By Elizabeth Patterson
Performa is an art event that was founded in 2004. To celebrate the 10th anniversary of the first Performa, which occurred in November 2005, the event is turning the spotlight on artists both old and new. The 2015 Performa features a plethora of diverse works that you won’t want to miss.
Performa began in 2004 as a way to highlight live performances in art. This year’s event is loosely based on the roots of performance art as an art form in itself, from da Vinci’s first stagings to present day. Previous performances have included dances, sound installations, and video works, to name a few.
Performa 15 will bring several artists together. You can learn more about them here.
Andrew Durbin is a writer who holds the editor reins at Future Perfect and who has also written a book titled Mature Themes. He has also published several articles, essays and poems, and is working on a fiction set for release in 2017.
Ben Fama is a writer who recently published his first full poetry collection titled Fantasy. He co-founded Wonder, a publication centered on poetry and both fiction and non-fiction work.
Body by Body is a duo made up of Cameron Soren and Melissa Sachs. Created out of an effort to create art on their own terms without necessarily being part of a collective, they create varied work. For this year’s Performa, they have staged an opera based on Mozart.
Juliana Huxtable is another artist taking part in a commission piece. A transgender artist who has recently come into her own, Huxtable has commanded the landscapes of art, music, and poetry. For Performa, she is combining her strengths with a piece using video, sound, music and light that reflects on the progression of information transmission in the digital age.
Brian Fuata is an artist who also chooses to focus on the digital age and information transmission in his work. He uses mediums like email, text, and other facets of the internet in his work. He works in text and performance.
Bunny Rogers is an artist and writer. She has published “Cunny Poem: Vol 1”, a collection of poetry, as well as embarked on a series of other works that include jackets, youtube readings, a twitter comprised of her own old Facebook updates, and a website of her ribbon collection.
Chimurenga is a group based out of South Africa. They are a publication and an art collective. They focus on African perspectives to African news. They have featured work by Amiri Baraka, Santu Mofokeng, and Parselelo Kantal.
Christodoulous Panyiotou is a Cyprus born artist whose work focuses on painting, photography, video projection and installation art. His latest work for Performa is titled “Dying on Stage”.
Claudia de Serpa-Soares is a dancer who has worked under Sasha Waltz. She has choreographed work for Dido and Aeneas and has also acted in films including Fish Love and the 6th Contintent. She has since created several solo performances as well as performances in tandem with other artists and creatives.
David Gilbert is an artist who creates hyper-realistic paintings using archival pigments. For Performa 2015, he is presenting a collaborative piece using spoken word and movement.
David Hallberg is an American dancer who recently became the principal dancer for the Bolshoi ballet. His piece for Performa 2015 is a collaborative one with Francesco Vezzoli.
Derrick Adams is an artist who works across a variety of media. Paper works, video, sculpture, performance pieces and photography are all part of his work. He was previously part of Performa’s inaugural event in 2005.
Doveman is a prolific musician who has worked with people from Sufjan Stevens to The National to Yoko Ono. He has foraged out on his own in the music world as well, forming a band named The Gloaming.
Edgar Arceneaux is an artist who utilizes painting, film, and installations to reach others. Apart from his artistic endeavors, he has also founded a housing development program in his native Los Angeles.
Eleonora Fabiao is a Brazilian based artist who specializes in performance pieces. She has a PhD in performance study from New York University and has done a variety of pieces, many of which interact with the audience directly. She teaches a college course in her native Rio de Janeiro.
Erika Vogt is an artist based in Los Angeles. She creates installation work using plaster, paint, rope and wood, as well as various other mediums. For Performa 2015, she is bringing together a group of Los Angeles based artists to create a piece that revolves around theatre and the stage.
Eve Sussman is an artist who works through film and performance pieces, usually combining the two. Her piece for Performa 15 is a collaborative one involving dance, and sculpture as well as performance work.
FOS, or Thomas Poulsen, is a Danish artist who has previously designed furniture for the Parisian fashion brand Celine. Together with his team, one of his best known works is a façade made of yellow tape that gives the illusion of spilled light, outside a café in Madrid, Spain.
Francesco Vezzoli hold the title as one of the best known artists on this list. The filmmaker is renowned around the world, and has worked with the likes of Cate Blanchett, Sharon Stone and Lady Gaga.
Harry Burke is a writer who, like many of the other writers who are part of Performa 15, specializes in poetry. He has published an eBook of poetry titled “City of God”.
Heather Phillipson creates spaces meant to appeal to visitors on a personal level. For Performa 15, she has created a video installation meant to juxtapose the traditional shopping mall with the ease of online shopping.
Ilja Soskic is a Yugoslavian artist whose work focuses on making a political, cultural and social statement. He is presenting a series of performances for Performa 15, combing old performances with new reactions.
Jamian Juliano-Villani is a vivid artist based in Brooklyn. Juliano-Villani’s work is a digital illusion, with so much coming at you at once you don’t know what to expect. Layering and digital projection helps her create her modern day surrealism.
Jeni Spota has a Master’s degree in Fine Art from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Spota paints immensely detailed scenes, covering her entire canvas. She sometimes incorporates real objects into her work, creating a dimensional piece made for conversation.
Jérôme Bel is a dancer and choreographer who is known internationally. He has created pieces that have been performed at the Tate Modern and the Centre Pompidou.
Jesper Just is an artist who is coming full circle with Performa. One of his works in 2005, titled True Love is Yet to Come, was presented at the first annual Performa in New York City.
Jim White is a drummer who has been involved in the works of many other musicians. He is a contributor to Visionaire 53 SOUND. For Performa, he is working with Claudia de Serpa Soares and Eve Sussman.
John Russell is an artist who works with digital prints that have a surreal and futuristic vibe to them. He has previously been part of the art group BANK.
Jonathas de Andrade is a Brazilian artist whose work is influenced by his homeland. His pieces usually reference or depict the Brazilian landscape or its people.
Justene Williams creates installations that are hard to look away from. Her play on colors and patterns is dizzying in the best way. She also uses video installations to take her work to another level.
Laura Lima creates both films and installation pieces. For Performa, she has created a piece meant to change perceptions about performers.
Pauline Curnier Jardin is an installation artist and filmmaker who literally puts herself into her work. She creates varied scenes that she is a part of, drawing on past theatre experience to construct settings which otherwise might not exist. Her films seek to continue this dialogue, with her characters in surreal, almost absurd situations on the path to discovery and enlightenment.
Wyatt Kahn is a breakout artist whose paintings demand attention. Instead of traditional painting techniques, Kahn uses the canvas in different ways, sometimes slicing it up or connecting it very finely. His unique use of canvas as a building block for his work put him head and shoulders above his contemporaries.
Volmir Cordiero is a dancer who has worked in ensemble and solo projects. His work has explored social and cultural differences between people in the same location, as well as focused on themes of identity and attention.
Zheng Mahler is an artist duo composed of Royce Ng and Daisy Bisenieks. Ng, an artist, and Bisenieks, an anthropologist, come together to create work that is drawn from their respective backgrounds. Working internationally, their art retains the echoes of their own worlds.
Will Rawls is a dancer and choreographer whose work spans genres. Themes of racial identity, queerness, and more get new life from his performances. Evocative dance and compelling props make his work unforgettable.
Agatha Gothe-Snape is a performance artist who is presenting an explorative piece centered on the human body. She is doing so by way of an improvised performance using cheironomia, which is an ancient musical technique used to conduct a band or chorus. Her performance hopes to examine the varying ways we use our body to communicate and transmit information.
A final commission and performance we can look forward to is from Oscar Murillo. Murillo is an artist who focuses on painting as his main medium. He brings us “Lucky dip”, a piece which examines labor exploitation as well as social activism based around this cause and others.
Performa 15 will occur throughout the month of November, from the 1st to the 22nd, in various places around NYC.