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Renegades, 25 Years of Performance at Exit Art

Exit Art
475 Tenth Avenue, corner 36th Street, 212-966-7745
Hell's Kitchen
December 16, 2006 - February 3, 2007
Reception: Saturday, December 16, 7 - 10 PM
Web Site

Renegades is a history of performance that was produced or presented at Exit Art over its 25-year history. Through documentation from the archives including video, photographs, slides, ephemera and other archival materials, this exhibition examines Exit Art’s seminal place in the history of performance.

In 2007-2008 Exit Art will celebrate its 25th Anniversary. This silver anniversary will be commemorated during the year through new programming initiatives and other special events to include an exciting series of exhibitions that explore Exit Art’s rich and diverse history. The first exhibition, Renegades, highlights our history of fostering and presenting performance art in New York City. Drawn directly from our archive, this exhibition offers the opportunity to revisit a number of historically important performances as well as exhibitions that explored the contemporary history of performance art.

Live performances by Trickster Theater Saturdays, January 20 and 27, 2007 8-10PM Featuring Rob Andrews, Mayumi Ishino, Saeri Kiritani, Jodie Lyn-Kee-Chow, Wanda Ortiz, Jolie Pichardo, Pasha Radetzki, Boryana Rossa, Rafael Sanchez, Mark Stafford, Traci Tullius

Brief History of Exit Art’s Performance Projects

Illegal America February 10, 1982- March 6, 1982 This historical show examined artists, who in the process of making their work, came into conflict with the law, challenging issues of legality and censorship. The show included photo-documentation of the work with an artist statement and extensive written documentation of each incident, many of which continued as legal cases.

Artists included Vito Acconci, Chris Burden, Gordon Matta Clark, Papo Colo, Guerilla Art Action Group (GAAG), John Giorno, Tehching Hsieh, Charlotte Moorman, Dennis Oppenheim

Tehching Hsieh February 16, 1983 – March 12, 1983 Documentary presentation of Hsieh’s one-year performance of living out of doors.

Oracle April 28, 1985 Twenty-two artists were invited to do a performance in response to the notion of the ancient Greek Oracle. Each artist had fifteen minutes.

Artists included Charlie Morrow, John Giorno, Alison Knowles, Bonnie Sherk, Martha Wilson, Papo Colo, Yasunao Tone, Aline Mare & Bradley Eros, Charlotte Moorman

Mastfor II: Good Treatment for Horses June 11, 1987- June 28, 1987 Recreation of Nikolai Foregger’s celebrated Constructivist cabaret/theater, Mastfor from 1920s Moscow. Presentation of Good Treatment For Horses was the first full recreation and adaptation of Vladimir Mass’ 1922 play, originally dramatized by Foregger with costumes designed by Sergei Eisenstein and sets designed by Sergei Yutkevich. Twelve performances were given by Mastfor II, a theater group that recreates avant-garde productions of the twenties, directed by Mel Gordon.

Samuel Beckett January 27, 1990- February 18, 1990 Exit Art restaged several of Beckett’s plays in conjunction with an exhibition that focused on his work for media including film, television, and radio.

Tantrum June 1, 1990 The event created a context for the eclectic group of visual artists, musicians, dancers and performance artists by exploring how their work redefines the boundaries of their mediums.

Artists included Jimmie Durham, Suzan-Lori Parks, Elizabeth Streb/Ringside, David Linton, Reno

Speaking Tongues January 17, 1992- January 18, 1992 Speaking Tongues were performance evenings that explored the varied uses of the English language by writers and performance artists of diverse backgrounds who are writing and publishing in English.

Let The Artist Live! September 17 – October 22, 1994 Let the Artist Live! Was an exhibition in which fifteen American and international artists were invited to live and work at Exit Art. Each artist was given a space in the gallery to create their own living and working environment. The environments changed over the course of the five-week exhibition and included performances and public programs that were organized by the participating artists.

Artists included Skip Arnold, Rachel Feinstein, Regina Frank, Paula Hayes, Kate Howard, Yasira Nun, Javier Tellez, Michael Yue Tong, Ike Ude, Liz Young

Endurance March 4-April 15, 1995 Endurance was an historical exhibition examining and documenting the work of twentieth century visual and performance artists whose individual and collective works tested the physical, mental, and spiritual endurance of the body. The exhibition included the work of approximately thirty artists and focused on selected photographic documentation from key works that exemplified acts of endurance done in real time.

