Sozita Goudouna

Curator, Scholar


NOT FOR SALE: Performa, the first Biennale for performance by artists

Guest Editor: Sozita Goudouna 


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Over the last decade Performa has presented 592 performances, collaborated with 732 artists and toured productions in 17 countries. His Greek curator writes to us from America about the institution and the performance today.

Robin Rhode Arnold Schnbergs Erwartung Times Square NY Performa15 Biennale November 2015 Photo Copyright Paula Court
Robin Rhode, 'Arnold Schönberg's Erwartung,' Times Square NY, Performa15 Biennale, November 2015. Photo Copyright Paula Court

My collaboration with Performa, the first Biennale of Performing Arts in New York, came as a surprise when I saw an announcement announcing funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, which would support the creation of a curatorial and research position. I applied unexpectedly but I was ultimately the curator selected for this postdoctoral position for the next two years.

After four months I have the opportunity to participate in the Biennale which takes place from November 1 to 22 in different parts of the city, from Times Square and New York Customs to MoMA and BAM.

For a month, Performa is changing the way New Yorkers experience the city, especially after 9/11, which transformed the relationship between the residents and the public space. The Biennale aims to "reclaim" public space and spaces that have changed use due to the dominance of Real Estate.

Jesper Just and FOS in the shadow  of a spectacle  is the view of the crowd 44th floor 225 Liberty Building overlooking the One World Trade Center  Vocalist Sahra Motalebi  Photo Copyright Paula Court
Jesper Just and FOS 'in the shadow / of a spectacle / is the view of the crowd,' 44th floor 225 Liberty Building overlooking the One World Trade Center. Vocalist: Sahra Motalebi. Photo Copyright Paula Court.

In this context, the artist Jesper Just "invaded" on Friday, November 13 in an unexpected building, on the 44th floor of the 225 Liberty Building overlooking a performer at the One World Trade Center to reflect the public's relationship with the spectacle, the dynamics and the manipulation of the crowd as well as the experiences of the spectators, 14 years after the attacks on the financial center of the city. But the work 'in the shadow / of a spectacle / is the view of the crowd,' coincided with the events in Paris, provoking the memory of the public and thus repositioning the work of art in the news.

Oscar Murillo Lucky Dip Alexander Hamilton US Custom House  Photo Paula Court
Oscar Murillo 'Lucky Dip' Alexander Hamilton US Custom House. Photo: Paula Court

At the same time, Oscar Murillo turns New York Customs into a corn factory, emphasizing the proportions between art and factory production, and Robin Rhode directs Arnold Schoenberg's opera 'Erwartung' in Times Square, stopping time in one of the busiest places. city's.

The Biennale also launched the Pavillion Without Walls program in 2013 and shows that more importantly than a particular country or region, it promotes cultural exchanges and the connection of international artists to the global audience as well as the cultural landscape of New York. I wonder if the Greek artistic production could be presented at the upcoming Biennale in November 2017…

My daily life during the Biennale is very different because I am not in the offices at Madison Sq and at the University of New York where I teach but I deal exclusively with the consortium of 80+ cultural institutions of Performa (MoMA, Guggenheim, Whitney, New Museum, BAM, Printed Matter, Art in General, Triple Canopy, Roulette, Watermill Center, Kitchen, Pioneer Works among others).

In the next few days, the modern opera of the Body by Body collective will be inaugurated, produced by Rhizome - New Museum, which I have undertaken on behalf of Performa and which will be held in the loft of a Greek artist, one of the few artists who managed to maintain their studio the late 70's until today. The project focuses on the history of New York lofts and how they defined artistic avant-garde.

Unfortunately, this past has begun to fade as artists are pushed out of the center, unable to cope with economic conditions, which alters the character of the city. That is why the Biennale kicked off the "NOT FOR SALE" series of symposia organized by art historian and founder of Performa RoseLee Goldberg in April 2004 at New York University, in response to the function of art in a capitalist mode of production like this. was imposed by the art market.

The lectures focused on the editing, preservation and collection of "ephemeral art" with speakers such as: Joan Jonas, Robert Storr, Chrissie Iles, Hans Ulrich Obrist, Rirkrit Tiravanija, Klaus Ottmann, Debra Singer, Christian Marclay, Christoph Cox, Ron Kuivila, Elizabeth LeCompte, Katy Siegel, Anthony Huberman, Cay Sophie Rabinowitz, Margo Jefferson, John Rockwell, Bennett Simpson, Linda Yablonsky, C. Carr, Lia Gangitano, Laura Hoptman, Vito Acconci, Okwui Enwezor, Massimiliano Gioni et al.

Performa seeks to highlight performance as a different medium, and refutes the notion that it is only events, endurance exercises and conceptual experimentation as well as the belief that performance is intangible, since the body's assignments are very demanding in terms of stage and dramaturgical processing done in collaboration with artists and curators.

The founder of Performa, Prof RoseLee Goldberg, extends the intangible approach expressed by Lucy R. Lippard in her book Six years: the dematerialization of the art object from 1966 to 1972 (1973) highlighting the need to redefine the material dimension of ideas through performance, a point of view that had also influenced my own artistic practice.

  Shirin Neshat The Logic of The Birds produced by RoseLee Goldberg 2001
Shirin Neshat "The Logic of The Birds," produced by RoseLee Goldberg, 2001.

Realizing in the late 1990s that the medium had found itself in a quagmire as artists replicated the events of 1970, Goldberg felt the need to redefine the character of the performance and commission artists who had not experimented with live art with rehearsals, auditions and lighting, the production of new works such as Shirin Neshat's Logic of the Birds.

The first Performa05 Biennale also curated Marina Abramovic's Seven Easy Pieces project at the Guggenheim Museum, which revived past performances by artists such as Bruce Nauman, Vito Acconci, Valie Export, Gina Pane, Joseph beuys and herself, with the aim of "reminding" the public the history of performance from 1960 to 2005.

The study of archives and publications as well as the relationship between education and art is an important part of my activity at Performa. Our research links movements such as Dada, Futurism and the Russian Avant-Garde to recent history, and argues that performance is the true history of art that has always been cross-sectoral, combining all artistic means, poetry, music, architecture and dance.

Revival of the surreal ballet Relche by the artist Francis Picabia and composer Erik Satie 1924 Relche - The Party by Performa 2012 Photo Paula Court
Revival of the surreal ballet Relâche by the artist Francis Picabia and composer Erik Satie, 1924, 'Relâche - The Party' by Performa, 2012. Photo: Paula Court

This cross-sectoral character of performance is observed, as the founder of Performa in Paris in 1920 with the Suedois Ballet says, in Oskar Shlemmer at the Bauhaus in Germany, at Vsevolod Meyerhold in Russia, and in New York in the 1920s. 1950-60 with John Cage, Cunningham, Rauschenberg, and in the 1960s-70s with Judson Church, Yvonne Rainer, Trisha Brown, Richard Foreman, Robert Wilson, Steve Reich, Phil Glass, and Rhys Chatham, Laurie Anderson and most recently in the projects of Pina Bausch, Jerome Bel and Boris Charmatz. '

Francesco Vezzoli Italy in an original collaboration with David Hallberg Leading dancer at the Bolshoi Ballet and the American Ballet Theater in the United States  The Fortuna Desperata project which took place at St Barts Church explores the beginnings of ballet in the royal courtyards of the Italian Renaissance  Photo Copyright Paula Court
Francesco Vezzoli (Italy) in an original collaboration with David Hallberg (Leading dancer at the Bolshoi Ballet and the American Ballet Theater in the United States). The "Fortuna Desperata" project, which took place at St Barts Church, explores the beginnings of ballet in the royal courtyards of the Italian Renaissance. Photo Copyright Paula Court.

