Exit Art is pleased to present Collective / Performative, an exhibition and event series focusing on performance practices that require the participation of an audience. The exhibition will include new works by eight commissioned artists and organizations that will utilize Exit Art’s space during gallery hours for a public project, as well as an “artist’s history” of performance art told by seminal performance artists who have exhibited at Exit Art. A research exhibition that explores the history of collective practices, this exhibition also investigates the importance of the viewer/audience in achieving the work’s goals and the role that documentation and new technologies play in the formation of collective strategies.

This exhibition responds to the abundance of recent attention given to performance art, and specifically to the shifting terms used to define viewer engagement: “collaborative,” “relational,” “participatory,” and “delegated” to name a few. From the Performa Biennial to Creative Time’s “Living as Form” to the increased offerings of academic degrees in performance art as well as degrees in curating performance, Collective/Performative interrogates potential new performance structures and practices as investigated by artists and organizations.

Collective/Performative is comprised of two parts: first, eight newly commissioned, live performance works that require viewer participation and second, an “artists’ history” of performance art, featuring interviews with pioneering artists. Exit Art has invited artists, alternative spaces, a blog on contemporary art and culture, and a curatorial collective to organize “performative” projects at Exit Art for the duration of one week each, providing many with the opportunity to work in a collective manner for the first time. Participants will utilize the space during gallery hours as an office, studio, hub, production center, exhibition, presentation, and/or rehearsal space, and are encouraged to end their weeklong residency with a culminating event or performance. The artists’ history of performance art consists of more than one dozen interviews with artists on their influences and work, and elaborates on the historical precedents, concepts, and themes that have shaped collective practices in contemporary performance.

In the spirit of Exit Art’s extensive history of showcasing “live” art, and presenting such historical performance exhibitions as “Tehching Hsieh, One-Year Performance 1981-1982” (1983), “Let the Artist Live!”(1994), “Endurance” (1995), “Body and the East” (2001) and “Regina José Galindo” (2009), we view Collective/Performative in a spirit particular to Exit Art: one that embodies both curatorial experimentation and the offering of new creative opportunities.

This exhibition will run concurrently with the retrospective exhibition “Every Exit is an Entrance: 30 Years of Exit Art,” which together comprise the final exhibitions at Exit Art before its closure on June 1, 2012.

Collective/Performative was conceived by Jeanette Ingberman and Papo Colo and is curated by Rachel Gugelberger, Senior Curator, and Lauren Rosati, Assistant Curator, with Verity Combe, Curatorial Assistant.
Artists and Organizations: Kabir Carter, Pablo Helguera, Anna Lundh, Jeanine Oleson, Grace Space, Andy Horowitz/Culturebot, Not an Alternative, The Canal Series

Artists’ History of Performance featuring interviews with: Vito Acconci, Rob Andrews, Bruce High Quality Foundation, Boryana Rossa, Coco Fusco, Regina José Galindo, Kate Gilmore, Orlan, Rafael Sanchez, Carolee Schneemann, Cecilia Vicuña, Martha Wilson, and others.


Week Eight / May 15 – 19
Pablo Helguera: Academia de los Nocturnos
Helguera will host a series of gatherings, culminating in a 3am performance, inspired by the 16th-century Spanish Academia de los Nocturnos (Academy of the Night Revelers) who created the first “tertulia,” an intellectual soiree, that functioned as a secret literary society.

The Academia de los Nocturnos (Academy of the Night Revelers), which emerged in in Valencia, Spain, in the 1590s, was one of the first artistic social gatherings in the form of the soirée. Part a secretive fraternity meeting late at night, part a gathering of wannabe poets, the academy held literary contests on a regular basis and became a support group for the then emerging modern literary art forms. In tribute to the closing of Exit art, artist Pablo Helguera revives this golden age community in the form of a week-long sonnet workshop, culminating with a very late night (3am, in fact) performance and literary contest on the last day of operation of Exit art.

