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Bernar Venet and Michelle Handelman

Performance art goes from cool conceptual to bawdy bravura as Bernar Venet and Michelle Handelman discuss different approaches to what can happen between an artist and an audience.

In 2005, Bernar Venet received France's highest accolade; he was named Chevalier de la Legion D'Honneur. As puzzling as his pioneer conceptual performance work of the 60s and 70s, which relied heavily on scientific texts, mathematical vocabulary, and philosophy, Bernar Venet is still confounding audiences. Unlike Marina Abramovic, who will perform other artists' work as part of the Performa biennial, Venet is covering his own groundbreaking work Neutron emission from muon capture in Ca4. The new version, Astrophysics with High Energy Light, uses the formal lecture setting a context for visual art. His new book, a collection of 17 essays and interviews spanning 1975-2003 entitled Art: A Matter of Context, was published in August 2005.

Laughing Lounge, the German-cult-film/Indian-laughing-club-inspired giggle marathon at Jack the Pelican Gallery in Williamsburg may have you busting a gut. Last year, Michelle Handelman had her first one-woman show at Jack the Pelican Gallery with the passionate and repulsive This Delicate Monster, a multi-screen narrative/performance piece based on Charles Baudelaire's The Flowers of Evil. Her newest work, Laughing Lounge, is the official Performa selection of this noted video artist, performer and photographer; director of the Bravo Award-winning documentary Blood Sisters about SF's lesbian S&M community; and a professor at New School University's Media Studies department.


Rush Interactive


Artists in conversation and debate with host Michael Rush, Director of the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University. In addition to his career as a museum director, he is an award winning curator, and widely published author and critic. He was Director of the Rose Art Museum at Brandeis University from 2005-2009, and Director of the Palm Beach Institute of Contemporary Art from 2000-2004.