Performa is a non-profit arts organization well-known for the Performa Biennial, a festival of performance art that happens in various venues and institutions in New York City every other year. Performa was founded by RoseLee Goldberg, art historian and curator of contemporary performance art. Since 2005, Performa curators have included Charles Aubin, Defne Ayas, Tairone Bastien, Mark Beasley, Adrienne Edwards, Laura McLean-Ferris, Kathy Noble, and Lana Wilson. The organization also commissions new works, tours performances premiered at the biennial, and manages the work of choreographer and filmmaker Yvonne Rainer.
In 2005 Performa hosted the first Performa Biennial, a series of performance events at venues and institutions across New York City. Founding curator and director, RoseLee Goldberg is quoted as saying her objective in creating the festival was “to produce new work that I’d never seen before and have the miracle of working with artists who would make things of wonder. The second was to deal with this history.” The festival presents new works by artists working in performance, first performance works by artists working in other mediums, and re-staging of seminal performance works from history.
For the 2005 Biennial the Solomon R. Guggenheim presented Marina Abramović‘s Seven Easy Pieces, in which Abramović re-performed several works from the canon of early performance works, including two of her own. Performances included works by Gina Pane, Vito Acconci, Valie Export, Bruce Nauman, and Joseph Beuys.
- Jesper Just: True Love Is Yet To Come?, 2005 at Stephan Weiss Studio, 711 Greenwich Street, New York
- Francis Alÿs: Rehearsal II at The Slipper Room, 2005 at 167 Orchard Street at Stanton Street
- Performa Radio, 2005, on WFMU (91.1FM-NY) and WKCR (89.9FM-NY)
- Japanther, Japanther in (3-D), 2007 at Performance Space 122
- Nathalie Djurberg, Untitled (Working Title Kids & Dogs), 2007 at the Zipper Theater
- Carlos Amorales, Spider Galaxy, 2007 at 590 Madison Avenue (The Atrium)
- Sanford Biggers, The Somethin’ Suite, 2007 at The Box
- Isaac Julien & Russell Maliphant, Cast No Shadow, 2007 at Brooklyn Academy of Music Harvey Theater
- Daria Martin, Harpstrings & Lava, 2007 at Tribeca Grand Hotel Screening Room
- Kelly Nipper, Floyd on the Floor, 2007 at Judson Memorial Church
- Adam Pendleton, The Revival, 2007 at Stephan Weiss Studio
- Yvonne Rainer, RoS Indexical, 2007 at The Hudson Theatre at Millennium Broadway Hotel
- Francesco Vezzoli, Cosi’ e (se vi pare) Right You Are (If You Think You Are), 2007 at Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum