Artist Biographies

Marina Abramović
Marina Abramović (b. 1946 in Belgrade, Yugoslavia) has pioneered the use of performance as a visual art form. The body has been both her subject and medium. As a vital member of the generation of pioneering performance artists that includes Bruce Nauman, Vito Acconci and Chris Burden, Abramović created some of the most historic early performance pieces and continues to make important durational works. Abramović has presented her work with performances, sound, photography, video, sculpture and Transitory Objects for Human and Non Human Use in solo exhibitions at major institutions in the U.S. and Europe. Her work has also been included in many large-scale international exhibitions including the Venice Biennale (1976 and 1997) and Documenta VI, VII and IX, Kassel, Germany (1977, 1982 and 1992). In 1998, the exhibition Artist Body – Public Body toured extensively, including stops at Kunstmuseum and Grosse Halle, Bern and La Gallera, Valencia. In 2004, Abramović also exhibited at the Whitney Biennial in New York and had a significant solo show, The Star, at the Maruame Museum of Contemporary Art and the Kumamoto Museum of Contemporary Art, Japan. Abramović has taught and lectured extensively in Europe and America. In 1994 she became Professor for Performance Art at the Hochschule fur Bildende Kunst in Braunschweig where she taught for seven years. She was awarded the Golden Lion for Best Artist at the 1997 Venice Biennale for her extraordinary video installation/performance piece Balkan Baroque‚ and in 2003 received the Bessie for The House with the Ocean View‚ a 12-day performance at Sean Kelly Gallery. In 2005, Abramović held a series of performances called Seven Easy Pieces at the Guggenheim Museum in New York. She was honored for Seven Easy Pieces by the Guggenheim at their International Gala in 2006 and by the AICA USA with the “Best Exhibition of Time Based Art” award in 2007. Abramović’s work is included in numerous major public and private collections worldwide. She was the subject of a major retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, The Artist is Present, in 2010. In 2011, Abramović was the subject of a major retrospective at the Garage Art Center in Russia and participated in visionary director Robert Wilson’s, The Life and Death of Marina Abramović, the critically acclaimed re-imagination of Abramović’s biography, which will tour throughout 2012. The feature length documentary, Marina Abramović: The Artist is Present, premiered in January 2012 at the Sundance Film Festival. Marina Abramović lives and works in New York.


Allora & Calzadilla
Jennifer Allora (b. 1974, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) received a BA from the University of Richmond in Virginia (1996) and an MS from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (2003); Guillermo Calzadilla (b. 1971, Havana, Cuba) received a BFA from Escuela de Artes Plásticas, San Juan, Puerto Rico (1996) and an MFA from Bard College (2001). Collaborating since 1995, Allora and Calzadilla approach visual art as a set of experiments that test whether ideas such as authorship, nationality, borders, and democracy adequately describe today’s increasingly global and consumerist society. Their hybrid works—often a unique mix of sculpture, photography, performance, sound, and video—explore the physical and conceptual act of mark-making and its survival through traces. By drawing historical, cultural, and political metaphors out of basic materials, Allora and Calzadilla’s works explore the complex associations between an object and its meaning. Major exhibitions include the Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago (2007); Kunsthalle Zurich (2007); Dallas Museum of Art (2006); Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst (2006); Walker Art Center, Minneapolis (2004); and the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston (2004). Residencies include P.S.1 Contemporary Arts Center, Long Island City (1998–99); Whitney Independent Study Program, New York (1998–99); Walker Art Center, Minneapolis (2003–04); and Headlands Center for the Arts, Sausalito, California (2004). Allora and Calzadilla were short-listed for the Guggenheim Museum’s Hugo Boss Prize (2006) and have received a Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst (DAAD) fellowship for 2008. They live and work in San Juan, Puerto Rico.


