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Malik Gaines

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Malik Gaines is a writer and artist, a member of the performance group My Barbarian, and Assistant Professor of Performance Studies, NYU, Tisch School of the Arts.  

He is the author of Black Performance on the Outskirts of the Left: A History of the Impossible (NYU Press, 2017). His published articles include “The Quadruple-Consciousness of Nina Simone” in Women & Performance, “City After 50 Years’ Living: LA’s Differences in Relation” in Art Journal, and many short essays and interviews about art and performance for journals, magazines, museum publications, and artists’ monographs.

Fellowships and Honors

My Barbarian has received awards and grants from Creative Capital, Foundation for Contemporary Art, Art Matters, and the City of Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Division. 


Black Performance on the Outskirts of the Left: A History of the Impossible, NYU Press, August 2017

Current Projects

My Barbarian’s exhibition “The Audience is Always Right” is on view at the New Museum through January 8, 2017.

"This department is a really exciting place to work. The students and faculty are so inventive in their pursuit of rigorous thought and expressive possibilities, in their boldness, and with the de-territorialization they undertake of the disciplines that influence the field. If there is a future, Performance Studies is a part of it. " - Malik Gaines