Theatrical and staged elements have been a key feature of visual art throughout the 20th century. Movements like Futurism, Dada, and Bauhaus employed theater, dance, music, and poetry with live or broadcast performances to engage with audiences. In the 1960s and 1970s, performance gained renewed momentum when artists conceived of Happenings, Fluxus, "actions," experimental dance, and site-specific interventions.
Throughout its history MoMA has been host to many artworks involving live and performative elements, from Jean Tinguely’s Homage to New York (1960) to Francis Alÿs’s The Modern Procession (2002). Others were unsolicited and sometimes subversive artist actions, like Yayoi Kusama’s Grand Orgy to Awaken the Dead at MoMA (1969) or Guerrilla Art Action Group’s Blood Bath (1969). While most of these activities previously took place at the periphery of MoMA's exhibition program, the 2008 addition of "and Performance Art" to what was then called the Department of Media introduced performance art as a central component in the Museum's programming. Read more
Performing Histories: Live Artworks Examining the Past
September 12, 2012–March 30, 2013
The performance program is organized by Sabine Breitwieser, Chief Curator, and Ana Janevski, Associate Curator, with Leora Morinis, Curatorial Assistant, and Jill A. Samuels, Performance Producer, Department of Media and Performance Art.
The Performance Program is made possible by MoMA’s Wallis Annenberg Fund for Innovation in Contemporary Art through the Annenberg Foundation.