Performance Symposium at MoMA: How Are We Performing Today?

Here’s livestream of MoMA’s panel. Check it out and let us know your responses!

Watch live streaming video from museummodernart at
How Are We Performing Today? examines the shifting conditions and rising popularity of performance-related art, and its evolving—and frequently ambivalent—relationship to the museum. Drawing on the double meaning of “performance” as both a live element in the arts and a benchmark for economic productivity, the conference seeks to understand the character and consequences of new performance formats and strategies used by artists, curators, and institutions. Moreover, it explores how performance is tied to the experience economy—in which memory itself is a product—and how it is framed institutionally. The program of prominent scholars, artists, and curators addresses questions including: Where and under what conditions does performance art emerge today? How can artists and institutions address performance’s migration from the margin to the center of contemporary art discourse? What kinds of transformations or conditions might be necessary to create a meaningful or critically engaged performance art program within the museum?

Through this conference, MoMA’s Department of Media and Performance Art seeks to deepen its engagement with the theory and practice of performance-related art and with the public discourse about it—reflecting on the medium’s changing parameters, modes of production, and presentation.

by Sabine Breitwieser, Chief Curator, Department of Media and Performance Art, MoMA

Judith Butler, Professor of Rhetoric and Comparative Literature and Co-director of the Program of Critical Theory, University of California, Berkeley
Shannon Jackson,
 Professor in the Arts and Humanities, University of California, Berkeley
Discussion moderated by Sabine Breitwieser

Rachel Haidu, Associate Professor in the Department of Art and Art History and the Graduate Program in Visual and Cultural Studies, University of Rochester
Andrea Fraser, artist and Professor for New Genres, University of California, Los Angeles
Discussion moderated by Johanna Burton, Director, graduate program at the Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College

by Sabine Breitwieser, Chief Curator, Department of Media and Performance Art, MoMA

Pierre Bal-Blanc, Director, CAC Brétigny, Paris, France
Boris Charmatz, Director, Rennes and Brittany National Choreographic Centre (Musée de la Danse)
Tim Griffin, Executive Director and Chief Curator, The Kitchen, New York
Stephanie Rosenthal, Chief Curator, Hayward Gallery, London
Discussion moderated by Ana Janevski, Associate Curator of Performance, Department of Media and Performance Art, MoMA

Jutta Koether, artist, writer, and Professor, Hochschule für bildende Künste (HfbK), Hamburg
Jay Sanders, Curator of Performance, The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York
Simon Leung, artist and Professor of Art, University of California, Irvine
Emily Roysdon, artist and writer
Discussion moderated by Claire Bishop, Associate Professor in Art History, CUNY Graduate Center, New York

Jonathan Lill,
 Project Archivist, MoMA; Michelle Elligott,Archivist, MoMA; and David Senior, Bibliographer, MoMA

Download the full symposium agenda in PDF format (Adobe Acrobat Reader required).

How are we performing today? is made possible by MoMA’s Wallis Annenberg Fund for Innovation in Contemporary Art through the Annenberg Foundation.

 In conjunction with the exhibition Performance Program

Andy Horwitz

Andy Horwitz is the founder of and works as a critic, curator, cultural producer and consultant through his company Applied Creativity, LLC. He is a 2014 recipient of the prestigious Creative Capital | Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant for his new research project, Ephemeral Objects: Art Criticism for the Post-Material World

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