Performa Announces Commissions and Premieres


Performa, New York’s performance art biennial, has announced additional plans for its fourth edition in November, Performa 11. Simon Fujiwara, Frances Stark, Ming Wong and the team Mika Rottenberg and Jon Kessler were announced as winners of “Performa Commissions,” a section of Performa that fosters new work.  American composer Robert Ashley and French choreographer Boris Charmatz will partake in “Performa Premieres,” which showcases existing work never before seen in New York.  Performa will run from Nov. 1–21, 2011, at over 80 venues around the city and include over 100 artists.

RoseLee Goldberg, Performa’s founding director, and a team of curators and producers assist the recipients in funding the works, realizing their construction and finding venues. Among the projects to be staged are Ashley’s opera, That Morning Thing (1967), which premiered in Ann Arbor, Michigan, in 1968, and a new work by Stark, who will collaborate with a dancer and DJ to create a semi-autobiographical narrative.

With this news, nine of the 10 commissions for 2011 have been announced. The others are: Shirin Neshat, Elmgreen & Dragset, Ragnar Kjartansson, iona rozeal brown and Guy Maddin. Commissions have been part of the Performa itinerary since 2005.  “The idea has always been to give them the opportunity to, as Goldberg says, bring these works to life,” press director Ashley Tickle told A.i.A. “Some projects run up to $200,000, so we are really giving the artists the opportunity to do something amazing.”

This is the second edition of the “Premieres” section. In 2009 Tacita Dean, William Kentridge and Joan Jonas were featured.

Ming Wong, Kontakthope, 2010. Video still. Courtesy the artist.