The Object of Performance—A Conversation among Artists, Curators, and Critics

The Object of Performance—A Conversation among Artists, Curators, and Critics


November 22, 2019

6:00 PM-7:00 PM


225 South St
Williamstown, MA 01267

The Research and Academic Program presents, “The Object of Performance—A Conversation among Artists, Curators, and Critics.”

At this public roundtable, artists Genevieve Gaignard, Jeffrey Gibson, and María Magdalena Campos-Pons will discuss learning from the past to produce new narratives for the spaces of the nation’s historic museums. Cheryl Finley (Spelman College) and Dorothy Moss (National Portrait Gallery) will moderate this conversation to explore how performance art is transforming the capacity of America’s museums to represent the experience of those historically excluded and illuminate what Titus Kaphar calls their “active absence.” At a time when museums must provide spaces for meaningful discussion and institutional critique, this conversation will pose structural questions about how to diversify our museums and galleries while activating history in new and urgent ways.

María Magdalena Campos-Pons is a performance artist and the Cornelius Vanderbilt Endowed Chair of Fine Arts at Vanderbilt University.

Cheryl Finley is the inaugural Distinguished Visiting Director of the Atlanta University Center Collective for the Study of Art History & Curatorial Studies at Spelman College.

Genevieve Gaignard is a photographer and installation artist living and working in Los Angeles.

Jeffrey Gibson is a painter, sculptor, and installation artist and artist in residence at Bard College.

Dorothy Moss is curator of painting and sculpture at the National Portrait Gallery and coordinating curator of the Smithsonian American Women’s History Initiative.

This event is free and open to the public. A reception begins at 5:30 PM.

This program is made possible by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Image: María Magdalena Campos-Pons (Cuban, b. 1959), IDENTIFIED, May 2016. Commissioned by the National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian for IDENTIFY: Performance Art as Portraiture. Photo by Matailong Du