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Not for Sale: It's History Now: Performance Art and the Museum

In this PERFORMA-sponsored panel, It's History Now: Performance Art and the Museum, RoseLee Goldberg offers a brief history of performance and PERFORMA and introduces the event's panelists: art historian Alexander Alberro, curator Chrissie Iles, artist Martha Rosler and conservator Glenn Wharton, as well as respondents Eungie Joo, Curator at the New Museum, and artist Adam Pendleton. The focus of the panel is on the contemporary state of performance art and its relation to the museum as both an institution and an archival space. Central to the presentations and discussions are the essence, history and ephemerality of performance, as well as notions of what the museum is, the import of Feminism on performance art and the role and value of reperformance. Also addressed: questioning what an undocumented performance becomes when--as with VALIE EXPORT's Aktionshose:Genitalpanik, which neither took place in a porn cinema nor featured the artist wielding a machine gun--the memory and near-mythical recreations of a piece misrepresent what the original performance actually was; authenticity and the correlation between Feminism and performance art. And then the perennial and unavoidable question: is performance an inherently radical and oppositional medium, one necessarily opposed to acquisition and institutionalization? And how, exactly, do you acquire a performance? Expect no clear and definite answers, to be sure.

It's History Now: Performance Art and the Museum, part of PERFORMA's ongoing Not For Sale panels, took place on March 24, 2010 at the Einstein Auditorium of New York University. The event was organized by PERFORMA and the NYU Steinhardt Department of Art and Art Professions.




Established in 2004 by curator and art historian RoseLee Goldberg, PERFORMA is a non-profit interdisciplinary arts organization committed to the research, development, and presentation of performance by visual artists from around the world. Throughout the year, PERFORMA presents lectures, panel discussions, and workshops on an ongoing basis that explore the relationship between performance and the visual arts. was the official radio partner of Performa09, Performa07 and Performa05. The third edition of the internationally acclaimed biennial was held in New York City in November 2009, showcased new work by more than 150 artists, and was presented in collaboration with a consortium of more than 80 arts institutions and 40 curators, as well as a network of public spaces and private venues across the city. is also home to recordings of Not for Sale, a dynamic series of symposia on visual arts performance presented by PERFORMA. These sessions are organized by RoseLee Goldberg, Founding Director, and Defne Ayas, Curator, PERFORMA.