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Collective / Performative

Exit Art
475 Tenth Avenue, corner 36th Street, 212-966-7745
Hell's Kitchen
March 24 - May 19, 2012
Reception: Friday, March 23, 7 - 9 PM
Web Site

Exit Art is pleased to present Collective / Performative, an exhibition and event series focusing on performance practices that require the participation of an audience. The exhibition will include new works by commissioned artists and organizations that will utilize Exit Art’s space during gallery hours for a public project, as well as an “artists’ history” of performance told by seminal performance artists who have exhibited at Exit Art. A research exhibition that explores the history of collective practices, the exhibition also investigates the importance of the viewer/audience in achieving the work’s goals and the role that documentation and new technologies play in the formation of collective strategies.

This exhibition responds to the abundance of recent attention given to performance art and specifically to the shifting terms used to define viewer engagement: “collaborative,” “relational,” “participatory,” and “delegated” to name a few. From the Performa Biennial to Creative Time’s “Living as Form” to the increased offerings of academic degrees in performance art and curatorial practice, Collective / Performative interrogates potential new performance structures and forms as investigated by artists and organizations.

Collective / Performative is comprised of two parts: eight newly commissioned, performance works that require viewer participation and an “artists’ history” of performance art. Exit Art has invited artists, alternative spaces, a blog on contemporary art and culture, and a curatorial collective to organize “performative” projects at Exit Art for the duration of one week each, providing many with the opportunity to work in a collective manner for the first time. Participants will utilize the space during gallery hours as an office, studio, hub, production center, exhibition, presentation, and/or rehearsal space, and are encouraged to end their weeklong residency with a culminating event or performance. The artists’ history of performance art consists of more than one dozen interviews with artists on their influences and work, and elaborates on the historical precedents, concepts, and themes that have shaped collective practices in contemporary performa nce.

In the spirit of Exit Art’s extensive history of showcasing “live” art, and presenting such historical performance exhibitions as “Tehching Hsieh, One-Year Performance 1981-1982” (1983), “Let the Artist Live!” (1994), “Endurance” (1995), “Body and the East” (2001) and “Regina José Galindo” (2009), we view Collective / Performative in a spirit particular to Exit Art: one that embodies both curatorial experimentation and the offering of new creative opportunities. This exhibition will run concurrently with Every Exit is an Entrance: 30 Years of Exit Art, which together comprise the final exhibitions at Exit Art before its closure on June 1, 2012.

Collective / Performative was conceived by Jeanette Ingberman and Papo Colo and is curated by Rachel Gugelberger, Senior Curator, and Lauren Rosati, Assistant Curator, with Verity Combe, Curatorial Assistant.

Participating Artists and Organizations: Kabir Carter, Pablo Helguera, Anna Lundh, Jeanine Oleson, The Canal Series, Andy Horowitz / Culturebot, Grace Exhibition Space, Not an Alternative

Artists’ History of Performance featuring interviews with: (As of February 9, 2012) Vito Acconci, Rob Andrews, Bruce High Quality Foundation, Boryana Dragoeva, Coco Fusco, Regina José Galindo, Kate Gilmore, Orlan, Rafael Sanchez, Carolee Schneemann, Mierle Laderman Ukeles, Cecilia Vicuña, Martha Wilson, and others

EVENT SCHEDULE (as of February 9, 2012; More TBA)

Week One / March 23 – 31 Anna Lundh: Q&Q (2022) Lundh will undertake a research project with participants to produce questions about the future. Audiences are invited to formulate questions. Anything can be asked. The questions will be collected and simultaneously displayed for viewing and to inspire and generate new questions.

Saturday March 24: Session 1 1 – 3 PM and 4 – 6 PM: ASK

Wednesday, March 28: Session 2 6 – 8 PM: PUZZLE Saturday, March 31: Session 3 4 – 6 PM: SUM

Week Two / April 3 – 7 Grace Exhibition Space: Collective Synergy & Performance Actions Grace Exhibition Space explores new ideas in performance art through archival documentation, discussions, workshops, and live performances.

