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Afterlives: The Persistence
of Performance

Fri, Sep 25–Sun Sep 27
FIAF & The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)


Artists, curators, and thinkers gather over three days to present talks and stage intensive conversations on vital issues for contemporary performance practice.

Performance is increasingly documented, archived, institutionally incorporated, and globally disseminated. While often celebrated, performance's ephemerality also binds performance to its many returns, its mediations, and afterlives. Now criticism is focused more on the recurrence and persistence of performance than on its disappearance. Whether a performance lingers as vague memories, oral legend, transmitted techniques, or as an infrastructure of feeling, performance’s material remains support and project its continuing radical inclinations. Participants will rethink how performance matters and persists in time.

All talks in English.

Blackness and Nonperformance with Fred Moten

Fri, Sep 25 at 6:30pm
MoMA, Titus Theater 2

Acclaimed theorist and poet Fred Moten gives a talk on the right to perform, blackness, nonperformance and freedom. "Softly, against the grain of a metaphysical presumption of a right to perform or not to perform (a knowledge, one might say, of the freedom to be or not to be), which undergirds performance even at its most critically and theoretically sophisticated, I would like to present some preliminary notes on blackness as nonperformance." –Fred Moten

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Performance Histories and Futures
With contributions from Sharon Hayes, Janez Janŝa, and Ralph Lemon

Sat, Sep 26 at 2pm
FIAF, Le Skyroom

Performance often recovers and alters past materials and works: not so much a revival but a survival of images, affects, and things. How does this iteration operate not only historically but also prospectively: addressing future generations as well as a generation of alternative futures for each work? Beyond notions of redo and reconstruction, how might we rethink the sustained forces of performance as being in continual re-emergence and transformation? How can museums, curators, artists participate in this inventive mode of performance’s persistence?

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Lin Hixson and Matthew Goulish, A Poetics of the Thing Outlived

Sat, Sep 26 at 5:45pm
MoMA, Titus Theater 2

Renowned artists Lin Hixson and Matthew Goulish create a performance lecture on age, endurance, collective thinking and the composition of the future.

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Kathleen C. Stewart, Method Acting

Sat, Sep 26 at 7:30pm
MoMA, Titus Theater 2

Leading anthropologist Kathleen C Stewart gives a talk on the charged atmospheres of everyday life, attuning to the ecology of practices and methods of acting.

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Active Objects, Vital Matter, and the Lives of Things
With contributions from Janine Antoni, Jane Bennett and Maria Lind

Sun, Sep 27 at 2:30pm
FIAF, Le Skyroom

In many areas of contemporary thought, matter is no longer perceived as inert, stable and passive, and the longstanding distinction between the material and the ideational has broken down. Contemporary art is also gripped by material things that have agency, by uncanny and queer objects that test the limits of the human and inhuman, of the lively and the dead. How does performance intervene in this scene of altered objecthood? How do performance’s own objects (its props, documents, relics and tools) also partake of the liveness of the event? How does one curate, preserve, perform with, and attend to the strange lives of things?

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About Adrian Heathfield

Adrian Heathfield (b. UK) writes on, curates, and creates performance. His books include Out of Now, a monograph on the Taiwanese-American artist Tehching Hsieh and the edited collections Perform, Repeat, Record, Live: Art and Performance, Small Acts and Shattered Anatomies. He is currently at work on a creative research project, Curating the Ephemeral, at Columbia University where he is a Marie Curie International Fellow in the School of Arts. He was co-director of Performance Matters, a four-year Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC) funded research project on the cultural value of performance (2009-2013). He co-curated the Live Culture events at Tate Modern, London (2003). He has worked on many critical and creative collaborations including film dialogues, performance-lectures, writing, and workshop projects. He was President of Performance Studies International (2004-2007) and is Professor of Performance and Visual Culture at the University of Roehampton, London.


About André Lepecki

André Lepecki (b. 1965, Brazil) is Associate Professor at the Department of Performance Studies, New York University. Selected curatorial work includes: chief curator of the festival IN TRANSIT (2008 and 2009 editions) at HKW, Berlin; archive Dance and Visual Arts since 1960s for the exhibition MOVE: choreographing you, Hayward Gallery (2010), curator of the series Performance in the Museum, Off-Hinge / Of Center: alternative histories for performance and Points of Convergence at MoMA-Warsaw (2013-15), advisor for the 2016 Biennale of Sydney. Selected awards: AICA Award for Best Performance for co-curating and directing the authorized re-doing of Allan Kaprow’s 18 Happenings in 6 Parts (commissioned by Haus der Kunst, Munich 2006; presented at Performa 07). Editor of the anthologies Dance (Whitechapel, 2012), Planes of Composition: dance, theory and the global (Seagull press, 2009, with Jenn Joy), The Senses in Performance (Routledge 2007, with Sally Banes), Of the Presence of the Body (Wesleyan University Press, 2004). He is the author of Exhausting Dance: performance and the politics of movement (Routledge 2006), which has been translated into 10 languages.


Afterlives, an initiative of Columbia University School of the Arts as part of Curating the Ephemeral, is funded by the European Research Council. Afterlives is part of the Crossing the Line festival and is realized in collaboration with The Museum of Modern Art's Department of Education and Department of Media and Performance Art and with the French Institute Alliance Française.

Ticket Prices
General $12
FIAF Members $8
Students $8

Le Skyroom
22 East 60th Street,
New York, NY 10022

The Roy and Niuta Titus Theater 2
11 West 53rd Street,
New York, NY 10019


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