Jerome Bel
Jerome Bel (b. 1964, France) lives in Paris and works worldwide. His first piece, nom donné par l’auteur (1994), is a choreography of objects. The second one, Jerome Bel (1995), is based on the total nudity of the performers. The third one, Shirtology (1997), presents an actor wearing many T-shirts. The last performance (1998), in quoting several times a solo by the choreographer Susanne Linke, and also Hamlet or André Agassi, tries to define an ontology of the performance. The show must go on (2001) brings toghether a cast of twenty performers, nineteen pop songs and one DJ. In 2004, he was invited to produce a piece for the Paris Opera ballet, Veronique Doisneau (2004), on the work of the dancer Véronique Doisneau, from the ballet corps of that company. Isabel Torres (2005) for the ballet of the Teatro Municipal of Rio de Janeiro is the Brazilian version of the production for the Paris Opera. Pichet Klunchun and myself (2005) was created in Bangkok with the Thai traditional dancer Pichet Klunchun. In 2009, he produced Cédric Andrieux (2009) dancer in the Merce Cunningham Dance Company and then at the Lyon Opera Ballet. In 2010, he collaborated with Anne-Teresa De Keersmaeker on 3Abschied based on The song of the Earth by Gustav Malher. In 2012, he produced Disabled Theater, a piece with the perfomers of Theater Hora, a Zurich-based company consisting of professional actors with learning disabilities. Films of his shows have been presented in various contemporary art biennials (Lyon, Porto Alegre, Tirana) and in many major museums (Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris and Metz, Hayward Gallery and Tate Modern in Londres, MOMA in New York). Jérôme Bel received a Bessie Award for the performances of The show must go on in New York in 2005. In 2008 Jerome Bel and Pichet Klunchun received the Routes Princess Margriet Award for Cultural Diversity (European Cultural Foundation).


Boris Charmatz & Dimitri Chamblas

Boris Charmatz (b. 1973, Chambéry, France) is a Paris-based dancer and choreographer. Charmatz co-founded the Edna Association in 1992 with Dimitri Chamblas. During a residency at the National Centre of Dance from 2002-2004, he developed the Bocal project, a nomadic and ephemeral school and research group. Since 2009, Charmatz has been the director of the Rennes and Brittany National Choreographic Centre, which he has transformed into the Musée de la Danse (Dancing Museum). Major works include Levée des conflits (Suspension of Conflicts) (2010); La danseuse malade (The Sick Dancer) (2008); héâtre-élévision (2002); herses (une lente introduction) (1997); and À bras-le-corps (Total Embrace) (1993). Charmatz was most recently appointed Associate Artist at the Festival d’Avignon in June 2011. From


Spartacus Chetwynd
After participating in New Contemporaries in 2004, Spartacus Chetwynd (b. 1973, London, Britain) was shortlisted for the Beck’s Futures prize in 2005. Her contribution to the 2006 Tate Triennial was The Fall of Man, a puppet-play based on The Book of Genesis, Paradise Lost and The German Ideology. In 2009, her work Hermitos Children was included in “Altermodern,” the fourth Tate Triennial. The filmed performance was summarized by Adrian Searle as, “The young woman who rode to her own death on the dildo see-saw at the Sugar-Tits Doom Club,” and described by Richard Dorment as, ‘Silly beyond words and teetered at times on the edge of porn – but once you start looking at it I defy you to tear yourself away.” Chopra’s work blurs the line between sanctioned reworkings of iconic moments from cultural history and plagiaristic transgressions. Her works are held in the Saatchi Gallery, migros museum für gegenwartskunst, Zürich, the Tate and the British Council collection. In 2012, she was nominated for the Turner Prize. Chetwynd lives and works in London


Nikhil Chopra
A performance artist based in Mumbai, India, Nikhil Chopra (b. 1974, Calcutta, India) creates performances that are a form of storytelling, intermingling familial histories, personal narrative, and everyday life. His work draws on both personal and collective cultural history to examine questions of identity, the role of autobiography, and the politics of posing and self-portraiture. Chopra’s process of performing is a means to access, excavate, extract, and present these themes. His work is site specific: City lights, architecture, landscape, weather, the commotion and chaos of contemporary metropolitan life, evidence of mental and physical stress, and articulations of cultural collective histories and memories all come together in the gestalt that creates the performative space. From


Daria Martin
Daria Martin (b. 1973, San Francisco, CA) received a BA from Yale University and an MFA from University of California, Los Angeles. Martin has participated in artist residences at Cite Internationale des Arts, Paris (1999), Delfina Studios Trust, London (2002), The Watermill Center, New York (2007), and Headlands Center for the Arts, San Francisco (2008). Notable awards include the Wellcome Trust Arts Award (2008, 2010),. Martin’s work has been the subject of many solo exhibitions, including Three M Commission: Minotaur (2009-2010) that traveled to MCA Chicago, the New Museum, New York, and the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles. Hir work has also been shown in Tate Britain and the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam.


Omer Fast
Omer Fast (b. 1972, Jerusalem, Israel) works with film, video, and television footage to examine how individuals and histories interact with each other in narrative. He mixes sound and image into stories that often veer between the personal and the media’s account of current events and history. Fast lives and works in Berlin, Germany. In Spielberg’s List (2003), a 65-minute, two-channel color video installation, the artist visited Cracow, the Polish city that served as the setting for Steven Spielberg’s film Schindler’s List (1993), and interviewed Poles who worked as extras in the film. Their memories are presented as the dry, authentic accounts of a historical event—in most cases, the 1990s Hollywood production, but in some cases the 1940s German occupation. The work reveals the production of history through the merger of recreation and relic. In Godville (2005), a 51-minute, two-channel color video, historical reenactors at the Colonial Williamsburg living-history museum in Virginia describe their eighteenth-century characters’ lives and their personal lives in ways that seem interchangeable. The work tells the story of a town in America whose residents are unmoored, floating somewhere between the past and the present, between revolution and reenactment, between fiction and life. Fast’s recent work The Casting (2007), a shorter four-channel video projection in which a U.S. Army sergeant recounts two incidents: a romantic liaison with a young German woman who mutilates herself and the accidental shooting of an Iraqi. While the actors try hard to keep still, the narrator’s recollections slip between setting and story, trying to find relief if not redemption in the act of recalling. Adapted from


Christian Jankowski
Christian Jankowski (b.1968, Göttingen, West Germany) is a multimedia artist who works mainly with video, installation and photography. He has created a number of television interventions and performances that “engage often unsuspecting collaborators to innocently collude with him, making them ‘co-authors’ of the final result, who often (sometimes inadvertently) participate in the very conceptualization of the work.” His video installation Telemistica was included in the 1999 Venice Biennale and shows five Italian television fortunetellers responding to a phoned-in question about the artist’s success of failure at the upcoming Biennale. The Holy Artwork (2001) is a collaboration with a televangelist pastor. In 2002, Jankowski participated in the Whitney Biennial. Jankowski lives and works in Berlin. Adapted from


Jesper Just
Jesper Just (b. 1974, Copenhagen, Denmark) is a Danish artist who lives and works in Copenhagen and New York. From 1997 to 2003 he studied at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts. Just works exclusively in film, shooting on a variety of film stock. He began recording his work in digital video, but after 2003 switched to film and then to HD video. Just collaborates with different musicians to conceive the prominent soundtracks for each film. His works have been shown throughout Europe and the United States, including the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA (2005), the Miami Art Museum, Miami, FL (2007), and the Witte de With in Rotterdam, The Netherlands (2007). His most recent exhibitions opened in September 2008; they include Romantic Delusions at the Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, NY, U-Turn, the Copenhagen Quadrennial in Copenhagen, Denmark, and the Liverpool Biennial in Liverpool, UK. In 2009, Jesper Just presented a new film at Perry Rubenstein Gallery in New York, NY. 


William Kentridge
William Kentridge (b. 1955, Johannesburg, South Africa) attended the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg (1973–76), Johannesburg Art Foundation (1976–78), and studied mime and theater at L’École Internationale de Théâtre Jacques Lecoq, Paris (1981–82). Having witnessed first-hand one of the twentieth century’s most contentious struggles—the dissolution of apartheid—Kentridge brings the ambiguity and subtlety of personal experience to public subjects that are most often framed in narrowly defined terms. Using film, drawing, sculpture, animation, and performance, he transmutes sobering political events into powerful poetic allegories. In a now-signature technique, Kentridge photographs his charcoal drawings and paper collages over time, recording scenes as they evolve. Working without a script or storyboard, he plots out each animated film, preserving every addition and erasure. Aware of myriad ways in which we construct the world by looking, Kentridge uses stereoscopic viewers and creates optical illusions with anamorphic projection, to extend his drawings-in-time into three dimensions. Kentridge has had major exhibitions at San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (2009); Philadelphia Museum of Art (2008); Moderna Museet, Stockholm, (2007); and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (2004); among others. He has also participated in Prospect.1 New Orleans (2008); the Sydney Biennale (1996, 2008); and Documenta (1997, 2002). His opera and theater works, often produced in collaboration with Handspring Puppet Company, have appeared at Brooklyn Academy of Music (2007); Standard Bank National Arts Festival, Grahamstown, South Africa (1992, 1996, 1998); and Festival d’Avignon, France (1995, 1996). His production of Dmitri Shostakovich’s opera, The Nose, premiered in 2010 at the Metropolitan Opera, New York, in conjunction with a retrospective organized by San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Museum of Modern Art, New York. William Kentridge lives and works in Johannesburg, South Africa. Adapted from