Prominent art events such as Documenta focus on the way visual artists create performance, and every major museum of contemporary art establishes performance sections, most notably the Tate Modern in London and the New Whitney in New York.
The Documenta, the Venice Biennale, the Manifesto and the major festivals of Avignon and Edinburgh as well as the Museums, especially in Europe, are supported by the state while Performa undertakes such a venture as a non-profit organization supported almost exclusively by individuals. This structure, the way the organization works, as well as the executives co-shape the unique opportunity I was given to discover the artistic realities of New York.

More about Performa:

Who is who

Sozita Guduna on stage at Fortuna Desperata in St Barts  Photo Copyright Paula Court
Sozita Guduna on stage at "Fortuna Desperata" in St Barts. Photo Copyright Paula Court.

Sozita Goudouna is a curator and doctor of art theory, her book on breathing and art entitled "Mediated Breath" will be published in 2015. She is Andrew W. Mellon Curator at the Performa Institute in New York and also has teaching duties at New York University. She is the artistic director of the Kappatos Athens Art Residency where she curated a series of exhibitions (Martin Creed, Santiago Sierra, Mat Chivers, Marie Voignier etc.) and has collaborated with Marina Abramovic's production of "Seven Deaths."

The Onassis Scholar holds a PhD from the University of London on the relationship between the visual and performing arts. He has also studied Philosophy, Theater (BA) and Directing in London (MA RADA Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts & Kings College). Her articles have been published in academic journals and she has given lectures at Tate Modern, Documenta, Psi, IFTR, Tapra, the Prague Quadrennial and the Venice and Sydney Biennale.

 Founded in London in 2008 and presented Locus Solus (Benaki Museum, 2010) and Eleventh Plateau (Hydra, 2011) is a member of the board of the EKDITH Hellenic Center of the International Theater Institute and treasurer of the Greek Department of the International Association of Art Critics, AICA.


Greek City Times

Sozita Goudouna: What the Greek Art Scene Needs Now

Sozita Goudouna

Sozita Goudouna

Jan 12·6 min read



Sozita Goudouna is an exemplary art curator whose long, multifaceted and multi-textural experience in the Greek and foreign art world creates ripples wherever she moves. Now in New York and Head of Operations at the studio of legendary artist Raymond Pettibon, Goudouna talks to GCT about the Greek art scene and the various projects she has been working on.

  • How did you find yourself on the art path?

I was able to have a better understanding of myself through my involvement in the arts. The shift occurred when I decided to merge my academic interests with a more practical participation in the arts. At some point we realize that it isn’t a privilege to follow our dreams, but a prerequisite if we want to experience our full potential and truly “contribute” to society.

  • What have been some of the highlights of your work as an art curator in Greece and abroad?

Following a 17 years “stopover” in London to study and work for the academy and the local art scene I felt the need to present the work of Greek artists abroad. The collective project on Raymond Roussell I curated in 2009 at the London Festival of Europe with international and Greek artists and architects at the Shunt Vaults (a labyrinth of railway arches under London Bridge Station) was a milestone moment.

Image for postSpaces Within Spaces Festival, The Erasers, Shunt Vaults, 2009, cur. Sozita Goudouna

I am pleased that versions of the project also toured in Athens at the Benaki and the Byzantine Museum with the participation of established international artists such as Mat Collishaw and that most of the London participants including Kostas Alivizatos, Melia Kreiling, Nefeli Skarmea, Xristina Penna, Yorgis Noukakis, Lina Dima, The Erasers, Klio Boboti, Margarita Bofiliou, Kostis Velonis, Alexandros Mistriotis and Dimitra Stamatiou are very active in the international art scene.

Locus Solus, Benaki Museum, 2010, cur Sozita Goudouna
Image for postLocus Solus, Benaki Museum, 2010, cur Sozita Goudouna

Image for postLocus Solus, Benaki Museum, 2010, cur Sozita Goudouna

Locus Solus, Benaki Museum, 2010, cur Sozita Goudouna

During the years of the Greek financial crisis a key project that I consider had a positive and longterm impact to the local art scene was the first official Athens art residency that I directed with the support of European funding. The program hosted solo exhibitions by influential emerging and established international artists including Lynda Benglis, Martin Creed, Marie Voignier and Santiago Sierra and collaborated with Marina Abramović for her production of “Seven Deaths,” a tribute to the life and death of Maria Callas that is set to debut in 2020 at the Munich opera house.

Image for postMartin Creed, Solo Exhibition and performance, 1st EU Athens Art Residency, cur. Sozita Goudouna and Nefeli Skarmea

Image for postEleventh Plateau Eco Festival, Hydra, 2011 cur. by Sozita Goudouna

Eleventh Plateau Eco Festival, Hydra, 2011 cur. by Sozita Goudouna photo: Kom.Post Collective

As a member of the Ecological association of Hydra since 1988 I also enjoyed an arts and environmental project I curated in the island in 2011 and a recent research project I initiated and realized with the support of Onassis Foundation at Aixoni Sculpted landscape in Glyfada built in 1991 by Nella Golanda. Aixoni has been culturally inert and my project attempted to highlight the impact and influential role that it could play for the Greek cultural industry.

Image for postOUT SCORE, research project at Aixoni, cur Sozita Goudouna, choreography Maria Hassabi 2019)

Image for postOUT SCORE, research project at Aixoni, cur Sozita Goudouna, choreography Maria Hassabi 2019)

Image for postPettibon, “Frenchette,” Inaugural Exhibition at Zwirner Gallery Paris, October, 2019
  • Tell us about your work in the US now with acclaimed artist Raymond Pettibon & what the exhibition aspires towards.

I moved to NY in 2015 to work for Performa Biennial and New York University and when I realized that I wanted to stay in NYC one step lead to the other, teaching at City University of New York (CUNY) and managing Pettibon Studio.

Image for postPerforma Biennial 2019 ~ Opening Gala Theme: Bauhaus

Raymond Pettibon is perhaps the most prominent contemporary American artist to concentrate on drawing as his primary medium and it is a great privilege and art history lesson to work with him as head of operations of his studio and with the galleries that represent him such as David Zwirner Gallery, New York, London, Hong Kong, Regen Projects in LA and Sadie Coles in London. With Raymond we worked for the inaugural exhibition of Zwirner’s first outpost in continental Europe, the Paris gallery that also hosted an event for Dior with Pettibon’s art pieces that inspired Kim Jones on his fall men’s collection for Dior. Currently, we are working on his show at Regen Projects LA.

