” will look at the influence of performance on traditional forms of art including sculpture, painting, and drawing, while “Postmodern Dance” will unpack the radical developments in dance from the 1970s onward through works by artists like Yvonne Rainer, Trisha Brown, and Jérôme Bel. “Sound and New Music” will take a closer look at experiments in these areas by artists ranging from John Cage to Paul Miller aka DJ Spooky, and “New Media” will focus on projects that utilize new social technologies by Anri Sala, Ryan Trecartin, and Cory Arcangel, among others. Finally, “Political Engagement” will consider how performance can be used to engage larger socio-political issues, featuring works by Francis Alÿs, Santiago Aierra, Allora & Calzadilla, and Guy Ben-Ner. The exhibition itself will be made up of objects, ephemera, sound, and video, including material from a number of key Performa commissions. As Art Moves travels to institutions across the United States, Performa will work with curators at each location to develop an affiliated program of live performances, screenings, and panels, and will also work with local students to inspire and provoke new research in the field. By looking at the last fifty years of performance through these five conceptual lenses, Art Moves will reflect on how we got to where we are today, laying the groundwork for new developments in performance for the 21st century.

For further information on how to become a participating venue and curator in this groundbreaking project contact Frances Wu Giarratano at 212.254.8200 x29 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)


RoseLee Goldberg’s seminal study, Performance Art: From Futurism to the Present (first published in 1979 and now in its third edition) is regarded as the leading text for understanding the development of the genre and has been translated into more languages (including Chinese, Croatian, French, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, and Spanish) than any other book of its kind. When director of the Royal College of Art (RCA) Gallery in London, Goldberg established a program that pioneered an integrative approach to curating exhibitions, performance, and symposia, directly involving the various departments of the RCA in all aspects of the exhibitions program. As curator at the Kitchen in New York she continued to advocate for multi-disciplinary practices to have equal prominence by establishing the exhibition space, a video viewing room, and a performance series. Most recently, her vision in the creation of Performa has set a precedent for performance art that is now impacting museum programming and diverse audiences across the U.S. and abroad.

Emily Coates, Pat Catterson, Sally Silvers, and Patricia Hoffbauer in Yvonne Rainer’s RoS Indexical, 2007. Photo copyright Paula Court. Courtesy of Performa.

Additional Images

Noémie Solomon performing in Allan Kaprow’s 18 Happenings in 6 Parts (Re-doing), 2007. Photo copyright Paula Court. Courtesy of Performa, Allan Kaprow Estate, and Hauser & Wirth Zurich / London.

William Kentridge, I Am Not Me, the Horse is Not Mine, a Performa Premiere, 2009. Photo by Paula Court, courtesy of Performa.

Mike Kelley, Extracurricular Activity Projective Reconstruction #32, Plus, a Performa Commission, 2009. Photo by Paula Court, courtesy of Performa.

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