国際交流基金 The Japan Foundation Performing Arts Network Japan

Presenter Interview プレゼンターインタビュー

Mar 1, 2021
Jenny Schlenzka (C) Giorgio Zanardi RCK97



From PS122 to Performance Space New York,
what is the mission of the new Director?

Jenny Schlenzka

Founded by artists in an abandoned public-school building in the East Village in 1980, Performance Space New York (formerly known as Performance Space 122 or PS122) has been expanding the boundaries of live performance. It has been a home to artists, creators, thinkers, and community members, providing space for experimental and radical artistic expression. In 2017, Jenny Schlenzka, a former curator at the Museum of Modern Art and MoMA PS1 (*1), was appointed as the first female director to lead the institution. When the building reopened in 2018 after going through a 7-year renovation, the name was changed from PS122 to Performance Space New York. While paying tribute to the institution’s history, Schlenzka has been bringing in new voices and expressions to the performing arts scene in New York. Right before the COVID-19 pandemic hit the entire world in 2020, Schlenzka launched an experimental project called 02020 to celebrate the institution’s 40th anniversary—inviting a cohort of artists and handing over the organization to them to take charge of during the year. The 02020 project did not come to fruition as expected due to the pandemic, but Performance Space New York has not stopped transforming itself. In December 2021, Performance Space New York announced its new mission statement. We sat down with her virtually to talk about the past, present, and future of Performance Space New York, as well as her previous work at the Museum of Modern Art and MoMA PS1.
Interviewer: Rima Yamazaki

A few days ago, the spring season lineup was just announced. Maybe we can ask you to start off by talking about the lineup.
It has been very exciting because it is what feels like the first real season since 2019, and we will start with an artist I’ve been wanting to work with for a long time, formerly known as Puppies Puppies and now Jade Kuriki-Olivo (*2). She is a conceptual artist who used to be anonymous. She didn’t use her real identity; she just used the name Puppies Puppies. If she showed up, she was in costume. There were famous studio visits where she was sleeping and her partner at the time had the conversation with the curator. But a few years ago, she came out as a trans woman and started transitioning. She felt that it was very different to remain anonymous as a trans woman because trans people are often ignored, even harmed, or kept invisible. So, she came forward with her real identity, and now a lot of her work is about her actual life as a trans woman, transitioning, and her community. It was also one reason why we invited her, because we just created a new mission statement for Performance Space New York. We are 40 years old now and we felt it was time to revisit why we exist and what we want to focus on. One big aspect is community. Jade’s proposal is to invite her community of trans sisters, and they proposed to do an award show, like the Met Ball (*3) or the Oscars, for the trans community and honoring elders in the community that they’ve been organizing with. They were very involved in the protests of 2020. Still up to this day on a regular basis, they meet to take action, organize, and ask for political change. So, it’s going to be an awards show, and then the award show is going to move into an exhibition in our spaces. That is a group show that Jade is organizing. Her background is as a visual artist, but there will be a lot of performances, too. There will be talks, commissions, and I think they’re talking about a record release. That’s going to happen in March and April.

Then we have invited Storyboard P (*4), who I think is one of the best dancers and improvisers alive. He is a famous street dancer. I’ve seen him perform a few times and it was completely transformative. What he does with his body is otherworldly. He comes a little bit from what they call Flex (*5). It originated from a Brooklyn street dance form. But he has transcended that and there are a lot of different influences to his dancing. He will improvise for two nights. Also, there will be conversations because he is very interesting—the way he speaks about his work, where it comes from, and why he is doing it. It is super interesting and poetic.

We will have a lot of great artists we’ve been wanting to work with. There will be Colin Self (*6). It will be a very musical performance. There will be Ariana Reines (*7), who is working on the theme of justice, and then Brontez Purnell (*8), who is a writer like Ariana, and his performance is based on a Sylvia Plath short story. Brontez is a writer and dancer, and both media influence each other in his work. Maybe to say about Colin Self’s piece, it is an opera and is very influenced by the coded queer language, Polari, from the last century that was used by queer people underground to communicate so that the police or the state wouldn’t be able to understand.