Image for postSozita Goudouna and Raymond Pettibon at Pettibon Studio

Pettibon’s work is widely admired among the contemporary art audience and has avid devotees in the international field of drawing connoisseurs, nevertheless, less people are aware of his influential writings, scripts and videos. Being affiliated with Performa Biennial in New York, as the inaugural Andrew W. Mellon curator, my main concern was also to highlight the textual and performative aspect of Pettibon’s oeuvre by initiating and producing a project at New Museum for Performa Biennial in collaboration with Massimiliano Gioni and RoseLee Goldberg and with the participation of musicians and artists including Kim Gordon, Oliver Augst, Frances Stark, Young Kim, Marcel Dzama, Juli Susin, Veronique Bourgoin among many other artists.

Image for postPettibon “WHOEVER SHOWS: STRIKE UYP TH’ BAND!” Produced by Sozita Goudouna, 14th November 2019, New Museum, Performa Biennial
  • How would you describe the art scene in Greece? In what ways have you seen it evolve in your life so far?

The Greek art scene, like Greece itself, is unpredictable, stray (in terms of governmental strategy and funding), exciting and undisciplined. I consider that lately it has evolved into a more international scene owing to the broader interest of foreigners in Athens that is partly a result of the financial and social crisis, and of art initiatives by younger, local and international artists and curators who understand the importance of experimentation and who aren’t afraid to fail. This approach has caused a cultural shift from the significance of galleries in the 1990s to the prominence of non-profit art initiatives.

  • How does the art scene in Greece compare & contrast to that in the US? What changes would you like to see made in Greece & why as an art-lover & curator?

The US art scene is very different… Greece has a long road and unfortunately during the period of Documenta we lost the opportunity of making a coherent statement about art that is produced in Greece and without a national statement it is difficult to export art…

There have been interesting initiatives by the Ministry of Culture such as EKETHEH that developed into the MITROO (an online record for cultural non-profits) in 2010, however, the MITROO wasn’t able to announce any open calls for funding for 9 years until 2019. As far as required changes are concerned I imagine it would be a repetition to talk about transparency or about the (non) opening of the Contemporary Art Museum, EMST. It is positive that lately the Ministry decided to include a secretary for Contemporary Art, we would like to see contemporary art specialists at these posts and consistency when the next government takes over…

Un/Inhabited, a series of interventions curated by Sozita Goudouna in the Island of Delos, 2012
  • Are there many Greeks involved in the art world in the US today? What is the Greek influence — if any- in the US art scene? Are there any contemporary artists like Stephen Antonakos making a mark?

Yes, there are many Greeks who either moved to New York early like Antonakos, Chryssa, Samaras, Mylonas, Hadjipateras, Marketou or emerging artists who came recently. I consider that it is significant for the Ministry of Culture to “realize” the impact that the Hellenic Consulates can have on contemporary Greek art abroad and to design a serious strategy for the arts, similar to the British Council, the Austrian Embassy and the French Cultural centers. If not the extroversion of Greek culture will depend on private initiative.

An Athenian in New York!

An Athenian in New York

Sozita Guduna

Paula Court16.10.2016, 15:59
Dimitris Stathopoulos

She is young, beautiful, dynamic, creative and loves art. Especially when it is confused with philosophy.

She ropes between her love for the classics but also for the most modern and innovative new artists.


He has been living for a year where the heart of contemporary art beats, in the city that does not sleep and especially that never stops creating.

From New York he told us everything on the occasion of the Performa Gala, which takes place in the metropolis of the world on November 1

Over the past decade, Performa has performed 592 shows, collaborated with 732 artists and toured productions in 17 countries.

The Greek curator who specialized in Performa as the first Andrew W. Mellon Fellow, Sozita Gudouna, from America where she is, answered our questions about today's performance, her life and the pulse of New York.

 ⚫ What is so special about Performa as an artistic activity?

Performa seeks to highlight performance as a different medium and refutes the notion that it is only events, endurance exercises and conceptual experimentation, as well as the belief that performance is intangible, since the body's assignments are very demanding in terms of stage, material but also the dramaturgical elaboration that is done in collaboration with the artists and the curators.

 .   Tell us about your experience from your participation as a Performa curator.

Exciting! I happened to be in New York by accident.

I did not imagine that my application would be successful. The artistic activities I am involved in would have seemed unreal to me a year ago.

During the Biennale in November 2015, I found myself working with a consortium of more than 150 cultural partners in New York City, including MoMA, New Museum, Whitney, Guggenheim, Watermill Center, Times Sq Alliance and more.

All of these organizations co-organize Performa, the only New York Biennale dedicated to exploring the crucial role of live performance in 20th century art history.

It also explores issues related to new directions in 21st century art and the involvement of artists and the public through experimentation and synergies.

 ⚫   What does art mean to you and how do you incorporate it into your life?

Art for me is the systematic, collective or individual effort to understand and above all to expand the world, our common life and our perception, through research, invention and creation.

Professional involvement with artistic production often leads us to forget the very object and essence of art, as well as the reasons why we are in this space.

It is often necessary to remind ourselves of what pushed us into the profession and to invent ways of integrating art into everyday life so that we do not remain just spectators or in the background of artistic creation.

Maintaining this perspective and avoiding the stereotypes and the mood for constant criticism that we have of those who are systematically involved with art, I try to play a more active role in the artistic process and many times, during the preparation of a project, my "life" is located on the border between everyday life and work of art.

 ⚫   How is your typical day in New York going?

The last few months have been some of the most exciting, because I have been working in New York for a while now and I have now delved deeper into the mechanisms of the city and I have more oversight of the art activity.

Something that was initially impossible, due to the diversity and the large number of artistic events.

As a result, a typical day of mine is evolving now with more experiences, friendships, professional gatherings, performances and surprises. I spent many hours in the office or at the University of New York teaching Art History to graduate students, but the job also has its ... luck.

In recent months I have had the opportunity to make many conversations and visits to artists' studios such as Sarah Sze, Taryn Simon, Shirin Neshat, Hank Willis Thomas, Jesper Just, Wyatt Khan, Trajal Harrell, Alexandra Bachzetsis, Raqs Media Collective, Recycle Group, Otolith Group and Will Rawls, with whom I worked closely on the proposal I submitted in June to the Greek Ministry of Culture for the National Representation at the Venice Biennale in 2017 and concerns Greek History.

The proposal was submitted in collaboration with the gallery owner and curator Gerasimos Kappatos and Greek artists, such as Eva Stefani, Panos Charalambous, Zafos Xagoraris, George Koumentakis, Ino Varvariti and Angela Melitopoulos, Thenda Linda and Katerida who was awarded an honorary doctorate by the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki.