Ragnar Kjartansson
Ragnar Kjartansson (b. 1976, Reykjavík, Iceland) is primarily known for his explorations in durational performance, but has also successfully pursued more traditional media such as painting, drawing, and video. Regardless of artistic endeavor, theatricality, repetition, and identity are ever-recurring themes in his work. He has taken on countless roles in his performances, melding his own personality with characters from cultural history. Kjartansson has been the subject of numerous solo and group exhibitions at galleries, museums, and biennials and triennials. He was the recipient of Performa’s 2011 Malcolm McLaren Award for his performance of Bliss, a twelve-hour live loop of the final aria of Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro. Song, his first American solo museum show, was organized by the Carnegie Museum of Art in 2011, and is traveling to the Museum of Contemporary Art in North Miami as well as the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston. In 2011, the Frankfurter Kunstverein presented Ragnar Kjartansson: Endless Longing, Eternal Return, the first major European solo exhibition by the artist. In 2009 he was the youngest artist to represent Iceland at the Venice Biennale’s International Art Exhibition. Kjartansson has also participated in the 2nd Turin Triennial, Turin, Italy, Manifesta 8, Rovereto, Italy, the Reykjavik Arts Festival, Reykjavik, Iceland (2012, 2008, 2005, 2004), Repeat Performances: Roni Horn and Ragnar Kjartansson, Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, New York, and God, The Living Art Museum, Reykjavík, Iceland, among others. Recent critical essays and articles discussing his work have appeared in publications including Artforum, Art in America, ArtReview, Frieze, Modern Painters, and The New York Times. Adapted from


Liz Magic Laser
Liz Magic Laser (b. 1981, New York City, NY) lives and works in New York City. Her works have involved collaborations with actors, dancers, surgeons, and motorcycle gang members. A graduate of the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program and Columbia University’s MFA program, Laser has been a resident at the LMCC Workspace Program and is a 2011 Smack Mellon Artist Studio Program resident. Her work has been exhibited internationally including The Pace Gallery, New York (2011); Casey Kaplan, New York (2011); Derek Eller Gallery, New York (2010); MoMA PS 1, New York (2010); Artisterium, Tbilisi, Georgia (2009); the Prague Biennale 4, Czech Republic (2009); and the 29th Biennial of Graphic Arts, Ljublijana, Slovenia (2011). Her video work has been screened at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, the New Museum and the Center for Contemporary Art, Tel Aviv. Her public performance project, Flight (2011), recently took place in Times Square with support from Franklin Furnace and the Times Square Alliance. In November 2011, Laser will present a Performa Commission for the upcoming visual art performance biennial, Performa 11, in New York.


Kalup Linzy
Linzy (b. 1977, Clermont, Florida) received an MFA at the University of South Florida in 2003. He also attended the video workshop at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, and in 2005 received a grant from the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation. Linzy was named a Guggenheim Fellow in 2007. On July 13, 2010, with an invitation from James Franco, he made his debut appearance on the daytime television soap opera General Hospital. Linzy’s work has been reviewed in The New York Times, Art in America, and Artforum.


Kelly Nipper
Kelly Nipper (b. 1971, Edina, MN) received a BFA from Minneapolis College of Art and Design, MN in 1993 and an MFA from California Institute of the Arts, Valencia, CA in 1995. She has performed and had her work screened at many major museums including the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles (scheduled for 2013), the Kunsthaus Zürich (scheduled for 2013), Art Basel Miami Beach (2009), the Contemporary Arts Museum in Houston, TX (2007), and in Milan at Francesca Kaufmann. Awards include Alberta Prize for Visual Art, Alberta duPont Bonsal Foundation, San Diego, CA (2004), Tiffany Award, The Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation, New York, NY (2007). She has been commissioned by the Center for Cultural Innovation in Los Angeles, CA (2010), and the Foundation for Contemporary Arts in New York, NY (2012).