We’re planning some more talks and we’re having two new initiatives. One is called Open Movement. This is a program in which every Sunday we open our theaters. Since you live in New York, you know how difficult and how expensive it is to have spaces. Artists, especially performance artists, always need space but it’s very expensive to rent. So, we are making our theaters available every Sunday. There are also workshops that are organized by Monica Mirabile (*9). The other is Open Room: our lobby is open for our community in the neighborhood. People can come and work here, there is free Wi-Fi, they can have meetings, they can hang out. For none of these two programs do you have to sign up or buy a ticket. You just show up and you can use our spaces.
Just like this new lineup, you have always been presenting various types of works and many interdisciplinary projects at Performance Space New York, and some of them might not quite fit in the category of “performance,” like installations, exhibitions, and readings, although your organization is still called “Performance Space.” Are you specifically interested in bringing in cross-genre or interdisciplinary works?
Absolutely. I think that actually predated my tenure here. PS122—that was our old name—was founded in 1980. From the beginning, the work was very interdisciplinary. It was never just dance or just theater or just performance art or concerts. It was always a home for multi-hyphenate artists or artists who work in between media. And I’m personally interested in that kind of work. Younger artists—artists who come of age now or in the last 10 or 15 years, if not 20 years—almost don’t think in these categories anymore. A lot of young artists I’m interested in are poets, filmmakers, and performers; they can program computer games; they publish; they dance. This season is a great example. Someone like Brontez, who is a great writer, went to dance school and studied dance. So, he is a trained dancer. I think in-between spaces are where the most interesting, forward-pushing art takes place. These media categories are almost something academics, curators, or museums forced onto artists and art history. Even if you go back historically, Dada, Surrealism, Andy Warhol’s Factory, Judson Church, Minimalism are in hindsight all separated into visual art, performing arts, and dance. But when they were making the works, the artists were always in dialogue with many different media. And I just think that is a very contemporary way to see it.

