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Publications have been an important component of Performa’s activities from the outset, and are the result of our commitment to and belief in the importance of writing, documenting, educating, and publishing about performance art.  Following each biennial, we self-publish a 350-page book that provides an overview of current performance practices in contemporary art using the structure of the biennial, as well as the history and geography of the participating artists and collaborating organizations, alternative spaces, and performance sites as a framework. Performa’s publication program also includes artist monographs and project specific publications. 

Founded in 2004 by art historian and curator RoseLee Goldberg, Performa is the leading organization dedicated to exploring the critical role of live performance in the history of twentieth-century art and to encouraging new directions in performance for the twenty-first century. Since launching New York’s first performance biennial, Performa 05, in 2005, the organization has solidified its identity as a commissioning and producing entity. As a “museum without walls,” Performa contributes important art historical heft to the field by showing the development of live art in all its forms from many different cultural perspectives, reaching back to the Renaissance. Celebrated worldwide as the first biennial to give special attention to this remarkable history, the Performa Biennial transforms the city of New York into the “world capital of artists’ performance” every other November, attracting a national and international audience of more than 200,000 and garnering more than five million website hits during its three-week run. In the last decade, Performa has presented nearly 600 performances, worked with more than 700 artists, and toured commissioned performances in nearly 20 countries around the world.

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