The Academia de los Nocturnos is looking for participants to be official fellows of the academy. The workshops will include discussions on poetry and speech and will generate material for presentation on the public performance. No experience in poetry is necessary. Performers, writers, and non-writers and non-performers are welcome to apply. Participants must commit to attend the workshops on Tuesday, May 15; Wednesday, May 16; and Friday, May 18 from 6 – 8pm and the performance on May 19 at 3am. If interested, send an email with your CV to with the subject line “Sonnet Workshops.”
The 3am performance and poetry contest will be open to the public. The Academia de los Nocturnos fellows will act as judges for the contest.

Tuesday, May 15, 6-8pm

Wednesday, May 16, 6-8pm

Friday, May 18, 6-8pm

Saturday, May 19, 3-5am
Final Performance

La Ultima Noche Que Pase Contigo / The Last Night I Spent With You
Saturday, May 19, 2012 / 9-11pm
Organized by Papo Colo, Exit Art presents live, simultaneous performances that are site- and situation-specific to the exhibition. The event will be followed by Colo’s final performance at Exit Art, “Sweeping Memories,” a ritual cleansing of Exit Art’s space that acts as a metaphor for Exit Art’s closing and Colo’s retirement as Artistic Director.


Friday, March 23, 2012 / 7-9pm

Bartender performance by Matt White & Brandon Davey

Originally conceived as for the exhibition “The Prisoner’s Dilemma” at Grace Exhibition Space in Brooklyn, this eponymous work is a participatory performance revolving around the theme of cooperatively gained benefits. Analyzed in game theory, “the prisoner’s dilemma” shows how two individuals may opt not to cooperate, even if it is in their best interest to do so. As part of the performance, Matthew White and Brandon Davey will bartend the opening reception of Exit Art’s concurrent final exhibitions. Rather than offer drinks at a regular price, White and Davey have developed a pricing system that encourages drinkers to collaborate for bargain rates. For example, drinks for an individual or two will be priced the highest – at a rate of $15 per drink – compared to drinks purchased by groups of 3 to 5 ($11 per drink) or 6 to 10 ($5 per drink). The real bargain goes to groups of 20 or more, at the cost of $.01 each. The Prisoner’s Dilemma encourages the thirsty to cooperate in order to benefit from reduced rates.

Week One / March 23 – 31
Anna Lundh: Q&Q (2022)

Lundh will undertake her research project, beginning on the opening night of the exhibition and into the first week, which aims to produce questions about the future 10 years from now: 2022. The audience will be invited to ask questions, individually or together with other participants. Subject matter will typically concern the everyday (living, work, food, money, school, news, politics, home-life, etc), but anything can be asked! The questions will be recorded and displayed, to inspire and generate new questions. The week long experiment will culminate in a performance/presentation, including a ”Q&Q” session.

This research references a project from 1971 called Utopia Q&A, originally devised by New York based E.A.T. (Experiments in Art and Technology) as part of the exhibition “Utopia & Visions 1871-1981”, held at Moderna Museet in Stockholm. The project is made possible thanks to and in collaboration with Julie Martin (of E.A.T. and who together with Billy Klüver and Robert Whitman organized Utopia Q&A in 1971).

Opening night: Let the Questions begin…
Friday, March 23 / 7-9pm

Workshop 1: WHAT?
Saturday, March 24, 1-3pm and 4-6pm

Workshop 2: HOW?
Wednesday, March 28, 6-8pm

Performance/presentation: WHY?
With Julie Martin
Saturday, March 31, 4pm

These events, and the accumulated questions, will be documented for the future.

Week Two / April 3 – 7
Grace Exhibition Space: Collective Synergy & Performance Actions
Grace Exhibition Space explores new ideas in performance art through archival documentation, discussions, workshops, and live performances. Curator Jill McDermid has selected artists who has performed through times in Exit Art and in Grace Exhibition Space + invited as special quest Non Grata Collective from Estonia. NON GRATA is a international performance group with floating membership. In Non Grata there has been more than 500 members during last 12 years from all over the world. NON GRATA is a international performance group from Estonia with floating membership. In Non Grata collective anonymous groupwork has been more than 300 members during last 12 years from all over the world. A video screening will be on view in the window daily from 6pm to 11am.

