Wednesday, September 5, 2012

"Performance Now" At Wesleyan Center for the Arts

ICI and Performa present the exhibition “Performance Now” debuting at Wesleyan University’s Center for the Arts in the Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery, Middletown, Connecticut, opening on Friday, September 7, 2012.  Opening reception on Tuesday, September 11 at 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.

Marina Abramović, Jennifer Allora and Guillermo Calzadilla, Jerome Bel, Spartacus Chetwynd, Nikhil Chopra, Nathalie Djurberg, Omer Fast, Christian Jankowski, Jesper Just, William Kentridge, Ragnar Kjartansson, Liz Magic Laser, Kalup Linzy, Kelly Nipper, Clifford Owens, Laurie Simmons, Ryan Trecartin

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 (see below for film series details). 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.

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