Kate Sutton, Pati Hertling, Ryan McNamara, Adam Whitney Nichols, Carl Swanson


March 8th, 2014


NYPAC, the New York Performance Artists Collective, is pleased to present Concept/Icon, a panel discussion held as part of NYPAC's cultural partnership with VOLTA NY 2014. For the panel, NYPAC invites participants to question the position of contemporary performance art within popular culture.

As media’s fascination with this realm continues to grow, performance art has become a frame of reference for broader cultural practices. The conversation will cover the current discourse surrounding performance icons such as Marina Abramović and their collaborations with cultural purveyors including Jay-Z and Lady Gaga.

The discussion is moderated by Kate Sutton (Artforum.com Contributor) and features Pati Hertling (Independent Curator and Attorney), Ryan McNamara (Artist), Adam Whitney Nichols (Head of Film Projects for Visionaire), and Carl Swanson (New York Magazine Editor at Large).

See also:  Event recap / Gayletter listing

Kate Sutton is a freelance writer and regular contributor to Artforum.com, penning two to three pieces a month for “Critic’s Picks” (short-form reviews) and “Scene & Herd.” Sutton studied at Stanford University, and then later at the San Francisco Art Institute, where she worked with Okwui Enwezor. In September 2008, Sutton moved to Moscow to help found the non-profit Baibakov Art Projects as Associate Curator. Sutton has also produced articles and reviews for various international publications and websites, including Artforum, ArtChronika, Artnet, Bidoun, LEAP, Vogue Russia, and Wandering (Berlin). In 2013, Sutton was awarded an Arts Writers Grant by the Andy Warhol Foundation, as part of the Creative Capital initiative.

Pati Hertling is an attorney and independent curator. From 2005-2010 she organized "Evas Arche und der Feminist," a monthly series of salon events presenting works by two artists for one night, first in Berlin and later in New York. She curated "modern modern" at the Chelsea Art Museum, New York in 2009, and "Heart to Hand" at the Swiss Institute, New York in 2012. She recently founded "Le Potage de Madame Zazouf," a monthly performance salon in New York City, and just finished curating "Looking Back: The Eighth White Columns Annual."

Ryan McNamara is a Brooklyn based artist who is known for blending different practices of dance, theater, and history in his work. His works are often situation-specific, and tend to be collaborative or participatory, creating a social discourse and commenting on participation within artistic production. McNamara has held performances and exhibitions at Elizabeth Dee Gallery, The Watermill Performance Center, Barbara Gladstone Gallery, Lehmann Maupin, The Whitney Museum, MoMA P.S.1, The Kitchen, and in various other locations throughout the world. His work is also in the collection of The Museum of Modern Art. In his most recent solo exhibition, "Still," in March 2012 at Elizabeth Dee, McNamara transformed the gallery into a photo studio filled with costumes and props where he staged a series of tableaux using visitor participation that were then captured on camera and posted online on the gallery’s website in a nod to social media. The New York Times called the resulting images “spirited and wonderfully improvisatory.” McNamara has participated in the past two Performa Biennials. In Performa 09 his work, "Any Fag Could Do That," was inspired by the Sacred Band of Thebes – a small brigade of homosexual lovers that defeated the Spartan army in 375 B.C. In Performa 11, he took part in the Performa Commission "Three Performances in Search of Tennessee" by Laurel Nakadate and James Franco, a three part-project based around Tennessee Williams’ famous play "The Glass Menagerie."

Adam Whitney Nichols is Head of Film Projects for Visionaire. His first project for Visionaire, “A Portrait of Marina Abramovic” by the artist Matthu Placek, premiered at Art Basel Miami Beach in 2013. The film was later accepted into and screened at the Sundance Film Festival. Nichols was the Co-Founder and Executive Director of Fortnight Journal and the Fourteen Foundation, a two-year, multi-media documentary project on the millennial generation and the Internet. Fortnight Journal was later acquired by New York University’s Fales Library & Special Collections, marking their first major digital acquisition. Adam previously worked with Wallace Shawn and Andre Gregory on their retrospective at the Royal Court Theater in London; the performance artist and MacArthur “Genius Grant” fellow, Guillermo Goméz-Peña; and extensively with Patti Smith, editing and transcribing her poetry and prose, mounting her 2010 solo show at the Robert Miller Gallery, and traveling with her to Europe to promote her National Book Award winning memoir, Just Kids. Adam serves on the Board of Directors for Performance Space 122.

Carl Swanson is editor at large at New York magazine, where he writes about art, among other things. Previously he was culture editor at the magazine. He's written for a variety of publications, from the New York Observer to Elle, over the years, and attended the University of Virginia. 

Image: Gerard Garvey / Gayletter.