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Sozita Goudouna

Performa, the New York arts organization announced the receipt of a $460,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, which will support the creation of the Andrew W. Mellon Curatorial Fellowships. The fellowships are planned as a four-year project for four post-doctoral candidates — that is, two curators for two years each — during which they will be involved in the day-to-day operation of the organization, including the Performa biennial, the first biennial committed to the research, development, and presentation of performance by visual artists.

The first Andrew W. Mellon Performa fellowship was awarded to Onassis scholar Dr Sozita Goudouna, the art theorist and curator will develop her own research and curatorial project during a two year period, she will be teaching associate to Professor Goldberg at New York University, and will also help to develop the consortium of 80 + cultural institutions across New York City, that co-organize with Performa acclaimed projects and programs with an international roster of artists, architects, critics, curators, and writers from across the world.

As Rose Lee Goldberg, Performa’s founding director, argues this fellowship will train the new curators of the 21st century, who will take up positions in the performance art departments now being established in many museums. Curating performance calls for an unusual combination of qualities and qualifications that we associate with curating in visual arts on the one hand, and being a producer and being familiar with presenting performing arts on the other. The new curator–producer needs an extensive background in art history and contemporary art, a good eye for shaping installations, and is someone who can work closely with visual artists, being sensitive to their specific histories and aesthetics.

Performa celebrates its tenth anniversary and will take place from the 1st till the 22nd of November, participating artists include: Francesco Vezzoli, David Hallberg, Edgar Arceneaux, Erika Vogt, Jesper Just, Ulla von Brandenburg, Wyatt Kahn, Oscar Murillo Robin Rhode, Pauline Curnier Jardin, Jérôme Bel etc. and 33 consortium partners such as The Museum of Modern Art, Rhizome, Pioneer Works, ???, Martha Graham Studio, Times Square Alliance, Participant Inc. etc.