Art historian and curator RoseLee Goldberg, the organization is dedicated to exploring the critical role of live performance in the history of twentieth-century art, as well as its enormous significance in the international world of contemporary art.

Performa 17’s team of curators and producers will present commissions and projects around curatorial research themes focused on a cross cultural dialogue between artists working in several African cities, the legacy of Dada, and the intersection of architecture and performance, that represent timely opportunities to work with a diverse range of global contemporary artists. The resulting commissions and scholarship examine immediate and critical concerns confronting our urban centers, the shifting political and cultural currents of our turbulent world today, and ultimately the role of the arts and of artists in supporting afflicted communities. This edition of the Biennial will focus on the sociopolitical context informing contemporary art today, and how best to engage audiences in significantly understanding and absorbing its aesthetics and intrinsic values. Additional commissions, projects and details will be announced in the coming months.

Performa, the internationally acclaimed organization dedicated to live performance across disciplines, announces select commissions and the historical anchor for Performa 17—the seventh edition of the Performa Biennial, to take place November 1–19, 2017, at locations throughout New York City.

Since its inception, Performa has been a leader in commissioning artists whose work has collectively shaped a new chapter in the multi-century legacy of visual artists working in live performance. Founded by “The Performa biennial provides an extraordinary platform for showing the important role of art in society.

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,” says RoseLee Goldberg, Founding Director and Chief Curator. “For the past 18 months, Performa curators have visited Dakar, Nairobi, Addis Ababa, Johannesburg and Cape Town, as part of our ongoing research, examining how artists in these disparate cities consider performance as an extension of their creativity in multiple disciplines—visual art, music, dance, film, image making—and how each artist takes us into distinct histories and sensibilities. Along with artists from Guadeloupe, New York and Paris, we are excited to announce the first commissions emerging from this extended engagement.”