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NYC’s Performa Biennial: A Celebration of Art

“It’s almost a Venice Biennial for America,” says RoseLee Goldberg, founder and director of Performa, the remarkably fecund, New York City-wide celebration of new visual art performance, now in its third edition. Running November 1–22, this year’s installment honors the 100th anniversary of The Futurist Manifesto with live works by over 80 artists (both illustrious and emerging), unfolding in some 60 iconic and out-of-the-way venues, from the Studio Museum in Harlem to Washington Square’s Judson Memorial Church to P.S. 1 in Queens. “We’re a very unusual biennial in that we deal seriously with all the disciplines,” Goldberg explains, “visual art, performance, dance, architecture, graphic design, film, music, and food,” (the latter a particularly Futurist obsession). Where else could visitors eat their way through a Dutch meringue sculpture, revisit abject memories of high school with artist Mike Kelly, or celebrate a Lust Weekend (in honor of a forgotten female Futurist) with readings by notorious art world bad girls Tracey Emin and Karin Finley?

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