Artists included Marina Abramovic, Bas Jan Ader, Vito Acconci, Eleanor Antin, Skip Arnold, Judith Barry, Joseph Beuys, Chris Burden, Papo Colo, Arthur Cravan, Valie Export, Bob Flanagan and Sheree Rose, Sherman Fleming, Terry Fox, Gilbert and George, Geoffrey Hendricks, Tehching Hsieh, Kim Jones, Yves Klein, Barry Le Va, Tom Marioni, Paul McCarthy, Linda Montano, Charlotte Moorman, Bruce Nauman, Yoko Ono, Dennis Oppenheim, Orlan, Gina Pane, Pearl, Rachel Rosenthal, Jill Scott, Carolee Schneemann, Barbara Smith, Bonnie Sherk, Stelarc, Mierle Laderman Ukeles, T.R. Uthco (Doug Hall and Jody Proctor).

Imaginary Beings 1995 Taking inspiration from Jorge Luis Borges’ “The Book of Imaginary Beings”, a poetic investigation into the creatures, monsters and figures embodied in ancient and modern lore, these performance events were a combination of poetry, prose and acting, a collaborative exploration of life and love, body and spirit that coalesced in a fantastic voyage upon a stage set representing a one bedroom apartment.

Sweat June 15-July 13, 1996 Sweat was a group exhibition that addressed ideas of beach fantasies, escape, heat, and the rituals inspired by warm summer months. Sun worship, water, inertia, leisure time, and tourism were some of the themes that informed the art pieces and installation. Comprised of art objects, performance, and found ritual objects of the season – assembled and manipulated in-group efforts, the exhibition celebrated the season as a chaotic vision of Utopia of organized contradictions.

Artists included David Henry Brown Jr., Sue de Beer, Matthew Flower, Kate Howard, Kim Jones, Dominic McGill, Heather Stephens, Michael Tong, Javier Tellez

The Shape of Sound September 21-November 23, 1996 The Shape of Sound was a dynamic exhibition/performance event that studied the blurring of distinctions between mediums that has been made possible by new technologies and new sensibilities. The exhibition consisted of music and sound performances, both live and recorded, as well as installations. One of the main features was the interaction between the performances and the installations, between musicians and visual artists.

Terra Bomba December 7, 1996-March 8, 1997 Terra Bomba investigated the theatricality of installation art and the reality of performance art as installation. Performance artists used the gallery as a stage and created areas of acting that constituted a dynamic exhibition of installations with the purpose of performance. The public was encouraged to interact with the performers and their stage settings.

Artists included David Henry Brown, Sue de Beer, Antonina Canal, Patty Chang, Deborah Edmeades, Matthew Flower, Charley Friedman, Gavin Grace, Marisa Gallo, Eric Guzman, Kate Howard, Dominic McGill, Yasira Nun, Adam Putnam

La Tradicion March 22 – April 26, 1997 La Tradicíon was an exhibition that explored the theatricality of painting and the poetry of constructing a metaphysical object. Ten painters transferred their studios to Exit Art for five weeks. Each artist, while engaged with his/her own work, simultaneously contributed to a larger, collective creation – a living, working, interactive installation exploring the artists’ behavior and creative processes.

Collective Actions July 18-September 30, 1997 Collective Actions featured over fifty poster sized black and white photographs, wall texts, and a video program documenting works by the influential Russian performance group, Collective Actions. Since 1976 and under the leadership of theoretician Andrei Monastyrsky, Collective Actions has been an important influence in the development of contemporary conceptual and performance art in the Soviet Union. All of Collective Actions’ performances took place outdoors, primarily in the country, and endure in the form of black and white photographs, video, and commentaries written by the viewers documenting their impressions of the performances. Linking performance with ritual, the Collective Actions performances were spiritual acts aimed to create an atmosphere of unanimity among the participants and to serve as a vehicle for directing consciousness outside the boundaries of intellect. The photo images in the exhibition documented representative scenes of various performances from 1976 to 1990, recreating the atmosphere, spirit, and significance of the performative actions of the Collective Actions group.

