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Performa is a multidisciplinary non-profit arts organization dedicated to exploring the critical role of live performance in the history of twentieth century art and to encouraging new directions in performance for the twenty-first century. Part of Performa’s mission is to present a biennial of visual art performance in New York City that illuminates the critical role of performance in the history of art as well as its enormous significance in the international world of contemporary art. Performa is the brainchild of RoseLee Goldberg, whose definitive book, Performance Art: From Futurism to the Present (1979 & 2000), pioneered the study of performance art and has been translated into nine languages. Ms. Goldberg’s writing, as well as her activities as curator at The Kitchen in the late 1970s, has shaped the public’s view of live performance as a visual art form for almost thirty years. In 2001, Ms. Goldberg originated and produced visual artist Shirin Neshat’s first live performance work, Logic of the Birds, with critical and popular success in both New York and London. The idea to create a biennial, with a specially commissioned new performance as the centerpiece, evolved from this highly successful production.

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