Artists who are no longer with us, such as George Lappas, Maria Klonari and Harun Farocki, also participated with their work.

In the end, another proposal was chosen, but we are already considering the possibility of presenting the exhibition at another international event.

Everyday life is often overturned! Like during the Biennale organized by Performa in November 2015.

Every two years, over the course of a month, the Biennale seeks to change the way America's artistic public, tourists and New Yorkers take on the city and public space.

And it achieves this by presenting operas, choreographies, interventions and actions, from New York Customs to Times Square and the Hudson River, with the participation of some of the most renowned artists in the world, but also with younger and up-and-coming artists featured by Performa .

 ⚫   How different is professional life in New York and what are the key differences?

Everyday life in New York, in the arts, at university, and beyond, is very tough, competitive and demanding.

Of course, it has excellent benefits, mainly spiritual and moral, because the financial ones, in these places, are relatively low, always in relation to the cost of living in the city.

But the level is very high as well as the confidence of the partners, since everyone knows the requirements that this city has.

There are also many unwritten laws and a special professional ethics and ethics: respect for particularities, tolerance, but also harsh criticism.

Of particular interest is the fact that the word money is not often mentioned, at a time when everything revolves around it.

Compared to Greece, you have much less free time, especially for social contacts.

So an xpat, like me, will take a long time to make real acquaintances and friendships. This city is made up of many passers-by and this is a piece of its magic.

No one manages to conquer it. New York always manages to get away from you.

 ⚫ How do you perceive the process of coming   and going between Greece and New York?

Every time I travel to Greece, I try to have professional reasons so that I can integrate directly and quickly into the web of the city and not feel disconnected from reality.

The transition from one reality to another is complicated, especially when it is so different, especially now that Greece is going through a difficult period.

It is also extremely difficult to leave friends, long-term relationship and family at this time when you feel that they have you and you need them so much.

My close circle has supported me a lot in this decision, because there were many professional deadlocks for an academic career in Greece.

For my part, I try to invent projects that create synergies between New York and Athens, so that I can be in the country as much as possible and so that I can return when conditions allow.

In this context, I will be curating in November in Athens an event for the influence of the Generation of the '30s on contemporary art production, with reputable speakers and works that are on the verge of art and scenography.

I also organize a big exhibition during Documenta and the presentation of a production of Performa NY in collaboration with Greek cultural institutions.

Who is she

Sozita Guduna was selected as the first Andrew W. Mellon Curator at the Performa Institute in New York, teaching at New York University .

Since January 2016, he has been a consultant of the Onassis Foundation Festival at the Onassis Cultural Center in New York entitled "Antigone Now", which launched the #iSTANDfor platform.

He studied Philosophy, Theater (BA) and Directing in London (MA RADA Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts & Kings College).

He holds a PhD from the University of London on the relationship between the visual arts and the performing arts.

As artistic director of the Kappatos Athens Art Residency, she curated a series of solo art exhibitions such as Martin Creed, Santiago Sierra, Lynda Benglis, Marie Voignier, Roy Ascott and collaborated on Marina Abramovic's production of "Seven Deaths".

She has just completed her book "Beckett's Breath : Anti-Theatricality and the Visual Arts", which will be published this year by Edinburgh University Press.

Her articles have been published in academic journals and she has given lectures at Tate Modern, Documenta, Psi, IFTR, Tapra, the Prague Quadrennial and the Venice and Sydney Biennale.

In 2008 he founded the company outoftheboxintermedia in London and presented, among others, Locus Solus in Greece, the Benaki Museum in 2010 and the Eleventh Plateau, in the Historical Archive-Museum of Hydra, in 2011, as well as projects in museums and institutions such as : Tate Modern, Frieze London, Shunt Vaults, Hunterian Museum, French Institute.

She is also the artistic director of the art platform in the Aegean Aegeanale of Elculture and was a member of the board of the Hellenic Center of the International Theater Institute and treasurer of the Greek Section of the International Association of Art Critics, AICA.


Falstaff LIVING Interview

Interview by Maik Novtny Falstaff LIVING — das Design-Magazin Vienna

Sozita Goudouna

Link in German

Athens is, according to some, the “new Berlin”, with regards to its creative scene and vibrancy. Do you think this description is justified?

Athens has a versatile cultural identity and an energy full of potentiality that started to unfold gradually (at least for the visual arts), before the Olympic games of 2004 with the exhibition “Outlook,” and reached a peak during Documenta 14. With excitement, we anticipate to see its full potential not as a fake lifestyle of cultural consumption and spectacle but as a real cultural “renaissance.” Thus, yes, I consider that the description Athens is the “new Berlin” in spite of its predictability, shows a promise and is justified despite the lack of a systemic and long-term cultural governmental policy for contemporary art, or perhaps owing to this lack.

In contrast to Berlin, Athens didn’t have a general secretary of contemporary art, kunsthalle(s), grants or a national contemporary art museum until very recently and was dependent on private initiatives such as Dakis Ioannou’s “Deste Foundation,” which featured an influential series of exhibitions with international and local curators and moved to its first permanent space, a former paper factory in Psychico, in 1998. Roughly speaking, the 1990s was the period that the visual arts started to have a stronger impact since the theater (Marmarinos “Diplous Eros,” Attis, Cycladon, Empros, Sfendoni) and certain dance and performance initiatives (Papaioannou, Rigos) used to overshadow the cultural scene.

Exhibitions such as Jannis Kounellis’ “Boat Ionion” in Piraeus in 1994, curated by Katerina Koskina, and the Costakis Collection exhibition in 1995 at the National Gallery of Athens, curated by Anna Kafetsi, were monumental at least for my generation. Also, the Fluxus Group (1998) and Joseph Beuys (1997) exhibitions at the new Athens School of Fine Arts annex (the “Factory”) marked a new era for the contemporary arts in an exceptional industrial location that also hosted Documenta 14 projects.

In 2000 we had the opportunity to see the first exhibition of the National Contemporary Art Museum (EMST), which had just launched in the temporary space of the Fix brewery where my grandfather used to work during the Nazi occupation of Athens; he came to Athens as a refugee from Ismir (Smyrna) in 1922.

Image for post

Locus Solus, Benaki Museum, 2010 ~ Exhibition and performances curated by Sozita Goudouna

The museum remained without a permanent exhibition space for 20 years until 2020 and officially opened just before the pandemic… The Athens Video Dance Festival was also an influential initiative together with the opening of Technopolis and the opening of the new Benaki Annex for architecture and contemporary art. The lack of a governmental contemporary arts strategy in Athens (that is different to the periphery and Thessalonica) led to an interesting initiative that originally took the form of a manifesto. The Athens Biennial of Contemporary Art was launched in 2005 with radical “authoritative” intentions and high aspirations, and indeed created a system of support for the “newer/cutting-edge” galleries that were struggling to exist in the Athenian landscape.

