Yesterday afternoon I stopped by the opening of the new exhibition in Zilkha, Performance Now. What a wonderful show! The entire gallery space seems transformed, and there is so much to look at, listen to, laugh with, and be absorbed by. The exhibition is a collaboration between Wesleyan, Independent Curators International, and Performa. Roselee Goldberg, who has long championed adventurous performance art, curated the exhibition, and was on hand yesterday to make some remarks. She’ll be back on November 17th to lecture. A group of alumni who are making performance based work (check out Liz Magic Laser ’03 in this show) will be speaking on campus October 20. Here’s a brief summary of the show from the website:
Performance Now is an exhibition that will debut at Wesleyan, and show how performance has come to be at the center of the discussion on the latest developments in contemporary art and culture. Bringing together some of the most significant artists working today, this exhibition surveys the most critical and experimental currents in performance over the last ten years from around the globe. Segments of the exhibition featuring video, film and photography, by artists including Marina Abramovic, William Kentridge, Clifford Owens and Laurie Simmons, will be showcased in Zilkha Gallery.
Throughout the semester there will be seminars, talks, and performances. And check out the very cool Film Series on Thursday in the Powell Cinema at the Center for Film Studies.
There is plenty of performance on campus every year, but there is a strange synergy brewing this term. The Center for the Humanities is focused on temporality this semester, and performance is certainly a time-based medium. I heard historian Lynn Hunt’s great talk on Monday night, and it got the series off to a strong start. And, of course, the Music and Public Life program continues all year with great performances and reflections on them.
As I meet with folks on campus, it seems that scores of students are auditioning for plays, dances and musical groups in these first weeks of the semester. Here’s to “call backs!”