Tuesday, April 3
11am – 6pm: Theme “Collective Artwork” Books, Videos, Archives
2pm – 4pm: Non Grata: Anonymous Boh Workshop: Lecture & Discussions on “Collective Artwork”
4pm – 6pm: Grace Presents Grace Workshop with Jodi Lyn-Kee-Chow

Wednesday, April 4
11am – 6pm: Theme “Interactive Artwork” Books, Videos, Archives
2pm – 4pm: Non Grata: 1 KA Workshop: Lecture, Installation & Discussions on “Sound & Performance”
4pm – 6pm: Grace Presents Grace Workshop with Rafael Sanchez

Thursday, April 511am – 6pm: Theme “Sound & Performance” Books, Videos, Archives
2pm – 4pm: Non Grata & Grace Presents Workshop: Anya Liftig
4pm – 6pm: Grace Presents Grace Workshop with Hector Canonge

Friday, April 6
11am – 4pm: “Interactive Artwork” Theme Books, Videos, Archives
2pm – 4pm: Non Grata: Anonymous Boh Workshop: Lecture & Discussions on “Interactive Artwork”
4pm – 6pm: Grace Presents Grace Workshop with Rob Andrews and Peter Dobill

Saturday, April 7
11am – 4pm: Theme “Collective Artwork” * Books, Video, Archives
2pm – 4pm: Non Grata: Myk Henry Workshop: Lecture & Discussions on “Collective Artwork
5:45pm – 9pm: “The Graceful Exit”: Rob Andrews, Rafael Sanchez, Jodie Lyn-Kee-Chow, Peter Dobill, Anya Liftig, Elinor Thompson and Hector Canonge with participating members of the public

Week Three / April 10 – 14
Jeanine Oleson: (M)end Time
Oleson presents a series of talks/meetings/workshops that will engage in and analyze the mania surrounding post-apocalyptic anxieties in the collective psyche, but will also function as a series of consultations towards the making of a performance.

Tuesday, April 10, 3:30–4:30pm
Lovecraft Book Group with physicist Paul Halpern
We’ll be meeting to discuss Lovecraft’s short story, A Shadow out of Time, and an article on the fourth dimension, time travel, and anxiety as exemplified in this particular story written by Halpern, a respected physicist. Please e-mail if you would like to attend and receive the readings in advance.

Wednesday, April 11, 3–6pm
Rehearsal: Anxiety Forum

Thursday, April 12, 4:30–6pm
Conversation with Cori Ellison, an opera dramaturg, on the last act of Götterdämmerung
Oleson and Ellison will meet to discuss ideas of apocalyptic redemption in Götterdämmerung, the final act of Wagner’s Ring Cycle.

Friday, April 13, 4:30–6pm
Readiness Workshop with Anne Hall
Oleson hosts the inaugural workshop for Hall’s monthly 2012 Reading Group. Offerings include informational videos, seminal texts, and tools for exploring José Argüelles’ Mayan Factor, Harmonic Convergence and Law of Time theories. Students will leave the workshop with a personal toolkit including their galactic signature and a roadmap for the months ahead. Don’t get left in the dust! Food will be served.

Saturday, April 14, 7pm
Final performance: A means to an end
An exercise in dimension, line, anxiety, and endings – as a theatrical form. Online forums, Wagner’s operas, religion and, of course, art are re-combined in this community production. With Celeste Dupuy-Spencer, Allen Frame, Guadalupe Rosales, Amy Sadao, Nelson Santos, and Diwa Tamrong. Music by Rainy Orteca.

Week Four / April 17 – 21
Andy Horwitz / CULTUREBOT: Ephemeral Evidence
“Ephemeral Evidence” consists of a series of collaborative explorations between writers and performing artists to investigate the relationship between practice and skill in performance-making, object-making and context. We propose an experiment in which objects are created directly from the result of the performing artist’s practice – their skilled application of learned techniques. Does the object, existing as residue of the ephemeral event, gain meaning as document or value object in itself? Both? How does the critical dialogue around the performance process and object inform our perception and valuation of the art? The writer/artist pairs are: Aretha Aoki with Maura Donohue, Rebecca Davis with Aaron Mattocks, Arturo Vidich with Jeremy M. Barker, and Sarah Rosner & the AO Movement Collective with Alyssa Alpine.