Leah Piehl
Leah Piehl (b. 1973) began designing costumes in the mid 1990’s as part of a performance collective in San Francisco. She has her B.A. in Political Economy of Industrial Societies from the University of California at Berkeley (Summa Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa). Piehl received her MFA in Theater from CalArts in 2006. Piehl has been extremely active in the Los Angeles and New York film, theater and dance communities. She is currently designing The Borrowers at South Coast Reperatory. Some of her recent credits include The Dinosaur Within (The Theatre at Boston Court), Satyr Atlas (The Getty Villa), Paradise Lost (Intiman Theater, Seattle), Orestes 2.0 (USC, Los Angeles), Saudade/David Rousseve (UCLA Live), The Someone in Florida Loves Me (The Paradise Factory Theater, New York). Leah maintains ongoing collaborations with several choreographers including Contra Tiempo, Kate Hutter, Mira Kingsley, Kristen Smiarowski, Rebecca Pappas, and Colin Connor. Piehl’s costumes have been featured in several exhibitions with artist Kelly Nipper. Their collaboration, Floyd on the Floor, a Performa Commission at Judson Memorial Church in New York in 2007, was the first of several ongoing video and live performance installations. They recently exhibited Compass at the Migros Museum in Zurich, Shifting Shapes at ArtBaselMiami and Weather Center at the 2010 Whitney Biennial. The exhibition is currently on view at the George Pompidou Center in Paris. Piehl has designed several films including Buzzkill, directed by Steven Kampmann, which recently screened at the Hollywood Film Festival. Piehl has designed costumes for several music videos including Frankie Valli, Rocco DeLuca and the Burden, Killola, Black Light Burns, Giant Drag, Mitchell Schaffer, Skopic, Selena Gomez, Cheeta Girls and Paolo Nutini. Piehl also works as a commercial stylist. Leah currently teaches at the University of Southern California.


Clifford Owens
Clifford Owens (b. 1971, Baltimore, Maryland) is perhaps best known for his provocative performances, in which the audience is frequently required to engage with Owens and the shifts of power and perspective at play. Owens’ art has appeared in numerous group exhibitions including Performa05, New York, NY; Freestyle and Quid Pro Quo at The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, NY; Greater New York 2005, P.S.1, Queens, New York; Influence, Anxiety, Gratitude, List Visual Art Center, Cambridge, MA. Owens studied at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Mason Gross School of Visual Art Rutgers University, and the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program. He was an artist in residence at The Studio Museum in Harlem in 2005-06 and Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in 2004. Grants and fellowships include Art Matters, Louis Comfort Tiffany Award, New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship, Lambent Foundation, and the Rutgers University Ralph Bunche Graduate Fellowship. He lives and works in Queens, New York. Adapted from


Laurie Simmons
Laurie Simmons (b. 1949, Long Island, New York) received a BFA from the Tyler School of Art, Philadelphia (1971). Simmons stages photographs and films with paper dolls, finger puppets, ventriloquist dummies, and costumed dancers as “living objects,” animating a dollhouse world suffused with nostalgia and colored by an adult’s memories, longings, and regrets. Simmons’s work blends psychological, political, and conceptual approaches to art-making—transforming photography’s propensity to objectify people, especially women, into a sustained critique of the medium. Mining childhood memories and media constructions of gender roles, her photographs are charged with an eerie, dreamlike quality. On first glance, her works often appear whimsical, but there is a disquieting aspect to Simmons’s child’s play, as her characters struggle over identity in an environment in which the value placed on consumption, designer objects, and domestic space is inflated to absurd proportions. Simmons’s first film, “The Music of Regret” (2006), extends her photographic practice to performance, incorporating musicians, professional puppeteers, Alvin Ailey dancers, Hollywood cinematographer Ed Lachman, and actress Meryl Streep. She has received many awards, including the Roy Lichtenstein Residency in the Visual Arts at the American Academy in Rome (2005); and fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation (1997) and the National Endowment for the Arts (1984). She has had major exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art, New York (2006); Baltimore Museum of Art (1997); San Jose Museum of Art, California (1990); Walker Art Center, Minneapolis (1987); and she has participated in two Whitney Biennial exhibitions (1985, 1991). Simmons lives and works in New York. Adapted from


Ryan Trecartin
Ryan Trecartin (b. 1981, Webster, Texas) currently works in Los Angeles. He received a BFA from Rhode Island School of Design in 2004. Trecartin has since lived and worked in New Orleans, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and Miami. In 2006, the Wall Street Journal included Trecartin in a selection of ten top emerging US artists. More recently, in 2009, Trecartin was the recipient of the inaugural Jack Wolgin International Competition in the Fine Arts, the world’s largest juried individual fine art prize, awarded by Tyler School of Art.Also in 2009, Trecartin received the New Artist of the Year Award at The First Annual Art Awards, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York and was awarded a 2009 Pew Fellowship in the Arts. His work is featured in the Saatchi Gallery collectionand has appeared in many museum exhibitions including The Generational: Younger Than Jesus at The New Museum in New York, Queer Voice at the ICA in Philadelphia, Between Two Deaths at the Center for Art and Media in Karlsruhe, and the 2006 Whitney Biennial, as well as in recent solo exhibitions at The Power Plant in Toronto, and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, among others.