PERFORMA07 Preview: Society of the Spectacle


October 27th marks the first day of the second iteration of PERFORMA07, the New York City performance art biennial that promotes the "important influence of artists' performance in the history of twentieth century art, and its ongoing significance in the early years of the 21st." Opening on the night of PERFORMA 07, and cementing its somewhat flashy profile, is a new work by Italian Francesco Vezzoli (of "Trailer for a Remake of Gore Vidal's 'Caligula'" fame), entitled "Cosi' e (se vi pare) or Right You Are (If You Think You Are)" at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. Starring Cate Blanchett and other celebrity heavyweights, it promises to gather audiences and attention not normally garnered by performance art. Not to be overshadowed by the ArtForum Diary fare, however, are a number of noteworthy offerings at various locales throughout the city. The exhaustive and impressive list of PERFORMA participants includes legendary artists like filmmaker Tony Conrad, Yvonne Rainer, and even Alan Kaprow (whose seminal work "18 Happenings in 6 Parts" is being reperformed) as well as up and comers Nathalie Djurberg, John Bock, and Aida Ruilova. PERFORMA TV and PEFORMA RADIO will keep abreast of all the Festival's activities, providing supplementary materials and wider access to those not in New York City. Part full-blown spectacle and part New York underground, PERFORMA07 seems a snapshot of the pluralistic nature of the New York art world and signals the consistent and growing relevance of performance within it. - Caitlin Jones