Exit Art is pleased to present Collective / Performative:, an exhibition and event series focusing on performance practices that require the participation of an audience. The exhibition will include new works by eight commissioned artists and organizations that will utilize Exit Art's space during gallery hours for a public project, as well as an "artist's history" of performance art told by seminal performance artists who have exhibited at Exit Art. A research exhibition that explores the history of collective practices, this exhibition also investigates the importance of the viewer/audience in achieving the work’s goals and the role that documentation and new technologies play in the formation of collective strategies.
This exhibition responds to the abundance of recent attention given to performance art, and specifically to the shifting terms used to define viewer engagement: "collaborative," "relational," "participatory," and "delegated" to name a few. From the Performa Biennial to Creative Time’s “Living as Form” to the increased offerings of academic degrees in performance art as well as degrees in curating performance, Collective/Performative: interrogates potential new performance structures and practices as investigated by artists and organizations.
Collective/Performative: is comprised of two parts: first, eight newly commissioned, live performance works that require viewer participation and second, an “artists’ history” of performance art, featuring interviews with pioneering artists. Exit Art has invited artists, alternative spaces, a blog on contemporary art and culture, and a curatorial collective to organize “performative” projects at Exit Art for the duration of one week each, providing many with the opportunity to work in a collective manner for the first time. Participants will utilize the space during gallery hours as an office, studio, hub, production center, exhibition, presentation, and/or rehearsal space, and are encouraged to end their weeklong residency with a culminating event or performance. The artists’ history of performance art consists of more than one dozen interviews with artists on their influences and work, and elaborates on the historical precedents, concepts, and themes that have shaped collective practices in contemporary performance.
In the spirit of Exit Art’s extensive history of showcasing “live” art, and presenting such historical performance exhibitions as "Tehching Hsieh, One-Year Performance 1981-1982" (1983), "Let the Artist Live!"(1994), "Endurance" (1995), "Body and the East" (2001) and "Regina José Galindo" (2009), we view Collective/Performative: in a spirit particular to Exit Art: one that embodies both curatorial experimentation and the offering of new creative opportunities.