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New Museum, Rhizome Present Commissioned Performances In November

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The New Museum, in conjunction with Rhizome, is pleased to present four commissioned performances by Public Movement, Wu Tsang; Spartacus Chetwynd; and Nils Bech, Bendik Giske and Sergei Tcherepnin during the month of November 2011, as part of Performa 11.

This November, Public Movement and Wu Tsang will continue their Museum as Hub residencies with two works for Performa 11. Artist residencies for the 2012 New Museum triennial began in February 2011. The action and research group Public Movement (established Tel Aviv), spent one month meeting with artists, 9/11 memorial designers, Park51 staff, government officials, NYPD officers, and others to develop a project for New York. In June and July 2011, Public Movement will present Positions, a public action that brings people together in Washington Square Park and Union Square South to embody their preferences, beliefs, and aspirations in a choreographed demonstration. A newly commisioned work Rally will happen in April 2012 in New York City, details to follow. Wu Tsang used the New Museum theater as studio and discussion space, culminating in a series of public programs that informed the development of a new ensemble work. Wu Tsang will continue to develop his work Full Body Quotation with a choral performance and a living sculpture, in which Tsang and his performers channel a chorus of voices sampled from the known (and unknown) canon of transgender cinema. These performances explore the potential of museums to support contemporary art activity beyond the exhibition of works, and set in motion core ideas that will propel new projects for the triennial and beyond.

Also presented as part of Performa 11 are two special projects: the first, Spartacus Chetwynd's The Lion Tamer. As the inaugural artist in the New Museum's new ‘Studio 231' series, Chetwynd will present a series of performances activated by direct interaction with the viewer for her first American museum exhibition "Spartacus Chetwynd: Home Made Tasers" (on view from October 26, 2011- January 1, 2012). The final Performa project, organized by Art Since the Summer of '69 and Rhizome, Look Inside, is a collaboration between Nils Bech, Bendik Giske and Sergei Tcherepnin, and is based on Bech's forthcoming album. See below for full program details:

Public Movement, 2010. Performance documentation: The Israeli Center for Digital Art, Holon. Courtesy the artists. Public Movement: Positions, an action by Public Movement
(Presented as part of Performa 11)
Friday, November 4, 1:00 PM
Washington Square Park
Saturday, November 5, 1:00 PM
Union Square Park South
Free

For their first action in the U.S., Public Movement will present Positions, a choreographed demonstration that provides people with the opportunity to take a stand on a number of urgent issues. Presented in Warsaw, Holon, Bat-Yam, Eindhoven, Heidelberg, Stockholm, and now New York, the Movement invites the public to embody their preferences, aspirations, and beliefs-manifesting political and philosophical ideas as physical positions in two public sites in lower Manhattan. Founded in 2006 by group leaders Dana Yahalomi (b. 1982) and Omer Krieger (b. 1975), Public Movement explores the political and aesthetic possibilities residing in a group of people acting together. Public Movement actions include manifestations of presence, fictional acts of hatred, new folk dances, synchronized procedures, spectacles, and marches, as well as invented and reenacted moments in the life of individuals, communities, and social institutions. Positions is co-presented by the New Museum and Artis-- Contemporary Israeli Art Fund.

Image of Nils Bech and Bendik Giske courtesy of Geir Haraldseth. Look Inside - a performance by Nils Bech, Bendik Giske and Sergei Tcherepnin
(Presented as part of Performa 11)
Friday, November 11, 7:00 PM
New Museum Theater
For tickets see website

Singer Nils Bech works with voice, movement, music, and text, conceiving performances that are often staged or erupt spontaneously in galleries, bars, or public spaces. Bech describes his work as the "creation of rituals" through which he transforms and elevates emotional circumstances from his own life. Look Inside is based on his upcoming album, which includes collaborations with Giske (saxophone and electronics) and Tcherepnin (piano and electronics). The songs chart a chronology of events that have transpired over the last six months for Bech.

Nils Bech has performed at a long list of exhibitions of contemporary art, and in recent years, Bech has performed at all the main venues and music festivals in his native Norway. Bendik Giske has become a renowned voice at the Norwegian music and art scene. He holds a Masters degree in Jazz saxophone and a curiosity and passion for contemporary and pop music. Sergei Tcherepnin is a Brooklyn-based artist who uses performance, composition, and installation to explore the materiality of sound and its physical and psychological effects on the listener. He has performed throughout NYC as an improviser with piano and modular synthesizer.

Wu Tsang, PIG (Politically Involved Girls), 2009. Performance documentation, REDCAT, Los Angeles. Courtesy the artist Wu Tsang: Full Body Quotation
(Presented as part of Performa 11)
Saturday, November 19, 7:00 PM
New Museum
$10 New Museum Members, $12 General Public

Full Body Quotation is presented as part of Wu Tsang's Museum as Hub residency organized in conjunction with the 2012 Generational.Full Body Quotation brings together an ensemble of performers and sound-makers for an evening soiree hosted by Wu Tsang. The centerpiece is a choral performance and a living sculpture, in which Tsang and his performers channel a chorus of voices sampled from the known (and unknown) canon of transgender cinema. Voices and bodies blend together into a hydraheaded, polyglotinous beast, staring back at onlookers across the boundaries of time and space with fifteen unblinking pairs of eyes-the apotheosis of a glamorous yet terrifying new mythical reality.

FBQ is an austere interpretation of drag culture and revelry as it has been caught on camera by films and news media of past decades. In the tradition of realness, Tsang maintains a studied and irreverent relationship to the source material, calling into question the authenticity of narrative, self-presentation, and intention.

Spartacus Chetwynd, The Snail Race, 2008. Copyright the artist. Courtesy Massimo de Carlo, Milan, and Sadie Coles HQ, London Spartacus Chetwynd: The Lion Tamer
Wednesday, November 2, 8:00 - 9:00 PM
Thursday, November 3, 7:00 - 8:00 PM
Thursday, November 3, 8:00 - 9:00 PM
Studio 231 (231 Bowery)
For tickets see website

Over the past ten years, Spartacus and her traveling band of friends and family have utilized a variety of historical theatrical forms where the audience steps into the carnivalesque world she creates. The Lion Tamer is a performance made specifically for an audience aware of the permeable possibilities within the live moment; in this piece, reality and fantasy will reach each other for a short, organized, designated encounter. Spartacus Chetwynd's The Lion Tamer is influenced by the 1983 film, The Dresser, which tells the story of an aging actor's personal assistant who struggles to keep his charge's life together, and by I'm No Angel (1933), in which Mae West plays Tira, a lion-tamer who tames the beasts on stage and the ‘society swells' offstage. For Performa 11, Chetwynd attempts to tame the crazed egos of the very participants in her own piece, where an attempt to emulate the lion-taming act provides a cathartic roleplay for the divas within the performance troupe.

Spartacus Chetwynd's evenings of Perfoma events will take place inside her performative installation, "Home Made Tasers," part of Studio 231 at the New Museum. Organized by Gary Carrion-Murayari, New Museum Associate Curator. *Capacity Limited. 

About the New Museum
The New Museum is the only museum in New York City exclusively devoted to contemporary art. Founded in 1977, the New Museum was conceived as a center for exhibitions, information, and documentation about living artists from around the world. From its beginnings as a one-room office on Hudson Street to the inauguration of its first freestanding, dedicated building on the Bowery designed by SANAA in 2007, the New Museum continues to be a place of ongoing experimentation and a hub of new art and new ideas.


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