That said, live performance is our focus. That’s what we specialize in, and that’s always the lens that we look through. If we do a reading, we do a marathon reading, reading for 10 hours, so it becomes a performance in itself. Our team, our equipment, and our spaces specialize in live performance. I don’t want to say “we’re not doing performance,” but I always think saying “we’re just doing performance and nothing else” is pretty boring, restrictive, and not timely.
There were two predecessors before you: Mark Russell and Vallejo Gantner. In 2017, you became the first female director to lead the organization. Previously you were a curator at MoMA PS1. What brought you to this organization? How did it happen?
I was asked to apply for the job! I was at PS1. Before PS1, I was at the Museum of Modern Art. There I started to specialize in live performance. I was the first full-time curator there to focus on performance art. The role didn’t exist there before. I helped structure the Department of Media and Performance Art. At PS1, I established the so-called Sunday Sessions that was a weekly live program. I guess at that point, I was somewhat specialized in live art. And I had been at each organization for five years. In a way, it was the time to move on. A PS122 board member approached me and said, “we’re looking for a new Executive Artistic Director.” And I applied, and I got the job and never looked back.
Before joining this organization, how did you see PS122 from the outside?
When I moved to New York, I had been there a few times. But the renovation of the building started in 2011. By the time I was really focused on performance, the building was already closed. Under my predecessor Vallejo Gantner, there was the COIL Festival (*10) that always happened in January, but in other locations. I have to admit I saw a lot of PS122 performances, but I would see them at the Kitchen or Abrons Arts Center or other places. So, they didn’t register as PS122. I was aware of it, I always followed what they were doing, and I saw a lot of their shows. But I think, because there was no building that I associated with them, it wasn’t much on my mind, or I wasn’t aware that I actually saw many more performances of theirs than I thought. I think that time was really hard for the organization to be without a building.
As you just said, when you arrived, the building was newly renovated and just reopened. Then one of the first things you did was change the name from PS122 to Performance Space New York, and also the logo. What was the decision behind it? Did you want to rebrand the organization?
I think it was a combination of many things. When I was hired, the building was supposed to open soon. But then the construction took almost a year longer, so there was also a lot of time to think about the organization. If I had to immediately program seasons, my mind wouldn’t have gone into full rebranding. Because of this time without a building, I did think this was the opportunity if I wanted to hit the refresh button. I noticed right away that, when I went out and talked to a younger generation or talked to people who were not familiar with the organization, there was a lot of confusion about the name because “P.S.” stands for Public School in America. People always thought it was a public school or they confused it with PS1—I guess my history at PS1 didn’t help. PS122 had a great history which I tried to, or still try to, pay tribute to in our programming by bringing artists from that time back, commissioning new works by them, and talking about the history a lot. But I also felt there was something exclusive about this name “PS122.” What does that even mean? Is it a school? Is it PS1? I wanted it to be very clear that it is a “performance space” so that people know, that the name already says what it is in a way. And also—as you already asked me about this—I wanted to include literature, visual art, and community programming. We had skateboarders rebuild a skate park in the theater. I wanted to include things that people normally don’t expect in a theater. And I wanted a name that says “performance.” The old name was actually “Performance Space 122,” but no one ever said that. Everyone always said “PS122.” I wanted people to say “performance space,” and I thought it would allow me to push more the idea of what live performance could be. I have no regrets. I think it made it all clearer and hopefully more inclusive. That was the idea behind this.
Did you get any pushback? Many older artists in performing arts went through and started their careers at PS122.
I think, in the beginning, some people were shocked and upset. But I do think a lot of people came around when they actually saw the program itself. Our whole first season was dedicated to the East Village and its history. I’m just working on the program for next year, and we’re again talking to a lot of artists from that time. Of course, I had to convince some people. I talked to the founders and the former directors. Not everyone loved it. But I think a lot of people ultimately came around. I haven’t heard criticism around it for a long time, although maybe people don’t say it to my face. I understood why they were upset, so I wasn’t surprised about that. What if someone renamed the organization that I was attached to during the formative years of my life. I totally understood why people were attached to it. I just thought it wasn’t a reason strong enough to keep the name. It was very confusing to new audience members. As the director, I knew that the older generation would always have a relationship with us and took them very much for granted. I was thinking about developing new audiences, which I felt we really needed because of how the neighborhood had changed and how the field had changed.
Changing the topic, I’d like to hear about your background and career as well. How did you become involved in performing arts or performance? I read somewhere you studied film and video before.
I have a master’s in cultural studies. I’m from Berlin, Germany, and the degree is from a university there. It was very multidisciplinary, maybe that’s where my interest in multidisciplinary comes from. There was a lot of art history, esthetics, media studies, gender studies, literature, history… really everything. All the humanities, if you want. One of my focuses was media studies, particularly video, film, and TV. That was my background. When I started working at MoMA, I was in the Film Department, and then the Media Department after the Film Department split off. So, in the beginning, it made sense. And then the Media Department became the Media and Performance Art Department. This was all under Klaus Biesenbach (*11). This was in 2007 or 2008, and I was working with him at the time. When it became the Media and Performance Art Department, they were looking for an assistant curator for performance. And I had already worked on performance. I was lucky to be there, and he asked me if I wanted to do it. And I got the job. I was lucky to be in New York with so many amazing performance artists from so many different generations who still live and work here . I actually got to learn about performance and performance art from the artists themselves.

