Australia has been selected as the country of focus for Performa 15’s Pavilion Without Walls, the performance art biennial announced today. Performa opens November 1 and runs for three weeks in New York.
Performances and installations by Agatha Gothe-Snape, Brian Fuata, Richard Bell, Zheng Mahler, and Justene Williams will address the country’s state of cultural flux in regards to its history of colonialism, provincialism, Asian-Pacific identity, and Aboriginal visual arts activism. Collaborators from both New York and Australia will appear in the artists’ projects. Additionally, a new art publication, Oberon, will launch at the Australian Pavilion Without Walls.
In a statement, founding director and curator of Performa, RoseLee Goldberg, said:
“In preparation for my first visit to Australia, I read several books on the founding history of the continent, and also, for an entirely different viewpoint, art historian Terry Smith’s The Provincialism Problem from 1972. By the time I got there I was filled with questions about what it means to be Australian, and what it means to be an Australian artist making art in that setting. For Performa 15, we’re bringing some of those very detailed discussions back to New York with a group of remarkable artists, curators, writers and thinkers. Each presents complex and complicated answers to these questions.”