The Biennial also activated private foundations like the Onassis and NEON. Adding to this, galleries such as Rebecca Camhi, the Breeder, the Apartment, Gazon Rouze and new editions like Futura and Highlights were able to collaborate with the Biennale to advance the careers of artists. However, the Biennial also worked with artists who were represented by more “established” galleries including Bernier Eliades, Ileanna Tounta, Eleni Koronaiou, AD Gallery, Antonopoulou, Kalfayan, Kappatos, Zoumboulakis and Nees Morfes. Nees Morfes, which bears similar characteristics to “Aithousa Technis Athinon,” shifted into becoming in 2009 an interesting non–for–profit archival initiative (ISET: Contemporary Greek Art Institute). Art Athina, the Athens International Art Fair, still provides a mapping of all these profit and non-for-profit initiatives, as well as Platform projects by Artemis Potamianou.

You were involved in the documenta14 which was co-hosted in Athens. in 2017. What short-term and long-term effects did the documenta have on the Athens art and culture scene?

I consider that Documenta had a short, but also a very long-term, impact on the Athenian cultural scene that we are only starting to comprehend and evaluate in an objective way. It was a “change of paradigm” and irrespectively of what anyone thinks, Documenta has shaken our thinking about culture in Athens. The main criticism was the non-involvement of the local art scene (artists and curators); however, we know that even the Athens Biennial doesn’t involve the local art scene in its entirety, even with the budget restrictions that Documenta did not have. Contemporary art is all about “face control” and “non-inclusivity” despite the various manifestos, or isn’t it?

I had the honor of working with Paul B. Preciado for the public program of Documenta, one of the most inclusive programs of Documenta that took place throughout the year and many months before the opening. In the birthplace of democracy, a parliament of bodies was founded — women, slaves and Others were all admitted and were given a plinth in Paul’s post–dictatorial parliament of discourse.

We could not presume that Documenta would take the role of the Ministry of Culture and that the team would involve the local art scene. As they claimed they were interested in the fragments of (h)istory and in the process of “(Un)learning.” The Documenta Greek team had perhaps the responsibility of informing the Documenta curators about the processes and feedback of the local scene, but they had more administrative roles; and in hindsight, we can focus on the “change of paradigm” that occurred and not on the “failures” of the initiative. Documenta was after all a continuation of the aspirations and achievements of the Athens Biennial, and its after-effect is that the Athenian scene can now be more self-confident as a member of the global network of art, even if it is called the “global south”…

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“Eleventh Plateau” Eco — Interventions, Hydra, 2011 curated by Sozita Goudouna
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“Eleventh Plateau” Eco Festival, Hydra, 2011 curated by Sozita Goudouna
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“Un/Inhabited,” a series of interventions curated by Sozita Goudouna in the Island of Delos, 2012

You also directed an art residency with EU funding in 2013, in the context of the financial crisis. How did the crisis change life in Athens, and especially its creative scene?

I am writing in the midst of a pandemic and the financial crisis that overwhelmed the Greek citizens for more than 10 years of austerity is starting to fade in front of this global threat. The crisis had a tremendous impact on my generation, and I am not certain whether it helped Greek artists to articulate a coherent aesthetic response or a movement. This is the reason that certain artists and curators felt that Documenta in a way imposed a discourse on their experience; a discourse that had post-colonial characteristics. It seems that we tried to hold responsible Documenta for our incapacity to articulate our own aesthetic discourse that other countries of the “global south” had managed to formulate, whether with the help of the art market or with the support of the State…

During the crisis in 2013, I had the opportunity to direct the first EU funded art residency under the auspices of the Ministry of Culture. My non-profit initiatives from 2009 hadn’t received any state support and I had taken the risk with a loan for an arts and environmental initiative entitled “Eleventh Plateau” in the island of Hydra. Thus, the residency provided a kind of a safety net of almost less-than-the-minimum wage for the two years I stayed in Athens, and then I had to leave due to lack of resources and academic career development. During my directorship, I curated and commissioned various projects, including Martin Creed’s “Like Water at a Buffet,” which first presented the neon sculpture “UNDERSTANDING”, and Santiago Sierra’s “Athens Stray Dogs Project,” as well as solo shows by Lynda Benglis, Mat Chivers, Tim Shaw RA, Marie Voignier, Miriam Simun and Joo Yeon Park. I also collaborated with Marina Abramovic for the production of “Seven Deaths” and introduced Marina to a school friend who became the director of her institute “MAI”; that introduction led to the MAI — NEON Foundation collaboration at the Benaki Museum.

The most inspiring project I produced at the residency, that almost got me arrested, was Santiago Sierra’s stray dog project for which I had to dress dogs with t-shirts that said “I have No Money” in Greek. Santiago has a great capacity of choreographing actions by being present and absent at the same time. Dogs and cynics seem not to require money and the artist’s literal statement became not only the message but a call for action.

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Santiago Sierra “Athens Stray Dogs” project curated by Sozita Goudouna, Dog t-shirt stating “I have no Money” June, 2015.
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Santiago Sierra’s “Athens Stray Dogs” project curated by Sozita Goudouna, Dog t-shirt stating “I have no Money” June, 2015.
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Martin Creed, “Like Water At A Buffet,” curated by Sozita Goudouna and Nefeli Skarmea

How has the art scene in Greece evolved, and what characterizes it especially? Has it become more international, or is it more intimate and family-like?

Certain skeptical responses to Documenta revealed a provincial phobia of opening to the new that is based on a fortification of imaginary privileges. I consider that the art scene in Greece has matured abruptly since 2017 with many initiatives and a younger generation of emancipated artists and cultural entrepreneurs, who are in dialogue with the international scene and don’t depend only on the local exchange and dialogue. It also brought a lot of foreign art professionals with real love for Greece who have started cultural initiatives with great intentions and vision. The eternal return of the crisis with the current financial pandemic will have to test once more our alertness and resilience.

Are there special neighborhoods in Athens which could be described as an art hub?

Kypseli (beehive in Greek), the neighborhood where I grew up and my mother still lives, is now claiming its gracious urban past with cultural initiatives like the reclaiming of the old Kypseli market as an art hub. This initiative has similar characteristics to the reclaiming of the old Patission Fix factory in 1994, but seems more sustainable. Adding to this, Kypseli has gathered very creative artists like Antonakis Christodoulou and Ralou Panagiotou, who launched the “Kypseli” fanzine a couple of years ago, and Angelo Plessas, who opened recently the art space the “Pet.” In the past, open occupied spaces like “Villa Amalias” and “Ano Kato Patission” were also hosting art interventions and situations in Kypseli and Victoria.

For Documenta, Rick Lowe and the visual artist and professor Maria Papadimitriou launched the “Victoria Square Project,” one of the most impactful Documenta projects, that attempted to provide alternatives to the recent racist phenomena in the old neighborhood of Victoria. Prior to these initiatives, it was “Gazon Rouge” gallery that opened an exhibition space at the residence of modernist architect Proveleggios as well the “Apartment Gallery” and “Salon de Vortex” that had moved to Kypseli expecting the birth of a cultural movement. The artist Panos Charalambous also presented one of his best shows in Kypseli at the Proveleggios residence. Kypseli has always been a very important hub for contemporary theater hosting “west-end” and fringe performances but also “avant-garde” directors like Lefteris Vogiatzis (Cyclades theater) and Kefalinias theater that focused on a continental repertoire.

