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Not For Sale: Ideal Performance Space

Organizing Committee:



A special Performa 09 discussion intended to probe questions of performance in relationship to architecture and the city, and to speculate on the future of Performa.


What is the ideal performance space for 21st century New York? This session will be dedicated to the discussion and speculation of what defines a performance space. It will examine past examples of performance spaces–whether deliberately designed or spontaneously invaded–and where they have succeeded and or failed. By utilizing the Public School platform, this session intends to bring together professionals in visual arts, performing arts and architecture to understand the complex issues involved in ensuring a successful performance. 


This year Performa has a special focus on New York City itself - with commissioned projects that explore architecture, design, urban planning, typography, media, and public spaces - turning the city into an evolving platform for public engagement and inspiration.


With Performa 09, architecture has been added as a significant part of the biennial. More than twenty architecture related events have been organized, including the Performa Commission of nOffice in Berlin, for the interior design of the Performa Hub (located on the ground floor gallery of the new Cooper Union building at 41 Cooper Square), the fully functioning headquarters for the Performa 09 biennial, and the location for this event.


Moderated by Performa Director RoseLee Goldberg and curator Defne Ayas.



Didier Faustino

Florian Idenburg

Dana Karwas

Carlos J. Gomez de Llarena

Eric Liftin

Shohei Shigematsu

Christian Wassmann

Organized by Defne Ayas as part of Performa 09 and the Public School (For Architecture) with assistance by Griffin Frazen


Sunday, November 22nd, 2009

11 am

41 Cooper Square


sign up online

see the Performa calendar for details



About Performa09:
Performa 09, the third edition of the internationally acclaimed biennial of new visual art performance, will be held in New York City from November 1–22, 2009, showcasing new work by more than 150 of the world’s most exciting contemporary artists. Over its three week-run, Performa 09’s innovative program will break down the boundaries between visual art, music, dance, poetry, fashion, architecture, film, television, radio, graphic design, and the culinary arts, presenting over 110 events in collaboration with a consortium of more than 80 of the city’s leading arts institutions, 40 curators from around the world, and a network of public and private venues throughout the city.



maria ibanez de sendadiano's picture

a lot of the things we do (and must do) don't pass the boring-or-not criteria, but are no less necessary and illuminating.

attempting to define performance is boring.
architecture performs as well or poorly as a dance, an audio/ visual installation in gallery or museum, a project at an advertising agency, or a theater piece.

Trying to design a unique and interesting theater space that functions well is probably one of the biggest challenges for an ambitious architect. especially for an architect with set design experience.
good luck!


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