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PRELUDE Festival 2023


Performing Response-Ability

Esther Neff with others

6:00PM EST

Monday, October 16, 2023

Martin E. Segal Theatre Center, 5th Avenue, New York, NY, USA

Artists and organizers from mutualistic NY performance art communities, including PERFORMANCY FORUM, debate tradition, change, and the ethics and politics of making work in response and relation to racial capitalism, climate collapse, and systemic eugenics. There will be short performances followed by discussion. Is performance part of "immune systems" or resilience strategies? How can both artistic works and modes of production practice response-ability? Featuring Arantxa Araujo, zavé martohardjono, Hector Canonge, Ayana Evans, and Lital Dotan. Organized by Esther Neff.

Content / Trigger Description:

Esther Neff (organizer) is the founder of PPL (est. 2006), a thinktank, performance collective, and organizational entity. They are the organizer of PERFORMANCY FORUM (est. 2009), a platform for performance art and social arts practices that has involved hundreds of artists from all over the world in conferences, thinktanks, projects, and exhibitions. PPL's 7-year project as a physical lab site in Brooklyn culminated in the book Institution is a Verb (Operating System 2021, Edited with Elizabeth Lamb, Ayana Evans, and Tsedaye Makonnen). Neff/PPL's project Embarrassed of the (W)Hole, an operating manual for performance philosophy, was recently published by Ugly Duckling Presse and their theoretical and critical writing has been including in the Routledge Companion to Performance Philosophy (with Yelena Gluzman), The Palgrave Macmillan Handbook of Queer and Trans Feminist Performance Art, and in PAJ, Performance Paradigm, CONTENT, AM Journal of Art and Media Studies, on cultbytes, culturebot, and elsewhere online and in print. Their solo and collaborative operas, performance art works, and other performance projects have been realized in NYC, across the USA, and various sites around the world. Neff is currently a PhD student at the CUNY Graduate Center in Theatre and Performance and teaches at Hunter College.

Arantxa Araujo is a Queer Mexican performance artist with a background in neuroscience and arts administrator. Her work is transdisciplinary, feminist, meditative and rooted in bio-behavioral research. Through multisensorial experiences, Araujo aims to catalyze awareness which then might result in a virtuous chain reaction for social justice and personal growth. Her work has been shown in the Brooklyn Museum, at the Radical Women Latin American Art Exhibit, Leslie-Lohman Museum, Grace Exhibition Space, The Queens Museum (NYC); RAW and Satellite Art Fair (Miami); Illuminus Festival (Boston), and SPACE Gallery (Pittsburgh); ExTeresaArte Actual Museum, and La Explanada del MUAC (Mexico); and Nuit Blanche Festival (Canada). Araujo is a Franklin Furnace Fund awardee, Brooklyn Arts Council and Lower Manhattan Cultural Council grantee and has received support through numerous residencies and fellowships including Leslie-Lohman Museum Artist Fellowship, Creative Capital taller, ITP Camp and EMERGENYC. Araujo was awarded a full scholarship from Mexican Government Institution CONACYT. She holds an MA in Motor Learning and Control from Teachers College, Columbia University and a BA in Theater Studies from Emerson College.

zavé martohardjono is a queer, trans, Indonesian-American artist working in performance, dance, installation, video, and poetry. Dwelling in their ancestors’ mythologies, with dreams of a more just future, they make work that contends with the political histories our bodies carry. zavé’s work is concerned with and prompted by inquiry into whether and how embodied healing, anti-colonial storytelling, and political education can de-condition the body, reconjure liberatory memory, and untangle entrenched assimilation. zavé’s dance improvisations, experimental works, multimedia works and writing address and subvert political histories. zavé has been presented at the 92Y, BAAD!, Bronx Museum of the Arts, Center for Performance Research, El Museo del Barrio, HERE Arts, Issue Project Room, The Kennedy Center, Storm King Art Center, the Wild Project, Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, Boston Center for the Arts, Tufts University, and elsewhere in the U.S. Internationally, they have shown films and performed in Amsterdam, Berlin, Glasgow, Zurich, Skopje, and Jakarta. They were a 2022 MRX/Movement Research Exchange program artist in Skopje, Macedonia, 2021 NYPL Dance Research Fellow, 2020 Gibney Dance in Process artist, 2019 Movement Research AIR, 2017-2018 LMCC Workspace Resident, and a 2011 EMERGENYC artist. Their work has been written about in BOMB Magazine, Brooklyn Rail, Culturebot, Hyperallergic, and The New York Times.

Hector Canonge is an American artist of Catalan and Bolivian descent. Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Canonge spent his childhood in Bolivia and grew up in New York City where he studied and developed his interdisciplinary practice. His projects in Conceptual Art, Social Practice, Media Arts, Performance Art, and Dance treat notions related to constructions of identity, gender roles, migration politics, and ancestral heritage. His interactive projects explore the use of commercial technologies in relation to social archetypes, while his site-specific installations repurpose discarded materials and objects from everyday use. Challenging the white box settings of a gallery or a museum, or intervening directly in public spaces, his performances mediate movement, endurance, and ritualistic processes. Some of his actions and carefully choreographed performances involve collaborating with other artists and interacting with audiences. Through his investigation of somatic expression, he has developed a corporeal theory for the practice of Performance Art presenting it in workshops and conferences around the world. In New York City, Canonge’s dance and performance art projects have been featured at Triskelion Arts, Green Space, Boston Center for the Arts, Movement Research at the Judson Church, La Guardia Performing Arts Center, Queens Museum, Bronx Museum of the Arts, Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance, and La Mama among others. The artist has exhibited widely in the United States, Latin America, Europe and Asia. Canonge is the founding director of the performance art festivals: ITINERANT in NYC (2010-2019t), LATITUDES in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia (2017-present), and AUSTRAL in Buenos Aires, Argentina (2019-present). He is responsible for the initiatives: ARTerial Performance Lab (South America), TALKaCTIVE & LiVEART.US, NEXUS and IGNITION (United States), Performeando and Encuentro Latinoamericano de Performance Art Berlin (Europe), and the International Network of Performance Art, INPA. In 2020, while reflecting on the effects of the Corona pandemic, Canonge launched the virtuals program, CHRONICLES of CONFINEMENT, featuring artists from Latin America, Europe, Africa, and Asia. In 2022, Canonge launched and curated PAUSA, Performance Art USA, a new seasonal platform for live art and its various modalities of presentation. Canonge’s work has been reviewed by The New York Times, Art Forum, Art in America, Hyperallergic, Hispanic Magazine, Turbulence, Art Card Review, and New York Foundation for the Arts’ bulletin NYFA News among others. The artist is currently at work in the development of new projects and programs for the exploration and experimentation of Live Art and its various manifestations.

Ayana Evans is a NYC-based performance artist. Her guerilla-style performances have been staged at El Museo del Barrio, The Barnes Foundation, The Bronx Museum, Crystal Bridges Museum, Newark Museum, Queens Museum and a variety of free public locations. Her performances have been reviewed in The New York Times, Bomb Magazine, ArtNet, Hyperallergic, and New York Magazine's The Cut. She was a 2017-2018 awardee of the Franklin Furnace Fund for performance, 2018 New York Foundation of the Arts (NYFA) Fellow for Interdisciplinary Arts, 2021-2022 Jerome Hill Artist Fellow, 2021-22 Professor of the Practice at Brown University, and 2022 Chamberlain Award winner at Headlands Art Center. Her past residencies include Yaddo, Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture, Vermont Studio Center, and Robert Blackburn Printmaking Workshop. Evans' most recent projects included a performance in Simone Leigh’s Loophole of Retreat at the Venice Biennale and the development of a career fair and outdoor projection series that welcomed over 150 formerly incarcerated individuals and transformed the job hunting space into a fun environment. - complete with soul food, a live DJ, and green neon t-shirts for everyone involved. Evans was also featured in or editor of the following publications: "We Are Here: Visionaries of Color Transforming the Art World," by Jasmin Hernandez with forward by Swizz Beats, 2020 - features interviews with 50 contemporary artists of color, "Institution as Verb," Edited by Elizabeth Lamb, Ayana Evans, Esther Neff and Tsedaye Makonnen, "Volume 11 Friend of the Arts" Edited by Thomas Flynn II, and "Re-Envisioning The Contemporary Art Cannon: Perspectives in a Global World" Edited by Ruth Iskin, 2017. Evans is currently a professor at Brooklyn College and NYU.

Lital Dotan is a visual artist and curator. Her works include live work, video, sculpture and theater. She is the co-founder and artistic director of Glasshouse ArtLifeLab, an art-house currently based in Upstate NY. Co-founded with Eyal Perry in 2007, Glasshouse is an environment dedicated to performance in the domestic sphere, where she organizes and produces festivals, thematic exhibitions, durational performances, collaborations and residencies. In 2015 Dotan founded Que sal mah, a clothing brand that merges performance art, choreography and fashion, where clients book a one-to-one performance session culminating in a dress. Her immersive art works and performances were exhibited in museums and galleries world-wide such as the Israel Museum, National Museum Cracow, Queens Museum, Haifa Museum, Jewish Contemporary SF to name a few and was featured in magazines such as The NY Times, Hyperallergic, DNA Info, NY Mag, Paper Mag, ArtSlant, Haaretz, Huffington Post, VISION China, TAR Magazine and many more. Since early in her artistic career, she has collaborated with photographer Eyal Perry who is responsible for the photography in the majority of her work. An integration of installation, documentation and life her performance narratives examine structures and mechanisms of power across art and society; dissolving and re-imagining through harsh intimacy notions of privacy, audience, ownership, value and success. Dotan published two catalogues- The Glasshouse In Retrospective (2011) and '7 Invitations' (2014). In 2016, her essay about performance ecology in NY was published in TAR magazine, hosting artists, curators and organizers who are actively providing platforms for performance in New York.

Photo credits:

Building Bridges Not Walls (2018) Photo by Brandon Perdomo. Photo courtesy of Arantxa Araujo.

zavé martohardjono. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Hector Canonge (2023). Photo courtesy of the artist.

Ayana Evans. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Lital Dotan, Speaking Ice to Sheep (2023). Screenshot from videography by Eyal Perry.

Esther Neff website> | - IG> @thefenserf | @panoplylab - Arantxa Araujo website> | IG> @ArantxaAraujo - zavé martohardjono website> - Hector Canonge website> - Ayana Evans website> - Lital Dotan website>

Watch Recording

Explore more performances, talks and discussions at PRELUDE 2023

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