On the borderline of the Acropolis, Koukaki and Petralona are developing into art hubs; Rowena Hughes and Athanassios Argianas founded in Petralona the artist run studio “Daedalus Street” featuring outstanding projects and focusing on artists’ editions, a short distance away from “Eleni Koronaiou,” a gallery with a very engaging program of local and international artists; and curator Iliana Fokianaki opened in 2013 the non for profit institution “State of Concept” showcasing global artists with a sociopolitical edge next to the “International Fine Arts Consortium” by the American Lee Wells that has an agenda of connecting the American with the local alternative scene. “Float” was also a very good initiative by younger gallerist Chloe Athanasopoulou.

The Acropolis Museum designed by Bernard Tschumi, the Onassis Stegi with the new critical research program “Onassis AiR,” directed by Ash Bulayev, and the new Niarchos Greek National Opera and Library SNFCC, designed by Renzo Piano, form a great city center cultural triangle that can embrace these independent art initiatives, instead of overshadowing them.

Maria Papadimitriou was one of the first to open an art space in the industrial area of Votanikos entitled “Suzy Tros,” followed by “Space52” and the non-profit “Locus Athens” which has staged a series of excellent interventions in Athens over the years recently acquired a permanent space in the area of Tavros. In all likelihood, Piraeus, the port next to Tavros, will also develop into an exciting art hub with the new “Rodeo Gallery,” “Intermission Gallery,” “Polyeco Art Initiative” and the future opening of the Museum of Underwater Antiquities. The mainstream Kolonaki features interesting new galleries like Eleftheria Tseliou, CAN Gallery, Elika, Nitra and the older Zoumboulakis and Kalfayan galleries. Finally, Exarcheia, Omonoia, Psirri, Monastiraki are classic central Athens neighborhoods with initiatives like “Hyle,” “Hot Wheels,” “Aetopoulos,” “Cheapart,” “3 137” and a new space by a Greek-Chinese curator “Phoenix Athens.” Last but not least the historic areas of Kerameikos, Metaxourgeio and Gazi will at some stage reclaim their potential to be art hubs again following the excitement of and mid 2000s with venues such as “Atopos CVC,” “Latraac Skate,” “Ε. Δ. Ω” and the new Athens Museum of Queer Arts (AMOQA) that represents the burgeoning LGBTQ cultural scene of Athens.

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OUT SCORE, research project at Aixoni Sculpted Landscape curated Sozita Goudouna, choreography Maria Hassabi 2019
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OUT SCORE, research project at Aixoni, curated by Sozita Goudouna, choreography Maria Hassabi 2019

You moved to the USA in 2015, working with Raymond Pettibon and teaching. Has your view on Greece and Athens changed, now that you view it from a distance, and in comparison to art in the US?

I left Athens in 1996 when I was 18 to study art and philosophy and stayed in London for 17 years. I never lost contact with Greece, however, and especially with the Athenian gradual cultural development. I moved to New York in 2015 to work for Performa Biennial and to teach as NYU and indeed my views have changed. Especially, working with RoseLee Goldberg and Raymond Pettibon and collaborating with the galleries that represent the artist like David Zwirner, Regen Projects, Sadie Coles and CFA Gallery in Berlin. In November I had the privilege of producing and devising a project on Pettibon’s scripts at the New Museum for the Performa biennial consortium that I am also proposing at the Getty Institute in LA. In a way I have been developing in Europe a program similar to Performa biennial and I had collaborated with American based artists such as Lynda Benglis and Marina Abramovic, but it is so different to live and work in a country like the US and to understand the real cultural processes. Nevertheless, I am always interested in the cultural exchange between the Greek contemporary scene and the international scene, thus I am on the board of (a new artist residency) and I am launching in 2021 with a team of colleagues a new platform entitled “Greece in USA” ( that aims to challenge existing stereotypes and preconceived ideas about Greece and its culture. It will take the form of a small Performa biennial with New York cultural partners and with a notable advisory board that will be announced soon.

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”Raymond Pettibon, Whoever Shows: Strike Uyp th’ Band!Co-presentation with Performa 19 Biennial initiated, devised and produced by Sozita Goudouna:

Which places would you recommend to a weekend traveler to Athens interested in museums and galleries? What are the must-sees, and what are the well-kept secrets?

Plato’s academy, Benaki Museum (all annexes, but also the Kriezotou st annex), Cycladic Art Museum, National Archaeological Museum, Epigraphical Museum, Kerameikos Archaelogical Museum, the First Cemetery, the Historical Archives of the National Bank at Triti Septemvriou st and the Athens Fine Art School. “Radio Athenes” is a very interesting non-profit space in one of the most beautiful streets of central Athens, Petraki street. I have also mentioned previously other cultural venues that I consider must-sees.

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Sozita Goudouna

Sozita Goudouna is a curator, professor, and the author of Beckett’s Breath: Anti-theatricality and the Visual Arts (2018), published by Edinburgh University Press. She is head of operations at Raymond Pettibon Studio and in 2020 she founded the platform “Greece in USA.” Sozita holds a PhD from the University of London and has taught at various universities and at New York University as the inaugural Andrew W. Mellon Curatorial fellow at Performa NY. She has curated projects for the New Museum, documenta 14, Onassis Foundation NYC, EMST among other institutions and museums. She was a consultant at Zaha Hadid Architects and has served on the board of directors at AICA Hellas International Association of Art Critics.

Sozita Goudouna: The Νew Μuseum presents the project of the Greek curator


By Katerina Ploumidaki

Sozita Guduna is a curator, assistant professor at CUNY: City University New York, and author of Beckett Breath (2018), published by the University of Edinburgh and Oxford publications. She has headed Raymond Pettibon Studio since 2018. She has taught at New York University as a postdoctoral art curator Andrew W. Mellon at the New York Biennale of Performers and has curated cross-sectoral projects in the Documenta 14 public program at the University of New York, USA. Benaki Museum, Byzantine Museum among other institutions and museums. He has been treasurer of the AICA Hellas Association of Greek Art Critics and holds a PhD from the University of London.

- What do you keep from what you learned from your family, and your teachers?

The importance of loving.

-What are you willing to lose?

The constructed needs.

-What does the one who does not look for unnecessary things dream?

The freedom.

-What is your lifeboat?

Faith in friendship.

 - Are you afraid of the unknown?

Unknown therefore empty.

-Luxury options, what does this mean for you?

Evolution, self-denial?

-Man is his memory or his present?

The present tense of his memory.

The New York Biennale Performa opened on November 1st. The main theme is Bauhaus and the focus is on Asian contemporary art. What is your participation in this important cultural event?  

