Last Friday, November 1, marked the beginning of the month-long Performa 13 biennial, bringing more than 100 performance-art events to some 40 venues throughout New York City. This weekend saw the kickoff of the latest, Surrealist-themed edition of Performa with offerings running the gamut from ticketed seated performances to a bevy of free events for all. Here, we survey a few of the artists who are behind can't-miss performances, screenings, talks, and other on-going happenings this month.
1. Jill Magid "Woman in Sombrero, Women in Sombrero"
Thursday, November 7, 7 p.m., Art in General, 79 Walker Street (Updated: SOLD OUT)
Magid examines the archives of Mexican architect Luis Barragán through her own installations and films. Her performance that contextualizes and presents the materials from the archive.
2. Joan Jonas, “Reanimation”
November 15-16, 8 p.m. (with a second 3 p.m. showing on Saturday the 16), Roulette, 509 Atlantic Ave, Brooklyn, $20
Restaging a work that she debuted in this year’s dOCUMENTA, the veteran performance-art icon will conduct an improvisatory duet with the jazz pianist Jason Moran that is thematically inspired by Icelandic author Halldór Laxness’s 1968 novel Under the Glacier.
3. Pedro Reyes, “The People’s United Nations (pUN)”
November 23-24, 12 p.m., Queens Museum, Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Queens
Taking place in the Queens Museum’s freshly renovated and expanded building, the rising star of the Mexico City art scene will unveil a tongue-in-cheek “parallel” version of the United Nations, referencing both the history of the museum site—it formerly housed an early version of the U.N.’s General Assembly—and the borough’s renown as a melting pot for a dizzying array of world cultures.
4. Eleanor Antin, "An Afternoon with Eleanora Antinova (a.k.a. Eleanor Antin)"
November 9, 2 p.m., the Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Art Gallery, Columbia University, 1190 Amsterdam Avenue
Antin created the character Eleanora Antinova, an African-American ballerina of Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes, whom the artist embodied from 1972 to 1991. Antin will read and discuss excerpts from the invented character's memoirs at Columbia University.
5. Alexandre Singh, "The Humans"
November 13-16, 7:30 p.m., November 17, 3 p.m., BAM Fisher, 321 Ashland Pl., $20
Alexandre Singh's foray into performance is an alternately Greek-comedy inspired and Shakespearean play about two spirits at the beginning of time planning and witnessing the creation of Earth. Mythological and madcap, the play functions both as satire and a strong showing for this year's Surrealist theme.
6. Korakrit Arunanondchai, Performa After Hours
November 16, 9:30 p.m., 131 ½ Chrystie St.
The up-and-coming visual and performance artist presents a live-staging of the recent film 2566 with his collaborators, for a special after-hours performance, plus free St-Germain cocktails before the show.
7. Marianne Vitale "The Missing Book of Spurs"
November 20-22, 8 p.m., 5-01 46th Road, Long Island City
This "multistory wooden structure activated by live performances" will be on view at the artist's own studio in Long Island City, as one of the few Performa events taking place in Queens. At a press conference last month, biennial director RoseLee Goldberg said Vitale had considered a number of locations before realizing that her own studio would be the perfect venue for the sprawling installation-performance work inspired by the American frontier. For $20, audiences are invited into Vitale's personal workspace for an intimate experience of artist and creation.
8. Ed Atkins "Man of Steel"
November 21, 7:30 p.m., Anthology Film Archives, 32 Second Avenue
Anthology Film Archives screens a night of works by the pioneering British artist Ed Atkins, such as Even Pricks (2013) made for the Lyon Biennale, and Warm, Warm Spring Mouths (2013). They will be screened alongside the artist's own curated selection of films, exploring where the digital and new media meet the live and performance-driven. The evening is hosted by Atkins himself. Tickets are $15.
9. Rashid Johnson, "Dutchman"
O.K., it has been sold out for weeks, but our list just wouldn't be complete without mentioning Rashid Johnson's already critically acclaimed staging of Dutchman, the 1964 play about race and love by LeRoi Jones (a.k.a. Amiri Baraka), set at a Russian and Turkish Bathhouse. It has proven to be an early standout among this year's offerings, with rave reviews already streaming in while the show was still in previews. Tickets may have sold out long ago, but enterprising art lovers might still find a way.
10. Ryan McNamara "MEƎM: A Story Ballet about the Internet"
November 8-12, 8 p.m., Connelly Theater, 220 E. 4th Street
The young video and performance artist McNamara presents a balletic performance that looks to interpret the Internet into choreography, "exploring our sense of what we do when we copy, steal, appropriate, create, repeat, plagiarize, mine, or tweet." It has been billed as fully immersive theater experience, sure to be filled with unconventional surprises. Tickets to the Performa-commissioned piece are $20.
11. Squat Theatre Featuring Eva Buchmuller, Anna Koos, and Jay Sanders
November 6, 6:30 p.m., Electronic Arts Intermix, 535 W. 22nd St # 5, $7
In conjunction with the Whitney Museum's current exhibition "Rituals of Rented Island," which explores the seeds of the performance-art movement in 1970s New York, curator Jay Sanders will present a screening of one of Squat Theatre's performances with original group members Eva Buchmuller and Anna Koos, with a discussion following the event.