How Are We Performing Today? examines the shifting conditions and rising popularity of performance-related art, and its evolving—and frequently ambivalent—relationship to the museum. Drawing on the double meaning of “performance” as both a live element in the arts and a benchmark for economic productivity, the conference seeks to understand the character and consequences of new performance formats and strategies used by artists, curators, and institutions. Moreover, it explores how performance is tied to the experience economy—in which memory itself is a product—and how it is framed institutionally. The program of prominent scholars, artists, and curators addresses questions including: Where and under what conditions does performance art emerge today? How can artists and institutions address performance’s migration from the margin to the center of contemporary art discourse? What kinds of transformations or conditions might be necessary to create a meaningful or critically engaged performance art program within the museum?
Through this conference, MoMA’s Department of Media and Performance Art seeks to deepen its engagement with the theory and practice of performance-related art—reflecting on the medium’s changing parameters, modes of production, and presentation.
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