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Performance Art Series at the Neuberger Museum of Art

Hard Return: 9 Experiments for this Moment opens February 1.

Hard Return: 9 Experiments for this Moment is an exciting, artist-curated exhibition that will transform the Neuberger Museum of Art into a site of collaboration, investigation, and performance artistry over a series of nine weeks from February 1 to early May 7, 2023.

The show “experiments” with our sense of being alive at this moment while probing the influence of history on our present and proposing different ways of shaping and understanding community.

Neuberger Museum Director Tracy Fitzpatrick took a novel approach to Hard Return by inviting acclaimed performance artist and Guggenheim Fellow Kate Gilmore, professor of sculpture, and performance art scholar Jonah Westerman, assistant professor of art history, to co-curate the exhibition. 

“We are thrilled to leverage the expertise of the College and have the collaboration of these two friends and colleagues,” says Fitzpatrick. “Jonah Westerman’s scholarship in performance art is exceptional. And I believe this is the very first time that a world-renowned performance artist such as Kate Gilmore has curated a performance art exhibition.”

Participating artists have been tapped to create diverse, participatory, durational projects that explore fundamental questions about art and life, and they include:

  • Jesus Benavente
  • Daniel Bozhkov
  • Nao Bustamante
  • Patty Chang
  • Emily Coates
  • Brendan Fernandes
  • Amber Hawk Swanson
  • Autumn Knight
  • Alix Pearlstein MFA ’88

The exhibition opens on February 1 with an original dance piece created by Brendan Fernandes in response to African art in the Neuberger collection.

Vogueing expert Jason Rodriguez ’12 and a cast of Purchase College students are working with the artist to consider the transmission of cultural forms and knowledge across time and space and from body to body; movement workshops will engage museum visitors throughout the week.

In mid-February, Inventory, a new commission by Alix Pearlstein MFA ’88 (sculpture), will feature improvisational exercises to blur the lines between then and now, self and other, live and recorded.

See a complete schedule of performances.

Along with their performances, each artist will participate in public lectures and conversations on campus. Purchase students will serve as interns and work as performers and production managers, which is another unique experience made possible by the museum’s relationship with the college.

Audience members from both on- and off-campus will be able to participate in person and virtually. All projects will be archived on the web and in a printed catalogue.

Generous financial support for this exhibition has been provided by the National Endowment for the Arts, the Friends of the Neuberger Museum of Art, and the Purchase College Foundation. Additional support for student participation in Hard Return has been provided by Ivan Bart & Grant Greenberg and Ava & Paul Zukowsky.