"Performance Now" Art Opening, Gallery Talk Tonight

ICI and Performa present the exhibition Performance Now debuting at Wesleyan's Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery. Opening reception: Tuesday, September 11, 5-7pm.

ICI and Performa present the exhibition Performance Now debuting at Wesleyan University’s Center for the Arts in the Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery, opening on Friday, September 7, 2012.  Opening reception: Tuesday, September 11, 5-7pm; gallery talk by curator RoseLee Goldberg at 5:30pm.


Opening Reception: Tuesday, September 11, 2012 from 5pm to 7pm

Gallery Talk with RoseLee Goldberg: Tuesday, September 11, 2012 at 5:30pm
Lecture by RoseLee Goldberg: Saturday, November 17, 2012 at 2pm in CFA Hall

Film Series: Thursday, September 20, Thursday October 25, and Thursday, November 15 at 7pm in Powell Family Cinema, Center for Film Studies

Exhibition on View: Friday, September 7 through Sunday, December 9, 2012

Closed Wednesday, November 21 through Monday, November 26, 2012



 Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery at Wesleyan, 283 Washington Terrace



 Tuesday through Sunday, Noon to 5pm






Performance Now is a selection of works by 19 artists from a vast repository of new performance from around the world since 2000, a period that has witnessed an exponential growth in the field. More than a century after the Italian Futurists insisted on an increased engagement with their audiences and solicited artists of every discipline to join their cause, performance by visual artists has become central to our understanding of the development of contemporary art ideas and sensibilities.


Bringing together some of the most significant practitioners today, Performance Now surveys critical and experimental currents in performance internationally featuring works by Marina Abramović, William Kentridge, Clifford Owens, Spartacus Chetwynd and Jerome Bel, among others. Exploring the ephemerality of live performance and how this is captured by artists and transformed into new work that contains the power and content of the original, together the selected works are an indication of the extent to which visual artists use performance as part of their creative process; how that process produces objects, installations, video, or photography interchangeably; and how these mediums have been enlivened by the demands of recording performance in innovative ways.


With performance art departments recently being established in many major museums throughout the world and performance recognized as one of the most significant artistic forms of the 21st century, this exhibition provides a window onto these important developments. Performance Now is a series of ongoing exhibitions designed to introduce some of the most exciting projects of performance from 2000 to the present and to generate discussion about the history of performance art. The material is selected from a publication of the same name, Performance Now, by RoseLee Goldberg, which will be published by Thames and Hudson in 2014.


The debut of the exhibition at Wesleyan coincides with the University’s new Institute for Curatorial Practice in Performance (ICPP), a post-graduate certificate program that is the first of its kind in the United States.   “ICPP brings artists, presenters, managers and other arts professionals together with Wesleyan faculty and some of the finest performance curators working today.  Our students develop a responsive curatorial practice that takes the best from the fields of visual and performing arts. We knew that Performance Now would be an important show to integrate into this year’s ICPP curriculum, while also resonating with community members and many of our undergraduate and graduate arts students interested in exploring contemporary performance practices and their social and historical contexts,” said Pamela Tatge, Director of Wesleyan’s Center for the Arts and Managing Director of ICPP.


At Wesleyan, the exhibition also extends to a film series, selected by Performa film curator Lana Wilson, a 2005 graduate of the University. Other Wesleyan alumni working in performance art, including Liz Magic Laser ’03 (one of the artists featured in the Performance Now exhibit), Aki Sasamoto ’04, Arturo Vidich ’03, and Danielle Mysliwiec ’98, will be panelists at a free seminar moderated by Greta Hartenstein ’11 in the Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery during the University’s Homecoming/Family Weekend on Saturday, October 20, 2012 at 2pm.




Ms. 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, Ms. 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. 


Performance Now is produced by Independent Curators International (ICI), New York, and Performa, New York. The curator for the exhibition is RoseLee Goldberg, Artistic Director and founder of Performa. The exhibition and tour are made possible, in part, by grants from the Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation, and the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts; the ICI Board of Trustees; and donors to ICI's Access Fund.

At Wesleyan University, Performance Now is co-sponsored by the Center for the Arts, the Department of Art and Art History, and the Institute for Curatorial Practice in Performance. The Performance Now Film Series is co-sponsored by Wesleyan University's Center for Film Studies.

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