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Performance Now

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Curated by

In her groundbreaking book Performance Art: From Futurism To The Present (1979), art historian and curator RoseLee Goldberg showed that performance is central to the history of 20th century art. In 2005 she launched Performa 05, the first biennial of visual art performance, and predicted that performance would become “the medium of the 21st century.” Indeed, its time has come.

Performance Now is a selection of works by artists from a vast repository of new performance from around the world since 2000, a period that has witnessed an exponential growth in the field.  Bringing together some of the most significant practitioners today, Performance Now surveys critical and experimental currents in performance internationally, featuring key Performa commissions, and works by Marina Abramović, Jérôme Bel, Marvin Gaye Chetwynd, William Kentridge, and Clifford Owens, among others. Together the works in the exhibition are an indication of the extent to which visual artists use performance as part of their creative process; how that process produces objects, installations, video, or photography; and how these mediums have been enlivened by the demands of recording performance in innovative ways. Exploring live performance, artists capture its ephemerality and transform it into new work that contains the power and content of the original.

With performance art departments being established in many major museums throughout the world, and performance recognized as one of the most significant artistic forms of the 20th century, this exhibition provides a window onto these important developments.  There has been much reflection on the complexities of displaying, collecting, preserving and explaining conceptual material that had so profoundly shaped artistic developments in the final decades of the 20th century, yet which, paradoxically, was ephemeral and almost invisible. At the same time, contemporary performance is activating the museum, drawing new and young audiences to these institutions.

Performance Now is a traveling exhibition co-organized by Independent Curators International (ICI), New York, and Performa, New York. The curator for the exhibition is RoseLee Goldberg, Founding Director and Curator of Performa. The exhibition and tour are made possible, in part, by grants from the Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation, and the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts; the ICI Board of Trustees; and donors to ICI’s Access Fund.


Performance Now Featured in Real Time Arts Magazine

Keith Gallasch recently reviewed the exhibition of Performance Now at QUT Art Museum in Brisbane, Australia for Real Time Arts Magazine.



Performance Now curator RoseLee Goldberg and artist Ragnar Kjartansson are both featured in the most recent issue of Parkett focusing on performance art.


RoseLee Goldberg Featured in New York Times T Magazine

Christian Jankowski, Rooftop Routine, 2008. Courtesy of the artist. In an article for the New York Times T Magazine, Katie Kitamura invited RoseLee Goldberg, founder of Performa and curator of Performance Now, to recall the most notable moments from Performa and to discuss the future of performance art. “In this multitasking, multimedia world, performance allows for […]


“Performance Arts, Present and Future” from Hyperallergic

Guy Ben-Ner, still from “Stealing Beauty” (2007) (image via postmastersart.com) KANSAS CITY, Missouri — There’s an amazing show about contemporary performance art, and it may be coming to an art venue near you. Having just left the H&R Block Artspace at the Kansas City Art Institute, curator RoseLee Goldberg’s exhibition Performance Now is like a […]


KCUR Radio on Performance Now

KCUR Radio arts reporter Laura Spencer produces a concise audio recording featuring the show Performance Now, currently on view in the Kansas City gallery through October 12, 2013, and includes interviews with exhibition curator RosaLee Goldberg and H&R Artspace director and curator Raechell Smith. Listen to the full audio and read Spencer’s text on the exhibit […]


Performance Now featured in the Kansas City Star and the Pitch

The Kansas City Star‘s Sunday paper recently featured a large, 2-page spread reflecting on the touring exhibition Performance Now. Covering many of the works in depth, the article focuses on works by Claire Fontaine, Marina Abramovic, Clifford Owens and more. “Co-organized by Independent Curators International, New York, and Performa, a biennial of performance art organized by […]




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touring schedule

QUT Art Museum
Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia
June 12, 2014 - January 3, 2015

Kraków Theatrical Reminiscences
Kraków, Poland
April 10, 2014 - January 1, 1970

Delaware Art Museum
Wilmington, DE, United States
December 7, 2014 - January 1, 1970

Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center
Moscow, Russia
January 1, 1970 - January 1, 1970

H&R Block Artspace, Kansas City Art Institute
Kansas City, MO, United States
January 1, 1970 - December 10, 2013

Booking Info

Number of artists: Approximately 28 Number of works: Approximately 35-40 Space required: 3,500-4,500 square feet, plus performance space if live performance is to be added Tour dates: September 2012 through January 2016 For additional information, as well as to check specific dates of availability, contact Alaina Claire Feldman at 212.254.8200 x 127, or alaina@curatorsintl.org