Performa, the internationally acclaimed organisation dedicated to live interdisciplinary performance by visual artists and the Hartwig Art Foundation are pleased to announce a major institutional partnership at all levels, including the commissioning and creating of new works, the continued expansion of the Performa Archive and a fellowship programme providing hands-on training for those working in the contemporary cross-media and performance field.
Together the institutions will co-commission and produce new performances for the Performa 2023 (Julien Creuzet) and Performa 2025 Biennial in New York that will also be presented in Amsterdam. With two Hartwig Art Foundation Fellowships, the partnering institutionswill start a training programme for the next generation of curators and producers. One fellowship will foster curatorial and production acumen considering the wide range of technologies and media involved in contemporary productions: it will engage curators directly in the commissioning process from concept to final presentation of the work. A second fellowship will be focused on the archive and will include scholarship, preservation, and curation of the archive’s content, both online and for actual viewing rooms. Sakhi Gcina and Nour El Helou are the first recipients of the Hartwig Art Foundation Fellowships at Performa.
To further enhance this partnership the Hartwig Art Foundation will become one of the Founding Partners of the Performa Archive––a publicly accessible resource documenting hundreds of pathbreaking performances from the past two decades—and will draw upon the archive for an ongoing series of exhibitions and programming with the Foundation. Hartwig Art Foundation and Performa will join forces in developing Performa’s unique archive as an active tool, as a means for curriculum building and as a major resource, both visual and art historical, for 20th and 21st-century performance by visual artists from around the globe.
“At Hartwig Art Foundation we are enthusiastic to embark on this long-term partnership with Performa,” says Beatrix Ruf, Director of the Hartwig Art Foundation. “The history of pivotal artistic developments especially in the field of performance and conceptual art has resonated between New York and Amsterdam since the 1970s, with artists and institutions collaborating across countries. Performa in New York has created an environment for the historical significance and continued actuality of performance art, it has championed performance art in all its forms, commissioning innovative productions and working collaboratively throughout the city, akin to the ambitions of our future museum. We look forward to working together on manifold exchanges, new performance productions, training curatorial and production fellows for future art ecosystems, and extending the presence of Performa and their rich archive at our future museum in Amsterdam.”
“We are delighted to be working with the Hartwig Art Foundation at this early stage of the new museum’s development,” says RoseLee Goldberg, Founding Director and Chief Curator of Performa, “giving us the opportunity to help shape the museum’s plans for a flexible, multi-disciplinary and community based cultural entity. It will allow Performa to extend its unique collaborative approach to curating and producing contemporary performance.” Goldberg adds: “The joint fellowship programme will provide access to the workings of two major organizations, in two very different cities, providing the fellows with a significant cultural perspective across continents, diverse societies, traditions and belief systems.”
The Hartwig Art Foundation Fellowships will be designed to provide training for emerging curators, producers, and archivists. The fellows will spend up to two years working with the Performa team in New York, learning Performa’s process of commissioning, presenting, and preserving new performances by visual artists and using Performa’s online Radical Broadcast programme to communicate globally. The two upcoming fellowships, taking place from 2023 to 2025, will serve as a prototype for a permanent Performa/Hartwig Art Foundation training programme beginning in 2025 that will immerse trainees in the respective institutions’ everyday practices. The Hartwig Art Foundation Fellowships will provide curators with insights into commissioning, contextualizing and presenting performance with the flexibility and dynamism that the ever-shifting political and cultural environment demands.
Founded in 2004 by art historian and curator RoseLee Goldberg, Performa is the leading organization dedicated to exploring the critical role of live performance in the history of 20th-century art and to encouraging new directions in performance for the 21st century. Since launching New York’s first performance biennial, Performa 05, in 2005, the organization has solidified its identity as a commissioning and producing entity, and as a “museum without walls” providing important art historical heft to the field, showing the development of live art in all its forms and from many different cultural perspectives, reaching back to the Renaissance and beyond. The Performa Biennial is celebrated worldwide as the first biennial to give specialized attention to this remarkable history, transforming the city of New York into the “world capital of artists’ performance” every other November. Performa attracts a national and international audience of more than 200,000 and receives more than 5,000,000 hits on its website during its run of three weeks. In the last 18 years, Performa has presented 592 performances, worked with 732 artists, and has toured commissioned performances in 17 countries around the world. See: https://performa-arts.org
The Performa Archive features the work of over 700 emerging and established artists from across the United States and around the world. It is a unique enterprise that is both a repository of documentation of Performa’s 20-year history, as well as an adventurous new entryway to understanding the creative thinking behind the production of new live work for the 21st century. Comprising thousands of hours of original unedited, edited video and sound recordings, photographs, physical and digital ephemera, as well as artists’ drawings, writings, correspondence with curators, interviews, writing and research material, the archive is unusually complete in its full-on reveal of the commissioning and production process, tech riders and timelines included, that result in the renowned Performa commissions presented during each Performa Biennial since 2005. In early 2023 Performa will launch a new public website that offers free and easy access to its extensive holdings of live performance and contemporary art, with additional support from Outset and the National Endowment for the Humanities.