Curating Performance: Taking Up Space

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Guadalupe Maravilla, Walk on Water, 2019

Before the pandemic, we planned to gather in person to discuss the ways performances may activate, contest, and re-frame specific spaces. In this, we hoped to identify performance’s potential to raise questions about how publics are constituted, the limits of infrastructure, uses of land and its resources, and how works of art contribute to territorializing projects. These questions of space have only grown more complex since then; in the past year we’ve seen our performances move online and outdoors, we’ve seen stakes raised around interiors, enclosure, and property; and we’ve begun to imagine what it will mean to return to institutional performance venues after a long absence. With these developments in mind, we continue to ask, and even more urgently, what does it mean to take up space with performance? 

Organized by Malik Gaines and Alhena Katsof with the Department of Performance Studies at NYU Tisch in collaboration with Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College; Institute for Curatorial Practice in Performance, Wesleyan University; and with support from the Tisch Initiative for Creative Research. 

10:00am - Introduction

• André Lepecki, Professor and Chair, NYU Performance Studies

10:15am - Keynote: Marking Time: Art in the Age of Mass Incarceration

• Nicole Fleetwood, Professor of American Studies and Art History, Rutgers University 

11:15am - NYU Performance Studies panel: “Desire Lines”

• Lili Chopra, Executive Director Artistic Programs, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council 

• Hendrik Folkerts, Dittmer Curator of Contemporary Art, Art Institute of Chicago

• Amber Jamilla Musser, Professor of American Studies, GW University 

• Diya Vij, Associate Curator, Creative Time 

12:45pm - lunch break

1:30pm - CCS Bard panel: “Spatial Choreographies of Protest”

• Nana Adusei-Poku, Senior Academic Advisor & Luma Foundation Fellow, CCS Bard

• ruby amanze, artist

• Nona Faustine, artist

• Dave McKenzie, artist

• Gee Wesley, arts organizer

3pm - Wesleyan ICPP panel: “On the Ground”

• Thomas J. Lax, Curator of Media and Performance, Museum of Modern Art

• Joshua Lubin Levy, Lecturer in Visual Studies, The New School

• Candace Thompson-Zachary, dancer and choreographer

 Noémie Solomon, Acting Director, Wesleyan ICPP

4:30pm - Performance Studies summation

troizel., Ph.D. candidate

• Marquita Flowers, M.A. student

• Cora Laszlo, M.A. student

• Noah Witke Mele, B.A. student