The installations will be durational throughout the day with culminating performances at 5pm.

Tuesday, April 17, 10am-6pm (5-6pm, Final showing)
Project Title: The Solo Project
Writer: Maura Donohue
Artist: Aretha Aoki
“The Solo Project” is a personal story that attempts to reach beyond the personality of the solo dancer, and will continue Aretha’s interest in the formation of narrative through choreographic structure. Can the dance act as language? Can a visual or literary text be movement? By bringing together movement, text, sound and video, Aoki’s work allows for the formation of spaces where the unexpected can emerge. She layers and juxtaposes visual, written and embodied forms to both generate and disturb a sense of character, place and narrative, and often engages in collaborations with artists—dancers, writers and composers—-to allow these tensions to surface. Along with this collaborative process, her practice explores disciplinary limits and the ways that dance can interact with other forms without prioritizing one over another, and rather, informing and extending the possibilities each.

Wednesday, April 18, 10am-6pm (5-6pm Final showing)
Project Title: News
Writer: Aaron Mattocks
Artist: Rebecca Davis
“News” is a durational performance that yields a large-scale drawing. Wearing shoes constructed from newspaper, performers walk continuously in a circle on a large sheet of white paper throughout the day until the gallery closes. Over time, the newspaper ink rubs into the white paper, leaving a visual presence of the path walked by the performers. The work creates a simultaneous physical construction and deconstruction (walking destroys the shoes but creates the drawing) and also a symbolic one—as the drawing underfoot becomes increasingly dark, the headlines from which it was created fade in our collective memories.

Thursday, April 19, 10am-6pm (5-6PM Final showing)
Project Title: Nobody Is Perfect But You Come Close
Writer: Arturo Vidich
Artist: Jeremy M. Barker
The best listener is one who never talks back. As a statement both for and against the uncollectible nature of performance, Vidich will address the septic time bomb of a roadkill victim as a live art object, and fellow performer. The roadkill will absorb the emotions and thoughts of the performer, like a morbid piggy bank, as well as stand in for other objects and people. The event will be thoroughly captured on video, with emphasis on collapsing the hierarchy of live performance, documentation of performance, and performance made for video. During the day, the public will be able to contribute to the performance by teaching something to the performer, or through conversation. Sonic, tactile, and video elements will be prepared on-site, as well as creating the performance score, which will be enacted at 5pm.

Friday, April 20, 10am-6pm (5-6pm Final showing)
Project Title: barrish: the scores
Writer: Alyssa Alpine
Artist: Sarah Rosner & the AO Movement Collective
This installation manifests itself as an open rehearsal, followed by a series of workshops in which participants are invited into the AOMC’s current work in process, barrish, to embody and digest select movement-based improvisational scores central to the work’s logic and aesthetic. Participants are invited to wrestle with unleashing hysteria and becoming “skinless”, navigating the intimacy of being sewn to another performer for “the string score”, queering notions of masculine certainty and female acquiescence by “glaciering”, or to simply bear witness to the practice and discussion surrounding these scores as they are translated by new bodies. This exploring/embodying/digestion process both artifacts the score (via the collected/created images, words, and visual intake of the work) and displaces the work’s ephemerality outside of its former boundaries into/onto the performative bodies of those participating. Does teaching a score make performative work less ephemeral? What about verbalizing the concrete ideas, logic, and rules behind the more abstract movements? What parts stick and what parts evaporate? Are these potentially viable strategies for making ephemeral art last? Taught/Rehearsed by performers Lillie De, Leah Ives, and Emily Skillings, and choreographer/artistic director Sarah A.O. Rosner, with additional credit to performer Anna Adams Stark (not present).

Saturday, April 21
3pm: Giant Yves Klein All Out Attack
In an homage to Yves Klein’s Anthropométries, action painting, and the monster battle films of Godzilla, Dan Safer and Mike Mikos of Witness Relocation will drink around six shots of whiskey, cover themselves in paint, and wrestle on a giant canvas. The canvas will then be displayed on a wall as evidence of the physical action that transpired on it, next to a video of the event, the bottle of whiskey, and the paint splattered wrestling costumes. Performed by Dan Safer and Mike Mikos. Video by Kaz Phillips Safer.

