Performance Now

  • Performance Now, installation view, Jewish Museum & Tolerance Center, Moscow, 2013-14.

  • Performance Now, installation view, Krakow Theatrical Reminiscences, Krakow, Poland, 2014. Photo: Michal Ramus.

  • Performance Now, installation view, Jewish Museum & Tolerance Center, Moscow, 2013-14.

  • Laurie Simmons, The Music of Regret, 2005. Film still. Act 3. Commissioned by Salon 94 and co-produced by Performa.

  • Performance Now, installation view, Wesleyan University, Middletown, 2012.

  • Marina Abramović, Seven Easy Pieces, 2005. Courtesy of the artist and Sean Kelley Gallery.

  • Performance Now, installation view, Wesleyan University, Middletown, 2012.

  • Performance Now, installation view, Jewish Museum & Tolerance Center, Moscow, 2013-14.

  • Allora & Calzadilla, Stop, Repair, Prepare: Variations on Ode to Joy, No.1, 2008 Modified Bechstein piano Installation View: Gladstone Gallery, New York Photo: David Regen Copyright Allora & Calzadilla Courtesy Gladstone Gallery, New York and Brussels.

Curated by RoseLee Goldberg

In her groundbreaking book Performance Art: From Futurism To The Present (1979), art historian and curator RoseLee Goldberg showed that performance is central to the history of 20th century art. In 2005 she launched Performa 05, the first biennial of visual art performance, and predicted that performance would become “the medium of the 21st century.” Indeed, its time has come.

Performance Now is a selection of works by artists from a vast repository of new performance from around the world since 2000, a period that has witnessed an exponential growth in the field.  Bringing together some of the most significant practitioners today, Performance Now surveys critical and experimental currents in performance internationally, featuring key Performa commissions, and works by Marina Abramović, Jérôme Bel, Marvin Gaye Chetwynd, William Kentridge, and Clifford Owens, among others. Together the works in the exhibition are an indication of the extent to which visual artists use performance as part of their creative process; how that process produces objects, installations, video, or photography; and how these mediums have been enlivened by the demands of recording performance in innovative ways. Exploring live performance, artists capture its ephemerality and transform it into new work that contains the power and content of the original. 

With performance art departments being established in many major museums throughout the world, and performance recognized as one of the most significant artistic forms of the 20th century, this exhibition provides a window onto these important developments.  There has been much reflection on the complexities of displaying, collecting, preserving and explaining conceptual material that had so profoundly shaped artistic developments in the final decades of the 20th century, yet which, paradoxically, was ephemeral and almost invisible. At the same time, contemporary performance is activating the museum, drawing new and young audiences to these institutions.

Performance Now is a traveling exhibition co-organized by Independent Curators International (ICI), New York, and Performa, New York. The curator for the exhibition is RoseLee Goldberg, Founding Director and Curator of Performa. The exhibition and tour are made possible, in part, by grants from the Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation, and the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts; the ICI Board of Trustees; and donors to ICI’s Access Fund.


RoseLee Goldberg

RoseLee Goldberg’s seminal study, Performance Art: From Futurism to the Present (first published in 1979 and now in its third edition) is regarded as the leading text for understanding the development of the genre and has been translated into more languages (including Chinese, Croatian, French, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Spanish and Russian) than any other book of its kind. When director of the Royal College of Art (RCA) Gallery in London, Goldberg established a program that pioneered an integrative approach to curating exhibitions, performance, and symposia, directly involving the various departments of the RCA in all aspects of the exhibitions program. As curator at The Kitchen in New York she continued to advocate for multi-disciplinary practices to have equal prominence by establishing the exhibition space, a video viewing room, and a performance series. It was here that Goldberg curated the first solo exhibitions of Cindy Sherman, Sherri Levine, Robert Longo, Jack Goldstein and The Kipper Kids, among others. Most recently, her vision in the creation of Performa has set a precedent for performance art that is now impacting museum programming and diverse audiences across the U.S. and abroad. In 2010 she was awarded the ICI Agnes Gund Curatorial Award and in 2006 named a Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters. Since 1987, Goldberg has taught at New York University.


touring schedule

QUT Art Museum
Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia
December 6, 2014 - March 1, 2015

Kraków Theatrical Reminiscences
Kraków, Poland
October 4, 2014 - October 26, 2014

Delaware Art Museum
Wilmington, DE, United States
July 12, 2014 - September 21, 2014

Middlebury College Museum of Art
Middlebury, VT, United States
February 7, 2014 - April 20, 2014

Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center
Moscow, Russia
November 21, 2013 - January 19, 2014

H&R Block Artspace, Kansas City Art Institute
Kansas City, MO, United States
August 16, 2013 - October 12, 2013

Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery, Wesleyan University
Middletown, CT, United States
September 7, 2012 - December 9, 2012

Booking Info

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