And maybe because I grew up in Germany, where the performing arts, especially theater, is important. You study theater in school, you go to the theater with your family. It’s not like here where it’s expensive. In Germany, it’s subsidized. It was always part of my life. But I didn’t seek it out. When I was studying at college, I thought I would work more with film. So, having a background in something different than arts or visual art or performing arts, I was at first a little insecure, because I thought, “Oh, I’m not a specialist.” But then I learned over the years that you bring a different perspective and you see things differently, and it actually helps you break through conventions, without even knowing it. You’re not formally trained, but to work with living contemporary artists, it’s actually not a bad thing. If you are too trained, sometimes you think there is only one way to hang a painting if you study that for six years or so. Or just one way to talk about a painting or write about it or present it. So ultimately, there was a lot of freedom that came with it.
You were a curator at MoMA from 2008 to 2012, then you worked at PS1 from 2012 to 2017. Maybe you can talk a little bit more about your work there. What was it like to present performances in a museum setting?
It was fascinating. So, that was 15 years ago. Things were very different. Nowadays, every museum has a performance program. But at the time… I mean, there was always performance. I studied the archives a lot and found Yoko Ono did an unsolicited performance or Yayoi Kusama did. Jean Tinguely, etc. Many performances took place there over the years, but they were usually like concerts in the garden during summer. Or for an opening reception, there was a performance program. So, they were always a side program of a major exhibition. At the time, the museum was 70 or almost 80 years old. It was a fascinating apparatus. A well-oiled, incredible machine that was focused on presenting, preserving, and collecting objects. Bringing in living, breathing, sweating, eating bodies and performers was a real challenge, but it was exciting. I wasn’t aware of this at the time, because I was so young and green. But it was really adventurous to bring in this live performance to this institution that in many ways was very set on how it was operating. It was an incredible team, the most talented, ambitious people in the world working together, and I learned so much. But unexpected things happened because it was the very beginning. Performance hadn’t been institutionalized yet, there was no producer, for example. Or like making a budget for performance. We had conversations like, “OK, where would the performers change into their costumes or their performance clothes?” “Where do they go to the bathroom?” And, “Oh my God, they have to eat!” And yeah, they had to drink water, but we couldn’t have food and water in the galleries. So, there were a lot of logistical questions, but it was interesting to see that and to see how the galleries were coming alive by these performances. Now MoMA has a new multi-use space (*12) for performance that can turn into a gallery, but it didn’t exist back then. So, we had to work in the galleries or the atrium. I loved the atrium, but it was one of the worst spaces in the world to put on a performance because it has a stone floor. You couldn’t put a dancer on the stone floor; they would immediately injure themselves. The acoustics were horrible because it was so big. There were a lot of interesting challenges, but also because it was the beginning, I think we got away with doing a lot of things that now would be impossible. We kind of flew a little bit under the radar although that was not intended. It just happened because it was basically me doing everything, there was little oversight.

It was interesting also because there was always a in-built audience. At MoMA there were tourists and they just had thousands of visitors every day. And if you put on a performance in the galleries, you would immediately have an audience, and there would be people from all over the world and all different backgrounds.

