Performance Space New York, the East Village hub known for avant-garde showcases, is handing over its reigns to a handful of selected artists.
Scheduled to last one year, the radical restructuring allows artists full insight and control over the 40-year-old art space. In perhaps the most unconventional move, organizers endowed the chosen participants with control over salaries and future programming.
“The artists have received keys to the spaces, have moved into our business offices and will move into our theaters next month,” explained choreographer Sarah Michelson and executive artistic director Jenny Schlenzka. “They have full transparency into the organization’s inner workings and full artistic control of our programming, including oversight of the website. Our total annual production budget is at the artists’ full disposal to pay themselves a wage and develop their programmatic platforms.”
The project, which was spearheaded by Michelson, includes artists Arianna Gil, Dada Coz, Sarah Snider, Antonia Perez and Ripley Soprano of BRUJAS; Jonathan González; Monica Mirabile; Adam Khalil, Zack Khalil and Jackson Polys of New Red Order. The only requirement of their tenure is that the space is utilized, according to a statement. Further details about their plans are slated to be announced in February.
“We know artistic practice is changing, that the world is changing and that we need to be ready to adjust,” Michelson and Schlenzka continued. “We are betting on an artist-recalibrated institutional mission as a catalyst for futurist art practice.”
It’s not the only significant change Performance Space has undergone in recent years. The venue, which once played home to Spalding Gray’s last monologues, underwent a massive re-branding in 2018 and changed its name from “P.S. 122” to the current title. At the time, many saw the facelift as an attempt to revitalize its storied reputation and attract new demographics of artists and art supporters.