7th Annual Curating Performance Symposium
Join us for our 7th Annual Curating Symposium on April 28, 2023!
Our department is well positioned to play a central role in education around curating performance. In keeping with our own emphasis on curatorial and archival instruction within our MA program, and drawing expertise from other NYU departments and curators in New York City art institutions, our department seeks to develop new approaches to teaching performance curation and promote trans-disciplinary exchanges to meet the rapidly changing practical, critical and theoretical challenges associated with this work. Performance Studies has been holding a yearly daylong symposium on curating performance to help define areas of focus, and develop future curricula and curatorial practices in this exciting new field.
Please note, a few of this year's panels will have all panelists tuning in remotely from around the world. We will be streaming those panels into the Michelson Theater for those who attend in person. All panels will be available to view at home via the zoom webinar.
This years event is cosponsored by the Department of Visual Arts, University of California San Diego and the Tisch Institute of Performing Arts.
10: 00AM — Welcome!
10:15AM - 11:30AM - Panel I. Curation and the decolonial imperative: care, cure, redress, activism - curated by Jay Pather, Professor, University of Cape Town**
11:45AM - 1:00PM - Panel II. Curating Sonic Performance - curated by Allen S. Weiss, Distinguished Teacher, Dept. of Performance and Cinema Studies**
1:00PM - 2:00PM LUNCH BREAK
2:15PM - 3:30PM - Panel III. Pacific Intentions: Performance at the Edge of California - curated and moderated by Malik Gaines, Associate Professor UC San Diego**
4:00PM - 5:15PM - Panel IV. Grouping for Group Works - curated and moderated by Ethan Philbrick, PS Alum and Adjunct Instructor.
5:15 PM - Group Works launch celebration featuring a performance in response to Simone Forti's dance construction Huddle by choreographer and writer Anh Vo (NYU PS MA '19).
** - Panelists will be remote.
10:15AM - 11:30AM - Panel I. Curation and the decolonial imperative: care, cure, redress, activism - curated by Jay Pather, Professor, University of Cape Town
Panelists: nora chipaumire, Khanyisile Mbongwa, Nomusa Makhubu, and Jay Pather
Thinking through performance curation in contexts of crisis in the past decade, has evoked several bristling and vital socially responsive positions. The panel will start here and aims to then look a little further into ideas around active participation, reparation, and activism. At the centre of the nexus between decoloniality and performance production is an interrogation and wrestling out of the confines of modernity and representation that have produced forms of art saturated with a Eurocentric visual aesthetic. So, we ask is it enough to simply assemble work that re-presents crisis with the prerequisite demographic box ticking while replicating old forms of viewing and participating.
Providing other provocations, artists working in societies in continued precarity are themselves searching for other ways of working with publics and communities. The sangoma (diviner/healer) and the activist have emerged as marked replacement for the artist in these societies. The panel considers the simple question - how do we care in these vivid, shifting scenarios? How do we navigate the paradox in cure? How do we in our attempts at care and assembly, aid in restoration and how may we consider reparation as acts of necessary curation?
11:45AM - 1:00PM - Panel II. Curating Sonic Performance - curated by Allen S. Weiss, Distinguished Teacher, Dept. of Performance and Cinema Studies.
Panelists: Lou Mallozzi, Christof Migone, Tracie Morris, Fred Moten
Early modernism (Italian and Russian Futurism, Dadaism, Jazz, avant-garde theater, etc.) saw a radical change to the arts of sound, such that the boundaries of traditional music and poetry were shattered. In the same epoch, the developing technologies of audio recording, amplification and broadcast offered new models for future (and futuristic) art forms and performance. Audio paradigms were transformed, genres blurred, and previously unimaginable sounds emerged. In part under the impetus of such publications as Radiotext(e) and Wireless Imagination, these sundry forms of sound art, performance art, and time-based media found a new space in academia and museums beginning in the 1990s, and they have flourished ever since. Our panelists – who are simultaneously performers, scholars, and curators – will discuss both the genealogy and the actuality of sonic art and aesthetics.
2:15PM - 3:30PM - Panel III. Pacific Intentions: Performance at the Edge of California - curated and moderated by Malik Gaines, Associate Professor UC San Diego.
Panelists: Jill Dawsey, senior curator, Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, Ricardo Dominguez, artist, chair & associate professor, Visual Arts, UCSD, Daril Fortis, independent curator, Tijuana, and Matana Roberts, musician, assistant professor, Music, UCSD
Artists and curators discuss their performance experience and approaches to its planning and care, while considering the Californias as a performance context.
4:00PM - 5:15PM - Panel IV. Grouping for Group Works - curated and moderated by Ethan Philbrick, PS Alum and Adjunct.
Panelists: Hannah Baer, Tavia Nyong'o (Yale University), Summer Kim Lee (UCLA), and Thomas (T.) Jean Lax (NYU, MoMA).
This roundtable assembles a group of scholars, curators, and writers to respond to cellist and writer Ethan Philbrick's new book, Group Works: Art, Politics, and Collective Ambivalence (Fordham University Press, April 2023).
Group Works is an exciting new reflection on the role of artistic collaboration, collectivism, and the politics of group formation in the neoliberal era. Written against both phobic and romantic accounts of collectivity, Group Works contends that the group emerges as a medium for artists when established forms of collective life break down. Philbrick engages with this subject by pairing group pieces in dance, literature, film, and music from the 1960s and 1970s downtown Manhattan scene with a series of recent group experiments: Simone Forti’s dance construction, Huddle (1961), is put into relation with contemporary re-performances of Forti’s score and huddling as a feminist political tactic; Samuel Delany’s memoir of communal living, Heavenly Breakfast: An Essay on the Winter of Love (1969/78), speaks to performance artist Morgan Bassichis’s 2017 communal musical adaptation of Larry Mitchell’s 1977 text, The Faggots and Their Friends Between Revolutions; Lizzie Borden’s experimental documentary of feminist collectivity, Regrouping (1976), sits alongside visual artist Sharon Hayes’s 2014 piece on Manhattan’s Pier 54, Women of the World Unite! they said; and Julius Eastman’s insurgent piece of chamber music for four pianos, Gay Guerrilla (1979), resonates alongside contemporary projects that take up Eastman’s legacy by artists such as Tiona Nekkia McClodden.
For this conversation, Hannah Baer, Tavia Nyong'o (Yale University), Summer Kim Lee (UCLA), and Thomas (T.) Jean Lax (NYU, MoMA) will offer responses to the book before joining Philbrick in a conversation about the book's themes. The roundtable will be followed by a reception celebrating the release of the book with a performance in response to Group Works and Simone Forti's dance construction Huddle by Anh Vo (NYU PS MA 19).