5pm: Come Over to Our Place hosted by Andy Horwitz and Chloë Bass
Come Over to Our Place re-creates the post-show hang-out as performance event, bringing together the artists and writers of EPHEMERAL EVIDENCE with other artists, writers, critics and passers-by for food and conversation. Inspired by Lois Weaver’s The Long Table, a formalized performance-discussion as an “experiment in participation and public engagement,” this event contextualizes a meal (Chloë Bass’ performance PROCESS DINNER) as a public forum, encouraging informal conversations on serious topics. PROCESS DINNER invites guests to enjoy a dish as its recipe’s component parts: a reminder of the constant making that goes into every art world moment, even the farewell. Guests are invited to participate, watch, or both: as a shared social experience, all guests become observed performers.

Week Five / April 24 – 28
H.E.N.S. – Organized by Robin Wallis Atkinson & Summer Guthery

Robin Wallis Atkinson and Summer Guthery have invited Hanns Eisler Nail Salon (H.E.N.S.) to set up shop in Exit Art. Hanns Eisler Nail Salon, an ongoing project by the artists Arlen Austin and Jason Boughton, is a nail salon/performance artwork that brings together beauticians, undocumented workers, activists, artists, and the New York City public to raise awareness of recent court cases brought by manicurists against beauty salons and to stimulate public debate about “unseen” and unregulated labor. Throughout the week the exhibition space will be installed as a nail salon and library on the history and current state of labor conditions. The library will be operated by the Dewey Decinail System with Guthery serving as intern librarian and nail tech. The weeks activities will include a series of performances and workshops focused on issues of art and labor, including a mock trial against H.E.N.S. by unpaid interns and workshops on unpaid internships and employer sanctions.

Tuesday, April 24, 10-6pm
Labor Library and introduction of the Dewey DeciNail System
H.E.N.S. will be instructing their intern librarian and nail tech on how to create and install a library of material on labor practices using their patented Dewey DeciNail System. The books and texts are drawn from their own library and other dubious sources.

Wednesday, April 25, 10am-6pm
The H.E.N.S. Library and Nail Salon is open to the public for perusal and beautification.

Thursday, April 26, 5-7pm
H.E.N.S. Faces Class Action Lawsuit Brought by Unpaid Interns

H.E.N.S. may appear a polymorphouosly perverse collective of unalienated workers giving and taking supple manicures within temporary autonomous zones marginal to the heretofore delineated capitalist hegemony; however, the truth is more bleak. In fact H.E.N.S. has survived only through coersion of uncompensated labor from two precarious art workers and one really cute baby. Now, after months of fear, these workers are ready to speak out and demand justice.

Friday, April 27, 10am-6pm
Misclassification Manicure Madness

Find out 2012’s most swoon-worthy nail trends and your best recourse against employment violations. Calling all local workers ready to resist the structural oppressions of capitalism and top their tips with something new this spring. In this all-day militant-grooming spectacular, H.E.N.S.s’ trained team of experts will provide free manicures as well as intake interviews reviewing the legality of your internship or independent contractor status under the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Saturday, April 28, 2-4pm
Repeal Employer Sanctions

What are the strategic demands for organizing across the barriers imposed by immigration law? Please join us for a discussion of employer sanctions and the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA). We will investigate how employers have used workers’ immigration status to suppress organizing efforts across a range of industries and how workers have managed to assert their rights.

As we approach May 1st and find ways of working together across the barriers which have served to fracture working class movements, we must look closely at the structural impediments to organizing. The slogan of the May 1st Coalition, “Legalize, Unionize, Organize,” must be elaborated to find concrete ways of working together beyond previous divisions of the left. The repeal of Employer Sanctions is a crucial starting point for reinvigoration of working class organizing.

Week Six / May 1– 5
Kabir Carter
Each day, an installation will be built and modified in accordance with the behavior of sound both within the exhibition area and outdoors along Tenth Avenue. The sound added to the exhibition space will be modified additively or serially, and may shift on a day-to-day basis. Other tasks might be undertaken in the exhibition area while the installation is online, but they will not directly correlate with the work itself. The duration of the installation’s exhibition will be expanded on Wednesday and contracted on Saturday. The artist will be present in the exhibition space periodically throughout the week.