Before I officially became a curator, we started these so-called performance workshops where we invited a lot of artists who work with performance, but from very different backgrounds and very different generations. Artists and curators come and sit together and help us think through how to bring live performances into the museum. At the time, I think the Tate in London was the only big museum that was engaging with live performance. It was really like breaking into new territory.
I think you were also involved in the acquisitions of performance pieces. It’s one of the main functions of art museums. What was it like?
It was very clear that in a place like MoMA, the collection is everything, as well as the exhibition program. Klaus was very strategic. Again, I was young and green. I didn’t see that, but we immediately talked about collecting performance, bringing it into the collection, and making exhibitions. So, we did the Performance Exhibition Series. That was something that we workshopped. It was also the time when Klaus started working on the Marina Abramović show (*13). So, we talked a lot about that. I think one of the first acquisitions was Tino Sehgal, who is an artist coming from dance. He started a talk that institutions would be able to acquire performances—by the way, he doesn’t call his works “performances,” but “situations.” The acquisition was this intricate performance in itself, because there was no documentation of his works. There was a ritual of acquiring the works, the ephemeral works, which would bring them into the collection (*14). Then I remember we acquired Roman Ondák, an artist from Slovenia. It was a work called Measuring the Universe. It was a participatory work. It would start with an empty gallery space. And then the gallery attendants would mark visitors’ heights, like the way you measure children. Put a little line on the wall or the door frame, and then put the date and the name to document their growth. We would do this for everyone coming into the gallery and it would create this incredible portrait of the city or a moment in time. We acquired that (*15). Then we started working with the great choreographer and movement artist Simone Forti. We presented her Dance Constructions. It was one of the first shows that we did in 2009. We started the conversation about acquiring her work. She is of an older generation and she did these works in the early Sixties. As opposed to Tino and Roman, who were younger and had already thought about how their work is acquired, when we asked her how we could acquire those Dance Constructions, she was like, “No, they’re for everyone!” [Laughs.] So, that took years, and my successors Ana Janevski and Stuart Comer finalized the acquisition, and they are now in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art (*16). Ever since, MoMA has acquired many works, and of course, acquired a lot of documentation of performances. Which in a way is the easiest way to collect performance.
Like video documentation?
Yes, documentation of performances. But there is a philosophical question: Is that really the work? For some artists, it is, and for other artists, it’s not at all. The one big thing I took out of all these workshops and conversations is that, for acquiring performance, there is no formula like acquiring a painting, which makes it fascinating. We really have to work with the artists and talk about the very specifics of each acquisition and each piece.
Now I would like to ask you to talk about what has happened recently. 2020 was a big year in many ways. It was the organization’s 40th anniversary. And in that year, the pandemic hit the world and it has posed unprecedented challenges for all of us. Many small- and mid-size art organizations first thought this might be the end. How did your organization survive it?
Before anyone even knew about COVID and the pandemic, 2020 was the year that we turned 40 and we wanted to do something special and different. We decided in 2018—way before anyone knew what was going to happen—to not have a regular program during 2020, but instead, invite a group of artists and give them our entire programming budget. And give them space in our offices, give them keys, invite them to pay themselves and work with us—the staff and the board. And they had full reign over their artistic program for that year. Whatever they wanted—as long as they could pay for it and it was safe, and the spaces were used—they were invited to work here.

When the pandemic hit, it was heartbreaking, of course, and frightening in so many ways. But unlike other performing arts institutions, we didn’t have a program that was scheduled, so we didn’t have to cancel things that were on the calendar, which we felt lucky about, and a lot of the programing budget went to support artists, by paying a bi-weekly fee. So, we were in a way set up to support artists, or at least we didn’t have to cancel shows. But of course, we had to shut down and went on lockdown. We always do fundraisers, as American institutions have to do, and many other things to generate income, but that couldn’t happen during that year. So, to answer your question about what we did to survive, we made ourselves small. We decided with our Board of Directors right away that the most important thing was that we keep our staff and keep paying salaries to the artists, so they wouldn’t have to suffer. Then we reached out to a lot of foundations. We teamed up with other organizations. One of the nicest things that happened during the pandemic was that we teamed up with organizations and we were in touch with them almost daily. We started fundraising with them together and asked for emergency grants. We were lucky. We got a lot of them. And then, you know, all this government stimulus money helped. So, we were OK. During the first year, we didn’t have to let anyone go, which was great. We’re still here.

The work with the artists continued, but they went remote first. Then during the political uprisings of the summer of 2020, some of the artists came back and started initiatives here. They started organizing to support the protests. There was a free school program, abolitionist initiatives, and a lot of mutual aid activities. So, we were first on lockdown, working remotely, and then a lot of them—not everybody—came back and started supporting each other. It was quite chaotic. We had great moments, but also very tough moments. Some of the artists from this project, 02020, stayed on and have been working with us on institutional changes and creating more equitable, more accessible, more open institutions that really serve our communities. The new mission statement came out of that. Open Movement and Open Space came out of that. We’re now working on a vision statement and a strategic plan. So, it was quite a transformative year, I know for everybody, but especially for Performance Space.
You just mentioned the new mission statement. Could you talk more about this new mission statement?
When I first started here in 2017—I think the statement had changed over the past 40 years—the mission statement at that time was already almost ten years old. I always knew that it needed to be reworked. But in the beginning, we were focused on getting back into the building and the program. And, as an executive director, there was always fundraising, fundraising, fundraising.... So, when we started planning the 02020 experiment, it was one of my goals. One thing that I told the Board was that I want to do it in 2020.

©Performance Space New York

So, you had been planning it considerably before?
Yes. We knew in 2019 that we were going to work on the mission statement. And what a year it was to really rethink everything! We worked with the board and an agency called Champions Design. They did a lot of research and did a lot of interviews with artists and community members. Usually, mission statements are very wordy. Unless you work in the field, no one understands what they mean. But we wanted to have something very simple, straightforward, memorable, but to the point. So no one working here or no Board member could say, “Oh, actually, I don’t know what the mission is.” Something that everyone agrees to. And we came up with something I think is really great. It’s like almost a little poem. It’s very simple. It says:

YES to Artists
YES to Risks
YES to Community
YES to Every Body
YES to ___________

In a month from now, we will have the first town hall meeting that we will hold annually, where we hope the community members show up and tell us what they think we should focus on and what they need. They can fill the blank of the last line. We will make that part of the mission statement and work towards that goal.
This will be the last question. This might be a very broad question, but how do you see the current performing arts scene in New York? Also, what do you think about the role of presenters today?
I think performance is more relevant than ever. Especially artists got hit hard by the pandemic. Last year, you could see how things were coming back, and in the fall, there were certain weeks where we were back to seeing two or three performances a week. Then Omicron…. Usually, January is the most active experimental performance month of the year in New York City, but almost everything got canceled this year. That was heartbreaking.

I think the role of presenters right now is to live up to this moment. If you didn’t know in 2019 that things were changing and the old ways of doing things didn’t work anymore, I think now everyone is aware. Probably even the Metropolitan Opera and Lincoln Center are aware that we’re in a new era. Business as usual doesn’t work anymore. Also, the same goes for art-making. Artists are always the first ones to react to these changes. I think the role of presenters is to support them—wherever the artists are going and need to go— support these changes, and answer to this really historic moment. I think—I feel it and I see it—art is going to make a huge jump. When we look back to this moment, there will be a clear before and after. Our duty is to support this transition and this transformation. The artists we spoke to were very clear in saying that they need deeper relationships with organizations and also among each other. There was too much competition. The festival format created too much competition and too much isolation among artists. They need more support. They need more access, like having access to space to rehearse. Especially being New York City, they need more space. They need more involvement. That’s what we are right now trying to answer to.

Jenny Schlenzka was appointed Performance Space New York’s Executive Artistic Director in 2017 and is the organization’s first female director. Prior to joining Performance Space, Schlenzka was the Associate Curator at MoMA PS1 in New York, where she established Sunday Sessions, an interdisciplinary, weekly live program. Sunday Sessions has featured hundreds of artists including Honey Dijon, Mette Ingvartsen, Ann Liv Young, Sondra Perry, Terre Thaemlitz, Justin Vivian Bond, and Wu-Tang Clan, as well as new commissions by Hannah Black, Trajal Harrell, Ragnar Kjartansson, Mårten Spångberg, Anne Imhof, Matthew Lutz Kinoy and Tobias Madison. In addition to her event program, Schlenzka developed an interest in performance within the exhibition format, organizing the New York presentation of Retrospective by Xavier Le Roy (2014) and Anne Imhof: DEAL (2015). Between 2008 and 2012, Schlenzka was the Assistant Curator for Performance in the Department of Media and Performance Art at The Museum of Modern Art. She holds an MA in Cultural Studies from Humboldt University, Berlin. She is a recipient of the Yoko Ono Courage Award.

Performance Space New York

*1 MoMA PS1 is one of the oldest and largest nonprofit contemporary art institutions in the United States. It was founded in 1971 as the Institute for Art and Urban Resources Inc., and later became P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center. Since 2000, the institution has been affiliated with the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). MoMA PS1’s diverse program encompasses more than 50 exhibitions each year, including artists’ retrospectives, site-specific installations, and historical surveys, as well as music and performance programming.

