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PERSONA New Museum Seminars: (Temporary) Collections of Ideas Consortium

Cover Image:

Wu Tsang with Alexandro Segade, Mishima in Mexico, 2012 (still). HD video, sound, color; 14:18 min. Courtesy the artists

On Monday, December 14, the participants of New Museum Seminars: (Temporary) Collections of Ideas will host a multipart public program featuring presentations by artists Jennifer Chan and Narcissister as well as a discussion and screening of Wu Tsang and Alexandro Segade’s film Mishima in Mexico (2012) with Segade. This program has grown out of the Seminars’ twelve-week investigation into the Fall 2015 R&D Season thematic, PERSONA. Throughout the fall of 2015, Seminar participants have grappled with the dynamic theme of PERSONA as a catalyst for the ways and means by which we craft ourselves as subjects and present ourselves to others, while exploring the roles that the media, celebrity culture, politics, theater, and art play across the spectrum of subjecthood from “self” to “character.”

Operating as a peer-led initiative, the New Museum Seminars meet on a weekly basis to parse the Seasonal thematic through the lens of theoretical and literary texts, performances, exhibitions, and ephemera. This Season’s participants include: Jess M. Barbagallo, David Xu Borgonjon, Suzanne Broughel, Heather Bursch, Johanna Burton, Travis Chamberlain, Joseph Henry, Devin Kenny, Sara O’Keeffe, Amanda Parmer, Lucas G. Pinheiro, Isaac Richard Pool, Alicia Ritson, Amanda Ryan, Sable Smith, and Marisa Williamson.

During the course of the semester, the group has developed a joint bibliography comprising texts, artworks, and cultural ephemera that attend to the polyvalent resonances of this term in mimetic exacerbation, body swapping, parasitical relationships, celebrity, unmasking, passing, and other topics.

Jennifer Chan makes videos, GIFs, random objects, and websites that explore conflicting ideals of love, sex, happiness, race, and gender in the media. She has had solo presentations at transmediale 2013, Berlin; Future Gallery, Berlin; The Nightingale, Chicago; Images Festival, Toronto; Vox Populi, Philadelphia; LTD, Los Angeles; and, most recently, Galleri CC, Malmö. Her work has been featured in Artforum, Kunstkritik, Rhizome, Leap, Furtherfield, sleek Art, and Dazed Digital. She recently produced commissions for Artslant, Mexico Projects, and Kunsthaus Langenthal. Chan grew up in Hong Kong and now lives in Toronto. Her videos are distributed by VTape, Toronto.

Narcissister works the intersection of performance, dance, art, and activism. Integrating prior experience as a professional dancer and commercial artist with a long-standing art practice in a range of mediums including photography, video, and experimental music, she has presented work at the New Museum, MoMA P.S.1, the Kitchen, and Abrons Art Center in New York, as well as at many nightclubs, galleries, and alternative spaces. Narcissister was a re-performer of Marina Abramović’s Luminosity (1997/2010) in “The Artist is Present” at MoMA. She has also presented work internationally at the Music Biennial, Zagreb, Croatia; Chicks on Speed’s Girl Monster Festival, City of Women Festival, Ljubljana, Slovenia; and the Camp/Anti-Camp festival, Berlin; among other venues. Her videos have been featured in exhibitions and festivals worldwide and were recently included on MOCAtv. Her video The Self-Gratifier won “Best Use of a Sex Toy” at the 2008 Good Vibrations Film Festival, where her film Vaseline won the grand prize in 2013. Interested in troubling the divide between popular entertainment and experimental art, Narcissister appeared on America’s Got Talent in 2011. In 2013, her work was included in “Fore” at the Studio Museum in Harlem, and she had her first solo gallery exhibition “Narcissister is You” at envoy enterprises, New York. She was nominated for a Bessie Award for her evening-length performance Organ Player, which debuted at Abrons Arts Center in 2013. Narcissister is a recipient of a 2015 Creative Capital Award and a 2015 Theo Westenberger Grant, and she was named a 2015 United States Artists Fellow.

Alexandro Segade is an artist whose work spans the fields of video, theater, and visual art, with an emphasis on collaboration across disciplines. Segade is a founding member of the collective My Barbarian, with Malik Gaines and Jade Gordon, a Los Angeles– and New York–based trio whose performances enact historical narratives and rehearse social situations. The group draws on performance art, political theater, queer camp, institutional critique, folk plays, musicals, and music videos to construct playful performances that encourage both imagination and presence. They have presented their work nationally and internationally, in solo shows at Museo El Eco, Mexico City; the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Goethe-Institut, New York; and Participant Inc., New York; and in group exhibitions including the 2014 Whitney Biennial, New York; the 2010 Baltic Triennial, Vilnius, Lithuania; Performa 05 and 07, New York; and many others. In addition to My Barbarian, Segade collaborates with Gaines under the name Courtesy the Artists, with projects at the Studio Museum in Harlem, New York; MoMA P.S.1, New York; the Kitchen, New York; Rogaland Kunstsenter, Stavanger, Norway; Performa 13, New York; and others. Segade has presented solo performance and video work at the TBA Festival, Portland, OR; LAXART, REDCAT, and Artist Curated Projects, Los Angeles; UC Riverside, CA; Armory Center for the Arts, Pasadena, CA; Migrating Forms at Anthology Film Archive, New York; Yerba Buena Center, San Francisco; and Vox Populi, Philadelphia. Segade earned a BA in English from UCLA and an MFA in interdisciplinary studio art from UCLA where he studied with conceptual artist Mary Kelly. Segade is Co-Chair of the Film/Video department at Bard College’s Milton Avery Graduate School of Arts and teaches in the Department of Art, Media and Technology at Parsons the New School in New York City.

Wu Tsang is an artist, performer, and filmmaker. Her films, performances, and installations have been presented at museums and film festivals internationally. Tsang’s first feature Wildness (2012) premiered at MoMA’s Documentary Fortnight and won the Grand Jury Prize for Documentary at Outfest Los Angeles. Her recent short You’re Dead to Me premiered on PBS and won the 2014 Imagen Award for Best Short. Tsang has presented projects at Tate Modern, London; the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam; the Whitney Museum, New York; the New Museum, New York; the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; the Gwangju Biennial, South Korea; the Liverpool Biennial; and the 2012 Whitney Biennial, New York. Tsang is a 2014 Rockefeller Bellagio Creative Arts Fellow and a 2015 Creative Capital Fellow.

Sponsors

New Museum Seminars are made possible through the generous lead support of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Additional support is provided, in part, by public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, and from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council. Generous endowment support is provided by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, the Skadden, Arps Education Programs Fund, and the William Randolph Hearst Endowed Fund for Education Programs at the New Museum.

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