For months, the city has been eagerly anticipating PERFORMA, the performance art biennial that is literally “happening” all over New York for the month of November. PERFORMA was founded in 2004, with the mission to support the presentation of performance by visual artists and the efficacy of “live art” within the visual arts. The discipline and practice of performance has been important to women artists since the 1960s and 70s, when the art form began to coalesce into a movement in such downtown art pantheons (though then they were just rough spaces and warehouses) as Judson Church, 112 Greene Street and PS1. Performance, like video, is arguably one of the first art forms to be pioneered equally by both men and women artists. Now performance art is generally considered a serious medium, not unlike painting or sculpture, although critics and historians continue to explore ways of defining, codifying and mapping its history and current importance. When PERFORMA organizers approached curators and educators at the Museum last year about hosting events in conjunction with this year’s consortium of arts organizations around the city–and the representation of Brooklyn venues is stronger than ever before –we jumped at the chance to participate!
This Saturday’s program features original performances by Terence Koh, and Brooklyn based artist, Jen DeNike, whose meditative and dreamlike video, Happy Endings, 2006 is currently on view in the Center through January 10th, 2010 in Reflections on the Electric Mirror: New Feminist Video. Jen’s performance on Saturday titled TWIRL, will include an award-winning fifty-piece student marching band from Weehawken, New Jersey, along with baton twirler, Erica Henschel, and a few other surprises. When we met with Jen last spring, all immediately hit it off, and were thrilled at the possibility of hosting her unique spectacle in the beautiful Rubin Pavillion and Lobby. Because Jen’s performance coincides with our monthly blow-out First Saturday, we know that hundreds of people will be milling about the area early Saturday evening. We also hear that local photographers are invited to shoot the bands on Saturday and post photos to the Brooklyn Museum’s flickr group. You can shoot the performances too! Jen is enthusiastic about organizing a critical mass to capture many and varied perspectives, and crowd views of the performance as it unfolds.
Jen DeNike’s performance TWIRL begins at 6PM on Saturday, in and around the Rubin Pavillion and Lobby.
Check out this recent interview with Jen about her art and performance on ArtOnAir.org!
Sarah Giovanniello is the Research Assistant at the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art at the Brooklyn Museum, where she assists the Curator of the Center with exhibitions, a growing permanent collection that includes The Dinner Party by Judy Chicago, public programs, and projects related to feminism, feminist art, and the collection. Since 2008, she has worked on numerous exhibitions, including Kiki Smith: Sojourn, Healing the Wounds of War: The Brooklyn Sanitary Fair of 1864, Ghada Amer: Love Has No End, Reflections on the Electric Mirror: New Feminist Video, and Seductive Subversion: Women Pop Artists, 1958–1968. In 2009, she organized the mounting of Jen DeNike's TWIRL at the Museum for PERFORMA09. She has worked on numerous public programs, her favorites of which include making ourselves visible: a project in feminist space making with artists Liz Linden and Jen Kennedy, and the 2008 Emerging Scholars Feminist Art Symposium, Feminism NOW. As Research Assistant, she manages the Feminist Art Base and posts to the Brooklyn Museum blog on topics related to the Center's programs, projects, and exhibitions. Sarah holds an M.A. in Performance Studies from NYU and a B.A. from Bryn Mawr College.