Organized by the New Museum’s Department of Education and Public Engagement, the Fall 2015 R&D (Research and Development) Season leads an investigative examination of the theme of PERSONA via a range of activities anchored by three major projects operating across various presentational and pedagogical platforms. Here, PERSONA is considered 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.”
Wynne Greenwood: “Kelly”
Exhibition, Concerts, and Public Programs
September 16, 2015–January 10, 2016
Working across video and performance, Wynne Greenwood explores constructions of the self, tracing how subjectivities are formed in public and private spaces and always in relation to others—be they imagined or real-life personae. Greenwood is widely known for her work as Tracy + the Plastics, in which she plays all three members of an all-girl band. As Tracy + the Plastics, Greenwood performed live as lead singer Tracy, accompanied by videos of herself portraying keyboardist Nikki and drummer Cola, and toured across the country from 1999 until the project’s end in 2006.
Naming a new, yet-to-be-imagined character orbiting beyond the Plastics’ cosmology, “Kelly” is an exhibition and a six-month residency at the New Museum in which Greenwood premieres the now complete, re-performed, and mastered archive of Tracy + the Plastics’ performances. Over the last two years, Greenwood has worked to produce videos of the band’s historical, but, until now, largely undocumented, performances. Her approach generates an unusual archival object—original footage of Nikki and Cola accompanied by newly taped performances, made a decade or more later, of the “live” vocalist, Tracy. Bringing this archive into dialogue with more recent work exploring the artist’s interest in what she calls “culture healing,” this exhibition presents new work from Greenwood’s ongoing More Heads series—a body of sculptures and videos that represents characters in symbolic and deconstructed forms. Together, these works consider the poetics of the pause while mining electric gaps of meaning in conversation and offering possibilities for feminist, queer, and experimental models of collaboration and dialogue.
Greenwood’s residency features readings, panels, and performances, including a music series entitled “Temporary Arrangements” in which artists are invited to create and perform as one-night-only bands, as well as a series of panels that explores queer archives, legacies of feminist video production, and the potentiality of performing and disrupting different kinds of scripts.
Music Series: “Temporary Arrangements”
“Temporary Arrangements” is a unique concert series that invites artists to form one-night-only bands and stage their premiere—and, by definition, also final—performances at the New Museum. Curated by Wynne Greenwood, the program emerges out of the DIY ethos of Greenwood’s legendary feminist band. “Temporary Arrangements” proposes a collaborative model that is makeshift and provisional from the outset, asking what can happen when a group is formed without future expectations in mind.
September 19, 3 PM: “Let’s piece our knowing together”
A conversation on queer archives with Lisa Darms, Reina Gossett, Wynne Greenwood, and Sasha Wortzel, moderated by exhibition curators Johanna Burton and Stephanie Snyder
November 14, 3 PM: “Hall Pass”
A conversation on legacies of feminist video production with Cecilia Dougherty, Cheryl Dunye, and Tara Mateik
December 12, 3 PM: “Can you take it from ‘Hey, Tracy…’”
A conversation on language, scripts, and performance with Gregg Bordowitz, Erin Markey, and Elisabeth Subrin
Support for Wynne Greenwood: “Kelly”
Jack Ferver and Marc Swanson: Chambre
Exhibition: September 24–October 4, 2015
Performances: Thursday–Friday, 7 PM; Saturday–Sunday, 3 PM
The New Museum and the French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF) present the New York City premiere of Jack Ferver and Marc Swanson’s Chambre, as part of FIAF’s Crossing the Line festival. In Chambre, writer, choreographer, and director Ferver and visual artist Swanson take Jean Genet’s The Maids as a point of departure for a farcical attack on the contemporary culture of celebrity and greed. Ferver refracts Genet through many lenses, including the gruesome facts of the real-life murders that inspired The Maids, Lady Gaga’s infamous courtroom deposition speech, role-play, and a manic fantasy escape to the City of Lights. Swanson’s mythic and evocative sculptures—on view as an installation during Museum hours—function as both freestanding artworks and a theatrical set. Performed by Ferver, Michelle Mola, and Jacob Slominski, Chambre asks not how such a violent thing could have happened, but why things like this don’t happen more often. Buy tickets now.