Tuesday, May 1, 10AM – 6PM; Wednesday, May 2, 10AM – 7:30PM; Thursday, May 3, 10AM – 6PM Friday, May 4, 10AM – 6PM Saturday, May 5, 12PM – 2PM

Saturday, May 5, 3PM – 6PM

A series of sounds will be projected into the exhibition space. These sounds will be subjected to multiple, physically absorptive and reflective processes. These processes will be generated by spatially manipulating basic architectural materials in relation to the physical locations and emissions of various sounds added to the space.

Week Seven / May 8 – 12
Not An Alternative: Occupied Real Estate

The city of 2012 is contested: the boundaries of public and private are blurred; the interests of the 99% and 1% are in conflict. The battleground of contestation takes place in the streets, in the media and in public consciousness. As Occupiers capture imaginations and attention around the world, they enter the battleground in a forceful way, destabilizing ideas about ownership and use of space. This new class of ‘real estate agents’ comes equipped with the tools of their trade: those of media production and material construction. From foreclosed homes to public/private parks, to warehoused buildings and bank-owned lots, the movement reveals invisible spaces, exposing exclusions and power relations. Through anonymous acts, interventions and appropriations, they activate these spaces, building a new world in the shell of the old.

The Occupied Real Estate workshop is an architectural set that puts the production of this world on display. It is both a workshop and a studio set. Agents converge at assembly-line workstations to manufacture tools for the movement and document their practice along the way. In turning the lens on themselves, they perform the material function with an awareness of its immaterial implications.

Not An Alternative is a hybrid arts collective and non-profit organization with a mission to affect popular understandings of events, symbols, and history. The group curates and produces interventions on immaterial and material space, leveraging the tools of architecture, exhibit design, branding, and public relations. Not An Alternative’s actions, installations, and presentations have been featured within art institutions such as the Guggenheim in New York City, Tate Modern in London, and Museo Del Arte Moderno in Mexico City, and in the public sphere, where they collaborate with community organizations and activist mobilizations. They host programs at a variety of venues, including their Brooklyn-based gallery No-Space (formerly known as The Change You Want to See Gallery).

Tuesday, May 8 – Friday, May 11
2 – 6pm
– Join other Occupied Real Estate agents in the production of props and tools for the Occupy movement. Materials will be used in support of Occupy Wall Street’s upcoming May 10-15 Week of Action.

Saturday, May 12
12 – 2pm
– Presentations by artist John Hawke and Occupy Town Square collaborator Daniel Latorre.

Using the principle of productive confusion developed through the collaborative platform Orange Work, for the past seven years John Hawke has made architecture and sign interventions into urban environments, as well as maintaining a studio practice in painting. He participated in the Whitney Independent Study Program in 2006, and is currently a resident in the Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts: Art and Law Residency Program.

In the U.S., public space, the commons, has been increasingly encapsulated by entities and ideas of privatization. At the same time, social movements have become highly networked and decentralized. How does an autonomous network of protest visually represent worthiness, unity, numbers, and its claims in public space? How does public space work as a platform to shape and ground the performance of new modes of association? What are the social and symbolic challenges in activist event management in public space? Since the eviction from Liberty Park, Occupy Town Square formed and began organizing an iterative series of pop-up events in public spaces with an aim to make its strategy and tactics replicable. Daniel Latorre, an Occupy Town Square collaborator and public space advocate, will talk about the process and experiences to date and suggest visions of where collaboration can go in this context.

2 – 6pm – Join other Occupied Real Estate agents in the production of props and tools for the movement. Materials will be used in support of Occupy Wall Street’s sidewalk sleeping occupations in front of Wall Street and banks across the city.


“Collective / Performative:” is made possible by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. General exhibition support is provided by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts; Bloomberg LP; Foundation for Contemporary Arts; The Greenwall Foundation; Jerome Foundation; Lambent Foundation; Lily Auchincloss Foundation; New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn; and public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts.