An Art Book - Performa

Event Details

FREE - Doors open at 5:30 p.m.

In celebration of the newest Performa publication Performa 09: Back to Futurism, The New York Public Library hosts a conversation between Performa Founding Director and Curator RoseLee Goldberg, Performa 09 Commission artist Wangechi Mutu, and Performa 11 Commission artist Shirin Neshat. They discuss what it means to commission a new work in live performance and the impact that the Performa biennial has had on the history and future of live performance.

Written and edited by legendary performance art historian RoseLee Goldberg, Performa 09: Back to Futurism is the definitive document of the unforgettable Performa 2009 biennial. It is the third volume to draw content and inspiration from the world-renowned Performa biennials, and features creative documentation by the 150 artists who made Performa 09 so extraordinary--among them Guy Ben-Ner, Candice Breitz, Omer Fast, Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, Mike Kelley, Arto Lindsay, Wangechi Mutu, Christian Tomaszewski and Yeondoo Jung (all of whom presented special Performa Commissions) and Keren Cytter, Tacita Dean, Alicia Framis, Loris Greaud, William Kentridge and Joan Jonas (who brought US premieres to the biennial). Photographs of each artist's performance and texts contributed by curators and critics provide accounts of every show, as well as an understanding of the importance of each work within the artist's individual career and in relation to larger artistic trends. Taking place at over 80 of New York's most exciting art and cultural venues, Performa 09 was created as a collaboration between all of these moving parts, so a portrait of the city's remarkable history of cultural innovation also emerges from these pages. Performa 09: Back to Futurism is not only a gorgeous document of a remarkable biennial, but also an invaluable reference guide to the most significant artists of our time, for art historians and fans alike.

Copies of Performa 09: Back to Futurism are available for purchase and signing at the event.

RoseLee Goldberg, Founding Director and Curator of Performa, is an art historian, critic, and curator whose book Performance Art: From Futurism to the Present, first published in 1979, pioneered the study of performance art. Former Director of the Royal College of Art Gallery in London and Curator at The Kitchen in New York, she is also the author of Performance: Live Art Since 1960 (1998) and Laurie Anderson (2000), and is a frequent contributor to Artforum and other publications, and has taught at New York University since 1987. Recent awards and grants include two awards from the International Association of Art Critics (2011), the Agnes Gund Curatorial Award from Independent Curators International (2010), Curatorial Research Fellowship from the Warhol Foundation (2008), and Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters from the French Government (2006). In 2004, she founded Performa, a non-profit arts organization committed to the research, development, and presentation of performance by visual artists from around the world, and launched New York’s first performance biennial, Performa 05 (2005), followed by Performa 07 (2007), and Performa 09 (2009). In 2011, Performa will present its fourth biennial, Performa 11 (November 1–21, 2011).

Shirin Neshat, Production still for The Last Word, 2003. Copyright Shirin Neshat. Courtesy Gladstone Gallery, New York.Shirin Neshat, Production still for The Last Word, 2003. Copyright Shirin Neshat. Courtesy Gladstone Gallery, New York.Shirin Neshat (b. 1957, Qazvin, Iran) is a New York-based artist who works primarily in photography and video, often dealing with the alienation of women in repressed Muslim societies. Major solo exhibitions include the National Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens, (2009); Hamburger Bahnhof, Museum Für Gengewart, Berlin (2005); Walker Art Center, Minneapolis (2001); Serpentine Gallery, London (2000); and the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago (1999), among others. Awards and accolades include the Silver Lion, Venice Film Festival (2009); Hiroshima Freedom Prize, Hiroshima City Museum of Art (2005); Grand Prix, Kwangju Biennale (2000); Visual Art Award, Edinburgh International Film Festival (2000); and First International Prize, Venice Biennale (1999).

Wangechi Mutu, Stone Ihiga, a Performa Commission, 2009. Photo by Paula Court. Courtesy of Performa.Wangechi Mutu, Stone Ihiga, a Performa Commission, 2009. Photo by Paula Court. Courtesy of Performa.Wangechi Mutu (b. 1972, Nairobi, Kenya) has trained as both a sculptor and anthropologist. Her work explores the contradictions of female and cultural identity and makes reference to colonial history, contemporary African politics, and the international fashion industry. Major solo exhibitions include Deutsche Guggenheim, Berlin (2010); Gladstone Gallery, New York (2010); Performa 09, New York (2009); Kunsthalle Wien Museum, Vienna (2008); San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco (2005), and Art Pace, San Antonio (2004). Awards and grants include Deutsche Guggenheim Artist of the Year, Berlin (2010); Cooper Union Urban Visionaries Awards, Emerging Talent Award, New York (2008); The Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters & Sculptors Award, New York (2007); and the Studio Museum in Harlem Artist in Residence, New York (2003).

In its third season the program series An Art Book, initiated and organized by Arezoo Moseni, is a celebration of the essential importance and beauty of art books. The events showcase book presentations and discussions by world renowned artists, critics, curators, historians and writers.