My collaboration with Performa, the first Biennale of Performing Arts in New York, began in 2015 when I was hired by the director of the organization, RoseLee Goldberg, as the first curator Andrew W. Mellon. For a month every two years, Performa changes the way New Yorkers experience the city, especially after 9/11, which transformed the relationship between the public and the public space and takes place in different parts of the city, from Times Square and its customs. New York to MoMA, Guggenheim, New Museum, Whitney Museum and BAM. The Biennale has presented more than 700 projects with 800 artists in 400 cultural (and more) venues in New York and worldwide.

Would you like to describe to us the project you are organizing at the New Museum of New York with the artist for the Performa Biennale on November 14?

"Whoever Shows: Strike Uyp th 'Band!" is a music analog project presented at the New York Museum of Art with a collection of excerpts from Raymond Pettibon screenplays, including those originally produced for videos such as "The Whole World is Watching": Weatherman '69 (1989-90 ), Sir Drone: A New Beatles Movie (1989-90), "The Holes You Feel", "Andy Warhol", "Jim Morrison" and the screenplay "Batman". Starting in the 1980s, Pettibon produced a series of low-budget videos made with friends using home video equipment. These projects focus on radical issues from the 1960s and the American reality, such as the Manson family, the abduction of Patty Hearst by the SLA, Weather Underground and the beginning of the American punk movement. Although some of these scripts have become classic video works of the time and were widely presented alongside Pettibon designs, several other scripts such as Andy Warhol and Jim Morrison have not yet been produced or lost. Reflecting on the concept of ensemble work, this collection of Pettibon excerpts, scenes and lyrics attempts to present the visuals of the past, especially in the 1960s, with the participation of distinguished visual artists such as Kim Gordon. , Frances Stark, Lee Ranaldo and 20 other artists. The Performa Biennale seeks to highlight performance as a different medium and refutes the notion that performance is just what happens,

Tell us about your experience from your collaboration with renowned American artist Raymond Pettibon and the David Zwirner Gallery, which opened its first exhibition space in Paris with a solo art exhibition.

Raymond Petibon is considered to be perhaps the most important visual artist on paper in America, and working with him as his studio coordinator is extremely creative, especially during his exhibition in Paris at the opening exhibition of the David Zwirner Gallery during the FIAC. Founded in Paris in 1974, the FIAC International Exhibition of Contemporary Art [Foire Internationale d'Art Contemporain] brings together contemporary art galleries and about 200 exhibitors at the Grand Palais, including many of the world's leading experts in contemporary art.

The David Zwirner Gallery, which celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2018, represents 60 international artists with exhibitions in New York (three galleries) from London to Hong Kong, and in 2020 will inaugurate the new five-storey gallery in New York designed by Renzo Piano.

After Brexit, the Zwiner Gallery focuses on the French art scene by presenting the solo exhibition "Frenchette" by Raymond Petibon. Petibon's work embraces a wide range of American high and pop culture, from the divergences of marginalized youth to art history, sports, religion, politics, sexuality, and literature. Starting with the punk-rock scene of Southern California in the late 1970s and '80s and the aesthetics of albums, comics, concerts and fanzines that characterized the movement, his designs have defined this scene and international contemporary art. At the same time, Dior artistic director Kim Jones linked Pettibon's designs,

Artnet Editors’ Picks

 19 Events for Your Art Calendar This Week, From a Talk With Ruth Asawa’s Children to a Virtual Trip to Manifesta

Ruth Asawa 1957 Photo Imogen Cunningham  2017 Imogen Cunningham Trust artwork  Estate of Ruth AsawaRuth Asawa, 1957. Photo courtesy Imogen Cunningham ©2017 Imogen Cunningham Trust artwork ©Estate of Ruth Asawa.

Each week, we search for the most exciting and thought-provoking shows, screenings, and events. In light of the global health crisis, we are currently highlighting events and digitally, as well as in-person exhibitions open in the New York area. See our picks from around the world below. (Times are all EST unless otherwise noted.)


Through Thursday, November 19

Raymond Pettibon emUntitled We have readem 2020 Courtesy of Journal Gallery

Raymond Pettibon, Untitled (We have read…), 2020. Courtesy of Journal Gallery.

8. “Tennis Elbow 70 Raymond Pettibon” at Journal Gallery, New York

Journal Gallery has been staging short, two-week shows under the title “Tennis Elbow,” and the latest, curated by Sozita Goudouna, features a trio of Raymond Pettibon drawings of the cartoon character Gumby, a recurring figure in his work.

Location: Journal Gallery, 45 White Street, New York
Time: Tuesday–Thursday, 12 p.m.–6 p.m.

—Tanner West


Thursday, November 19

Courtesy Arte Generali

Courtesy Arte Generali.

9. “Digital Leaders in Art Awards” at Arte Generali, Cologne

The winner of Arte Generali’s Digital Leaders in Art Awards will be announced on Thursday, November 19, as part of Art Cologne’s online edition. Until then, the public can go online and see works by the six nominees and vote for the best projects. There will be three winners, who will each receive €15,000 ($17,700) to bring their digitally innovative concepts to fruition.

Price: Free
Time: November 19 at 10 a.m. EST (4 p.m. CET)

—Nan Stewart


Ruth Asawa with hanging sculpture 1952 Courtesy of David Zwirner photo  2017 Imogen Cunningham Trust artwork  2017 estate of Ruth Asawa

Ruth Asawa with hanging sculpture (1952). Courtesy of David Zwirner, photo © 2017 Imogen Cunningham Trust; artwork © 2017 estate of Ruth Asawa.

10. “Ruth Asawa: Through The Eyes of Her Children” at SCRAP, San Francisco

Hear from two of Ruth Asawa’s children, Aiko Cuneo and Paul Lanier, as they show and tell what it was like to be raised by the artist. Ticket sales for the event will benefit SCRAP, a San Francisco-based nonprofit creative reuse center, materials depot, and workshop space. Asawa served as the first board president of the organization, and was known during her life for her arts education advocacy in the Bay Area.

Price: $25 and up (donation-based tickets), register here
Time: 10 p.m.–11 p.m EST

—Katie Rothstein


Alfred Stieglitz Georgia OKeeffe in a chemise 1918 Georgia OKeeffe Museum Santa Fe  Art Resource NY

Alfred Stieglitz, Georgia O’Keeffe (in a chemise) (1918). Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, Santa
Fe / Art Resource, NY.

11. “Virtual Happy Hour: Georgia O’Keeffe Birthday Celebration” at the National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, DC, and the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, Santa Fe

Celebrate the 133rd birthday of famed artist Georgia O’Keeffe with NMWA and the O’Keeffe Museum in this virtual discussion about her life and work. Attendees are encouraged to imbibe a specialty cocktail created in O’Keeffe’s honor, although the recipe hasn’t been released yet. Perhaps it will take a page from her cookbook?

Price: Free with registration
Time: 6:30 p.m.