Presentation Support for Chambre
Performance and Open Studios
September 20, 2015–January 10, 2016
Working within a pop-up repertory theater model, X-ID REP is a research-driven enterprise designed to examine the shifting ethical boundaries surrounding intercultural cross-play on contemporary American stages. The project brings together a group of directors and playwrights recognized for their diverse approaches to staging across various identifications of class, race, gender, sexuality, ethnicity, and ability, among others. These artists will cast a resident company of actors with whom they will collaborate to develop material that further highlights a spectrum of approaches to the topic. Their rehearsal-based research will unfold in a studio environment that will be open to the public at set times and will culminate in a performance presentation of their findings. Operating from various positions of agency and privilege, the members of X-ID REP will collectively examine the construct of staging intercultural cross-identifications while directing our attention to the social conditions from which these constructs emerge and persist, perniciously or otherwise.
Participating artists: Lileana Blain-Cruz, Kirk Wood Bromley, Jackie Sibblies Drury, Kareem Fahmy, MJ Kaufman, JJ Lind, Aya Ogawa, and Niegel Smith
September 20: Company Auditions
October 26–31: Open Studio Rehearsals with Director Kareem Fahmy
November 2–7: Open Studio Rehearsals with Director JJ Lind
November 20 and 22: Open Studio Rehearsals with Director Lileana Blain-Cruz
December 16–21: Open Studio Rehearsals with Director Niegel Smith
January 8–9: Performance Presentation
Presentation Support for X-ID REP
New Museum Seminars: (Temporary) Collections of Ideas around PERSONA
Sessions: September 28–December 21, 2015
Consortium: December 14, 2015
Aligned with R&D Season themes, New Museum Seminars provide a platform for discussing and debating ideas as they emerge, and for developing scholarship directly referencing art’s place in culture. A group of ten to twelve participants from diverse backgrounds will meet regularly for twelve weeks to plan and implement a bibliography as well as a public event featuring leading figures whose work has shaped the topic of study.
Visit New Museum Seminars: (Temporary) Collections of Ideas for more information, a full list of supporters, and program applications.
Experimental Study Program
Classes: October 9–December 11, 2015
The New Museum’s Experimental Study Program (ESP) pairs youths (fifteen to twenty years old) with artists to collaborate on projects and research related to season themes. Over several months, teens and New Museum staff will undergo an intensive exploration of PERSONA as framed by Wynne Greenwood and director JJ Lind (X-ID REP). Participants will consider topics related to subjecthood, from “self” to “character,” as experienced and crafted across physical and digital realities.
Support for the New Museum’s Experimental Study Program (ESP)
About the R&D Season: PERSONA Team
R&D Seasons are spearheaded by Johanna Burton, Keith Haring Director and Curator of Education and Public Engagement. “Kelly” is co-curated by Burton and Stephanie Snyder, John and Anne Hauberg Curator and Director of the Douglas F. Cooley Memorial Art Gallery, Reed College, Portland, Oregon, with Sara O’Keeffe, Assistant Curator. An earlier iteration of this project, “Stacy,” was presented at the Douglas F. Cooley Memorial Art Gallery in the summer and fall of 2014 and was curated by Snyder. Chambre is organized by Burton and Travis Chamberlain, Associate Curator of Performance and Manager of Public Programs. X-ID REP is organized by Chamberlain. New Museum Seminars are organized by Burton with Alicia Ritson, Research Fellow. The Experimental Study Program is organized by Shaun Leonardo, Manager of G:Class and Community Programs, and Emily Mello, Associate Director of Education. The Fall 2015 R&D Season Fellow is Amanda Ryan.