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Performa 17 Announces Commissions, Focus on the Legacy of Dada

William Kentridge, a participant in Performa 17, staging a piece at Performa 09.COURTESY PERFORMA

William Kentridge, a participant in Performa 17, staging a piece at Performa 09.

COURTESY PERFORMA

Though Dada began 101 years ago, it continues to inspires artists today, and so, for its 2017 edition, Performa will focus on the legacy of the art movement. Titled “100 Degrees Above Dada,” in reference to a similarly named show that was curated by Nouveau Réalisme founder Pierre Restany in 1961, the biennial will feature a number of commissions that draw on the movement’s use of language, readymades, and nonsensicality.

Yto Barrada, William Kentridge, Tarik Kiswanson, Kemang Wa Lehulere, Julie Mehretu and Jason Moran, Zanele Muholi, Wangechi Mutu, Kelly Nipper, Jimmy Robert, and Tracey Rose have been commissioned to debut new works at Performa 17. According to RoseLee Goldberg, Performa’s founding director and chief curator, this year’s participants were found largely by exploring the African art scene.

“Performa provides an extraordinary platform for showing the important role of art in society,” Goldberg said in a statement. “Through live performance we touch people directly, change their minds, and introduce them viscerally to the complicated emotional and aesthetic expressions of artists responding to the world that we inhabit.”

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