Everywhere and All At Once

“The Performa biennial is the most visible feature of a museum without walls,” writes RoseLee Goldberg in the introduction to her new book, EVERYWHERE AND ALL AT ONCE: AN ANTHOLOGY OF WRITINGS ON PERFORMA 07 (JRP|Ringier; January 2010; $45/Paperback). “For three weeks, every other year, it fans out across New York City, linking dozens of venues and their various constituents, a crowd of curators, and some hundred artists.”

EVERYWHERE AND ALL AT ONCE: AN ANTHOLOGY OF WRITINGS ON PERFORMA 07 provides an in-depth look at new performances by some of the world’s most exciting visual artists in a thoughtfully conceived compilation of writing, images, and interviews, all inspired by the Performa 07 biennial. Beautifully designed, clearly structured, and filled with information about the evolution of performance projects presented during the biennial, this invaluable document takes the reader from concept to production, with commentary by RoseLee Goldberg, founder of Performa, as well as by Performa curators and producers. The volume reflects the ever-changing nature of the Performa biennials which premiered in 2005, offering an exhilarating view into the changing role of performance in the twenty-first century as well as the biennial’s unique emphasis on the city of New York.

An authoritative introduction to the genre’s many forms, including theater, dance, live installation, film and video, music, historic reconstructions and virtual performance, EVERYWHERE AND ALL AT ONCE provides a vivid tour through the world of contemporary performance, featuring inventive documentation of works by some of the most significant artists of our time, including:

– Italian artist Francesco Vezzoli’s Right You Are (If You Think You Are), a re-staging of the Pirandello play in the Guggenheim rotunda featuring Cate Blanchett, Natalie Portman, Peter Sarsgaard, and others
– Cast No Shadow, a stunning stage collaboration between two British artists—filmmaker and visual artist Isaac Julien and choreographer Russell Maliphant
– A landmark re-staging of 18 Happenings in 6 Parts, the first “Happening” created by groundbreaking American artist Allan Kaprow
– Swedish artist Nathalie Djurberg’s Untitled (Working Title Kids & Dogs), a darkly funny Claymation film accompanied by live sound effects created onstage using a whimsical array of items
– Rooftop Routine, a performance by German conceptualist Christian Jankowski in which hula-hoopers performed a synchronized routine across the rooftops of Chinatown
– A witty de-construction of the notorious premiere of The Rite of Spring by legendary American postmodern choreographer Yvonne Rainer, titled RoS Indexical
– Jérôme Bel’s Pichet Klunchun and myself, a humorous and provocative conversation between French conceptual choreographer Bel and classical Thai dancer Klunchun

Vibrant photographs of each artist’s performance by renowned performance photographer Paula Court are accompanied by their scripts, sketches, and storyboards, providing unique insight into their creative processes. Lively interviews with many of the artists who made the Performa 07 biennial so extraordinary—including Dan Graham, Kelly Nipper, Carlos Amorales, and Xavier Le Roy—appear alongside context-setting essays by some of our most interesting contemporary curators, including Anthony Huberman, Jay Sanders, and Catherine Wood and transcripts of remarkable educational events, such as a tribute to Allan Kaprow featuring Paul McCarthy, Stephanie Rosenthal, and Irving Sandler, and a discussion on photography and performance with Marina Abramović, Vanessa Beecroft, and Babette Mangolte.

EVERYWHERE AND ALL AT ONCE: AN ANTHOLOGY OF WRITINGS ON PERFORMA 07 is an invaluable record of a landmark biennial that Holland Cotter, writing in The New York Times, called, “A celebration of transience, a paean to you-had-to-be-there, a deep and exhilarating bow to we-have-only-now.” With performance now in the midst of an extraordinary resurgence in popularity, propelled in large part by Performa, museums around the world are creating performance departments of their own, and performance is the focus of more interest and debate than ever. EVERYWHERE AND ALL AT ONCE is not only an invaluable reference for years to come, but also a definitive guide to the cultural life of New York City and the international art world alike, as encapsulated in the remarkable biennial that brings them together.

RoseLee Goldberg, the founder and director of Performa, is an art historian, critic, and curator whose book Performance Art from Futurism to the Present, first published in 1979, pioneered the study of performance art. Former director of the Royal College of Art Gallery in London and curator at The Kitchen in New York, she is also the author of Performance: Live Art Since 1960 (1998) and Laurie Anderson (2000), and a frequent contributor to Artforum and other publications. Goldberg has taught at New York University since 1987. She was recently named a Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters by the French government. She founded Performa in 2004.

Performa is a non-profit multidisciplinary arts organization established by RoseLee Goldberg in 2004, dedicated to exploring the critical role of live performance in the history of twentieth century art and to encouraging new directions in performance for the twenty-first century. Performa launched New York’s first performance biennial, Performa 05, in 2005, followed by Performa 07 in 2007 and Performa 09 in 2009.

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