Tuesday, April 3: Collective Artwork 11 AM – 4 PM: Video screening and reading room 2 – 4 PM: Non Grata Group: Lecture and discussion 4 – 6 PM: Grace Space Workshop with Jodie Lyn-Kee-Chow

Wednesday, April 4: Interactive Artwork 11 AM – 4 PM: Video screening and reading room 2 – 4 PM: Non Grata Group: Lecture and discussion 4 – 6 PM: Grace Space Workshop with Rafael Sanchez

Thursday, April 5: Sound & Performance 11 AM – 4 PM: Video screening and reading room 2 – 4PM: Non Grata Group: Lecture and discussion 4 – 6 PM: Grace Space Workshop with Hector Canonge

Friday, April 6: Interactive Artwork 11 AM – 4 PM: Video screening and reading room 2 – 4 PM: Non Grata Group: Lecture and discussion 4 – 6 PM: Grace Space Workshop with Rob Andrews and Peter Dobill

Saturday, April 7: Interactive Artwork 11 AM – 4PM: Video screening and reading room 2 – 4 PM: Non Grata Group: Lecture and discussion 4 – 6 PM: Grace Space Workshop with Anya Liftig and Elinor Thompson 7 – 9 PM: Final performances

Week Three / April 10 – 14 Jeanine Oleson: (M)end Time Oleson presents a series of talks/meetings/workshops that will engage in and analyze the mania surrounding post-apocalyptic anxieties in the collective psyche, but will also function as a series of consultations towards the making of a performance.

Tuesday, April 10 – Thursday, April 12 3 – 6 PM: Meetings

Saturday, April 14 Performance TBA Andy Horwitz / CULTUREBOT: Ephemeral Evidence CULTUREBOT will initiate a series of collaborative explorations between writers and performing artists to investigate the relationship between practice and skill in performance-making, object-making, and context. Each day, collaborators will host an independent research session resulting in a unique final “performance” each evening.

Week Four / April 17 – 21

Tuesday, April 17 – Friday, April 20 10 AM – 5 PM: Public research 5 – 6 PM: Final showing

Saturday, April 21 4 – 6 PM: Collective exhibition and event

Week Five / April 24 – 28 The Canal Series presents Debatable(programs TBA) Organized by Summer Guthery and Robin Wallis Atkinson, Debatable is a week of preparatory workshops between artists, curators, and other cultural practitioners to construct a critical platform for a series of public discourses.

Week Six / May 1– 5 Kabir Carter (Performances TBA) Carter will construct a series of floor-based sound works that will produce both airborne and structure-borne sound perceptible through one’s own body.

Week Seven / May 8 – 12 Not An Alternative: Occupied Real Estate Occupied Real Estate is a project by Not An Alternative in collaboration with members of Organizing For Occupation (O4O) and the Occupy Wall Street movement. Setting up a temporary Occupied Real Estate office at Exit Art, the site will function as an outreach location for the community and will offer the general public the chance to get involved in eviction defense and foreclosure organizing.

Saturday, May 12 4 – 6 PM: Open House: Project presentation

Week Eight / May 15 – 19 Pablo Helguera: Academia de los Nocturnos Helguera will host a series of gatherings, culminating in a 3am performance, inspired by the 16th-century Spanish Academia de los Nocturnos (Academy of the Night Revelers) who created the first “tertulia,” an intellectual soiree, that functioned as a secret literary society.

Tuesday, May 15; Wednesday, May 16 and Friday, May 18 6 – 8 PM: Workshop

Saturday, May 19 3 – 5 AM: Final Performance


Trickster Farewell Saturday, May 19, 2012 / 6-10 PM Live performances by the Trickster Theater organized by Papo Colo. The event will be followed Colo’s final performance at Exit Art, “Sweeping Memories,” a ritual cleansing of Exit Art’s space that acts as a metaphor for Exit Art’s closing and Colo’s retirement as Artistic Director.

Also on view through May 19, EVERY EXIT IS AN ENTRANCE: 30 Years of Exit Art.


Exit Art is an independent vision of contemporary culture that is prepared to react immediately to important issues that affect our lives. We present experimental, historical and unique programming of aesthetic, social, political and environmental issues. Founded in 1982 by Directors Jeanette Ingberman and Papo Colo, Exit Art has grown from a pioneering alternative art space into an innovative cultural center that is committed to supporting artists whose work reflects on the socio-political transformations of our time. Exit Art is internationally recognized for its unmatched spirit of inventiveness, curatorial innovation and depth of programming in diverse media. Exit Art is always changing.


Collective / Performative is made possible by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

General exhibition support is provided by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts; Bloomberg LP; Foundation for Contemporary Arts; The Greenwall Foundation; Jerome Foundation; Lambent Foundation; Lily Auchincloss Foundation; New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn; and public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts.
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