Body and the East January 20 – March 17, 2001 Body and the East, was an important survey of the history of body art actions performed in the former Eastern Bloc and Soviet Union from the 1960s to the present. Because much of this work operated outside the boundaries of state-sanctioned art, the exhibition brought attention to a body of work experienced by only a small minority in the East, and known to few in the West. The exhibition examined more than 200 body actions and performance works through extensive video footage and still photographs taken during live actions. Drawings, writings, photographs, and other archival materials also contributed to an understanding of how a significant group of artists based in the former Eastern bloc countries used their bodies as a starting point for art. The exhibition was organized into fourteen sections, each representing a country in Eastern Europe.

Show People May 11 – August 17, 2002 This exhibition explored the practice of six extraordinary stage directors whose work proved central to the evolution of a “downtown” aesthetic and artists’ community since the 1960s. Each of these influential directors has a body of work equally informed by experimental practices in the visual, literary and performing arts. Show People traced the careers of these esteemed directors through unique installations, designed by the artists/directors, providing an insight into the ideas and principles behind their work.

Artists included Reza Abdoh, Anne Bogart, Richard Foreman, Meredith Monk, Peter Schumann and Robert Wilson.

Exit Biennial: The Reconstruction March 8 – May 4, 2003 The first exhibition in Exit Art’s Hell’s Kitchen space, this show featured 34 site-specific installations by 45 artists. The exhibition was curated through a conceptplus open call for proposals in which artists were asked to submit a project that was a metaphor for Exit Art’s renovation/reconstruction and its relationship to the new space and neighborhood. The exhibition opened with the artists surrounded by their building materials, and over the course of the show artists worked on their installations, the whole process viewable to Exit Art’s public. In addition to installation works, there were a number of process-oriented performance art pieces that occurred at various times throughout the show.

Artists included Rob Andrews, Orly Genger, J. Gabriel Lloyd & John McGurk, Wanda Ortiz, Matt Bua, Jesse Bercowetz & Ward Shelley, Allessandra Torres

prayingproject April 15 – 17, 2005 This weekend-long performance event took place in the ground floor windows of Exit Art. Exploring the impact of faith on contemporary society, prayingproject addressed such issues as the influence of the religious right on politics, the widespread interest in Zen practices, worldwide religious intolerance, use of religion to connect to personal heritage, the quest to achieve enlightenment and many others. Twenty-one artists performed on eight stages in the windows simultaneously, and lasting from 30 minutes to 6 hours.

Artists included Rob Andrews, Sarah Chokyi Bauer, Paul Benney, Maria Bussmann, caraballo-farman , Karen Dolmanisth, Cécile Evans, Berioska Ipinza, Mayumi Ishino, Jae Rhim Lee, Annie Murdock, nicoykatiushka, Laura Nova, Yasira Nun, , Pasha Radetzki, Chemi Rosado-Seijo, Akiko Sasamoto, Mark Stafford, Riva Weinstein, Beatrice L. Wolert

Water Project June 3, 10, 2006 In conjunction with The Drop, a visual art exhibition that explored the global crisis of water, Water Project was a series of performances addressing similar issues. Embedded within the art installation, the individual yet simultaneous performances created one collective presentation.

Artists included Rob Andrews, Mayumi Ishino, Saeri Kiritani (with Karen Sorensen, Mark Ransom, Jennifer Scott Mobley, and Michael Divorkin), Jodie Lyn-Kee-Chow, Nicoykatiushka, Jolie Pichardo, Pasha Radetzki, Rafael Sanchez, Akiko Sasamoto, Mark Stafford

Wild Nights July 15, 29, August 5, 2006 Wild Nights explored contemporary feminism and gender identity through performances that complemented and were integrated into the visual art exhibition, Wild Girls. The performances by ten artists functioned collectively as one theatrical presentation although each artist addressed a specific topic in her/his own unique piece.

Artists included Ogechi Chieke, Mayumi Ishino, Saeri Kiritani, Jodie Lyn-Kee-Chow, Oleg Mavromatti, Wanda Ortiz, Jolie Pichardo, Boryana Rossa, Akiko Sasamoto and Traci Tullius
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