—Sarah Cascone


Thursday, November 19 and Thursday, December 17

Kameelah Janan Rasheed emNourishing Pageem 2020 detail Courtesy of the artist

Kameelah Janan Rasheed, Nourishing Page (2020), detail. Courtesy of the artist.

12. “Virtual Workshop: Are You Reading Closely?” at the Brooklyn Museum

As part of her current show at the museum’s Sackler Center for Feminist Art, “Kameelah Janan Rasheed: Are We Reading Closely?” (through January 20, 2021), the will teach a two-part workshop on close reading inspired by her experiences as a public school teacher. Her exhibition includes the first-ever art installation on the museum’s Neo-classical facade.

Price: $15 per session, $25 for both sessions
Time: November 19, 6 p.m.–7 p.m.; December 17, 6 p.m.–7:30 p.m.

—Sarah Cascone


Thursday, November 19–Saturday, December 19

Danielle Orchard emWomen Writing Songsem 2020 Courtesy of Miles McEnery Gallery

Danielle Orchard, Women Writing Songs (2020). Courtesy of Miles McEnery Gallery.

13. “Sound & Color Curated by Brian Alfred” at Miles McEnery Gallery, New York

Artist Brian Alfred brings together a group of talented young artists in this show as a way to explore the role that music plays in art. Taking a cue from historic representations of music, artists such as Devan Shimoyama, Hiba Schahbaz, and Jenna Gribbon each play with the theme. “I was interested in the idea of sound being represented specifically in the visual plane,” Alfred said in a statement. “How artists grapple with picturing sound and its relationship to images. How artists can use the element of sound to heighten the dynamics of an image.”

Location: Miles McEnery Gallery, 511 West 22nd Street, New York
Time: Tuesday–Saturday, 10 a.m.–6 p.m.

—Neha Jambhekar


Friday, November 20

Bisa Butler 2020 photo by Nonexitfiction courtesy of Claire Oliver Gallery

Bisa Butler, 2020, photo by Nonexitfiction courtesy of Claire Oliver Gallery.

14. “Bisa Butler: Clarice Smith Virtual Lecture Seriesat the Smithsonian American Art Museum

Fiber artist Bisa Butler will join the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s virtual lecture series to discuss the familial, educational, and societal influences that inform her monumental quilted portraits of Black life. She’ll touch on her family’s matrilineal sewing legacy, patrilineal Ghanaian roots, and how the AfriCOBRA art movement informs her meticulous quilting technique.

Time:  6:30 p.m.
Price:  Free with registration

—Katie White


Saturday, November 21

Mitch Epstein Photo by Nina Subin

Mitch Epstein. Photo by Nina Subin.

15. “Lens Mix: Conversation with Mitch Epstein and Terry Tempest Williams” at FotoFocus, Cincinnati

Instead of moving ahead as planned with its fifth photography biennial, FotoFocus shifted gears to give out $800,000 in emergency grant funding to its vendors and partners. It also started a monthly virtual conversation series, Lens Mix, celebrating its 10th anniversary. For the November edition of the series, FotoFocus artistic director Kevin Moore will moderate a talk between photographer Mitch Epstein and writer and conservationist Terry Tempest Williams. Epstein’s most recent series, “Property Rights,” questions the concept of land ownership through photographs of Standing Rock protests, Black Lives Matter rallies, and Confederate monuments.

Price: Free with registration
Time: 3 p.m.

—Sarah Cascone


Sunday, November 22

Lonnie Holley Photo by Katherine McMahon

Lonnie Holley. Photo by Katherine McMahon.

16. “Lonnie Holley: Concert and Conversation” at Guild Hall, East Hampton

Outsider artist and musician Lonnie Holley, whose colorful biography includes being traded for a bottle of whiskey as a four-year-old child, completes a residency at East Hampton’s Elaine de Kooning House with a performance and conversation filmed earlier this month, debuting online thanks to nearby Guild Hall.

Price: $10 suggested donation with registration
Time: 6 p.m.

—Sarah Cascone


Through Sunday, November 29

Dollhouse at Muse Grobet-Labadi Virtual Tour  Courtesy of Manifesta 13

Dollhouse at Musée Grobet-Labadié Virtual Tour © Courtesy of Manifesta 13

17. “Virtual Visits” at Manifesta 13 Marseille

The dawn of a second lockdown in France spelled an early end for Manifesta, the roving European biennialthat this year touched down in Marseille. But the exhibition’s organizers were quick on their feet, unveiling a program of interactive virtual tours. Guides (or, as the organizers call them, “mediators”) will introduce a theme and a selection of relevant artworks and then hold space for conversation among a group of eight people on Zoom. The discussions are offered in both English and French.

Price: Free with registration
Time: Tuesday–Sunday, 5 p.m. CET

—Julia Halperin


Through Wednesday, December 16

Jibade-Khalil Huffman iTRTi 2020 Courtesy of the artist and Magenta Plains New York

Jibade-Khalil Huffman, TRT (2020). Courtesy of the artist and Magenta Plains, New York.

18. “Jibade-Khalil Huffman: Total Running Time” at Magenta Plains, New York

In his first solo exhibition with Magenta Plains, multidisciplinary artist and poet Jibade-Khalil Huffman visualizes personal, professional, and cultural identities as deliberately (if not always voluntarily) edited performances. The show features a range of works created by sampling and remixing imagery that stretches across the cultural consciousness, from tennis titans Venus and Serena Williams, to cartoon nemeses Tom and Jerry, to boy scouts competing in the pages of a vintage McDonald’s comic. Through masterful excerpts and erasures of these disparate source materials, Huffman reinforces that athletics, artistic practice, race, self-concept, and perception are all constructs. The question is, who gets to finalize the design, and why?

Location: Magenta Plains, 94 Allen Street, New York
Price: Free
Time: Tuesday–Saturday 11 a.m.–6 p.m.; appointments encouraged

—Tim Schneider


Through Friday, January 8, 2021

Freddy Rodrguez emDance in Paradiseem 1987 Courtesy of Hutchinson Modern  Contemporary

Freddy Rodríguez, Dance in Paradise (1987). Courtesy of Hutchinson Modern & Contemporary.

19. “Freddy Rodríguez: Early Paintings 1970–1990” at Hutchinson Modern & Contemporary, New York

Isabella Hutchinson, the former head of Sotheby’s Latin American Art Department in New York, has opened a brick-and-mortar space for Hutchinson Modern & Contemporary, her nearly 20-year-old business specializing in modern and contemporary Latin American, Latinx, and Caribbean art. The inaugural exhibition features works from the 1970s and ’80s by Freddy Rodríguez, who fled dictatorship in his native Dominican Republic for New York in 1963. His work blends the aesthetics of the Hard Edge, Geometric Abstraction, and Minimalist movements with influences from his Afro-Dominican heritage and the realities of the Dominican diaspora.

Location: Hutchinson Modern & Contemporary, 47 East 64th Street, New York
Time: By appointment

—Sarah Cascone