*2 Jade Kuriki Olivo, also known as Puppies Puppies, is a Brooklyn-based conceptual, performance, and installation artist. Her early conceptual works were created under the pseudonym that avoided the specificity of gender, origin, and individualism. She is known for appearing in the costumes of SpongeBob or the Statue of Liberty. Beginning in 2018, the artist revealed her identity as a trans woman whose mother is Japanese and father is Indigenous/Puerto Rican. In December 2021, she won the Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland’s second Toby’s Prize.

*3 The Met Ball, also known as the Met Gala, is an annual fundraising gala for the benefit of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute in New York City. The event is one of the biggest fashion events where invited celebrity guests wear outfits by the most prominent designers and walk the red carpet.

*4 Storyboard P, whose real name is Saalim Muslim, is a Bessie-Award-winning dancer and choreographer from Brooklyn. He was dubbed “the Basquiat of street dance” by The New Yorker. He has worked with artists such as Kahlil Joseph, Arthur Jafa, and Jay-Z.

*5 Flex or Flexing is a style of street dance from Brooklyn in which dancers bend and flex their bodies beyond a human's normal range of flexibility.

*6 Colin Self is an artist, composer, and choreographer, who is based in New York and Berlin. They compose and choreograph music, performance, and environments for expanding consciousness, troubling binaries, and boundaries of perception and communication. Self has presented work at The Dutch National Opera, HAU Berlin, The New Museum, MoMA PS1, The Kitchen, and Issue Project Room, among various other festivals and venues internationally.

*7 Ariana Reines is an award-winning poet, playwright, performance artist, and translator. Her most recent book of poetry is A Sand Book, which was longlisted for the National Book Award. Reines has created performances and art projects for the Whitney Museum, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, and Stuart Shave Modern Art, among others.

*8 Brontez Purnell is a writer, musician, dancer, filmmaker, and performance artist. He is the author of several books including Since I Laid My Burden Down and the zine Fag School; frontman for the punk band The Younger Lovers; and founder of the Brontez Purnell Dance Company.

*9 Monica Mirabile is a New York-based artist and one half of FlucT, a performance duo with Sigrid Lauren. She is also a founder of Otion Front Studio, an affordable performance practice studio in Brooklyn.

*10 COIL Festival was Performance Space 122’s annual winter festival, which was held from 2005 to 2018, showcasing contemporary performances from the U.S. and around the world.

*11 Klaus Biesenbach is currently the Director of the Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin, Germany. He is a former director of the Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles, former Chief Curator at Large at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and former director of MoMA PS1.

*12 The Museum of Modern Art expanded its campus, which was opened in October 2019. As part of the expansion project, the museum created a new multi-use space called the Marie-Josée and Henry Kravis Studio for live and experimental programming.

*13 Marina Abramović: The Artist Is Present, a retrospective of Abramović’s work, was held at the Museum of Modern Art from March to May 2010.

*14 Tino Sehgal does not permit his pieces to be photographed or filmed. When he sells his art, the acquisition process is entirely verbal. In 2010, The New York Times Magazine reported the MoMA acquired his work Kiss (2003) for $70,000: “Since there can be no written contract, the sale of a Sehgal piece must be conducted orally, with a lawyer or a notary public on hand to witness it. The work is described; the right to install it for an unspecified number of times under the supervision of Sehgal or one of his representatives is stipulated; and the price is stated. The buyer agrees to certain restrictions, perhaps the most important being the ban on future documentation, which extends to any subsequent transfers of ownership.” In 2020, MoMA lent Kiss to the Guggenheim when they held Sehgal’s exhibition.

*15 When museums acquire Roman Ondak’s pieces, they typically consist of written instructions. Museums are allowed to document the implementation of the work.

*16 In 2015, the Museum of Modern Art finalized the acquisition of Simone Forti’s Dance Constructions (1960-61). The pieces consist of simple actions and minimalist objects made of plywood and ropes. The Museum acquired the rights to perform the dances, objects, extensive writings by Forti, and a set of instructions, which include teaching videos, sketches, historical photos, notebooks, and recorded interviews. In 2016, the Museum in collaboration with Danspace Project hosted a series of workshops to train younger performers.