The fourth and final week of Brooklyn International Performance Art Festival (BIPAF) included many lectures as performance, the idea of networked performance, and what exactly a marketplace for performance art might look like. It has been a big month for performance art in Brooklyn, but all good things have to end.

This is my final photo essay from the wonders of performance in the borough today. Thank you to all the performers and organizations that allowed me to document their work.

Alex Young (NYC)

Glasshouse gallery (Sunday, July 21) — Alex Young spoke with a serious air about his cult, which sounded utopian and a little crazy, though I may have been biased after he screened the Heaven’s Gate cult initiation tape before he began to speak.


Video Shorts (Various)

Glasshouse gallery (Sunday, July 21) — A number of video shorts were screened. How they related to the lecture/performance format I’m not sure but they were all strong works that could have had a little more introduction. The works that stood out included Jeremy Bailey’s quirky “Don’t Mouse Around” (2006) and Dora + Maja’s “Porcelain” (2011).


Angela Washko (NYC)

Glasshouse gallery (Sunday, July 21) — For her performance, Angela Washko, who curated the program at Glasshouse, explained to the audience (ladies only) how to marry a millionaire. She presented her extensive “research” on the topic with what appeared to be binge watching of season after season of the Millionaire Matchmaker reality TV show. Her research may not be scientific but you may be interested to know that the top reason why women are not marrying a millionaire is that “your outfit is ugly.”


Michelle Levy (NYC)

Glasshouse gallery (Sunday, July 21) — Michelle Levy’s obsession with Agent Cooper, of the classic American TV serial Twin Peaks, knows no bounds. Every comment or utterance he makes (the real man, not the actor) appears to inspire a new spiral of “investigation” by Levy, and a new path for her “research.” Is Agent Cooper a metaphor for contemporary life? Levy seems to think so, I, on the other hand, am less convinced though thoroughly entertained.


Nathaniel Sullivan (NYC)

Glasshouse gallery (Sunday, July 21) — All the performance/lectures seemed to tease out the obsessions of each artist. Nathaniel Sullivan’s presentation about Jamie Dimon, the CEO of JP Morgan Chase, seemed no different. Sullivan guided us through his fantasy of what he imagines Dimon’s life to be like, though I imagine any plutocrat would have fit the part for this presentation.


Thomas Albrecht (Brooklyn)

Fitness Center for Arts and Tactics (Monday, July 22) — Thomas Albrecht’s performance kicked off this networked evening that brought together performances in Brooklyn and La Paz (Bolivia) through webcams. Walking in with a heavy stone, Albrecht held the rock above his head until he could no longer do so. The work radiated a sense of quiet innocence and resilience.


Quetzal Belmont (Mexico/DC)

Fitness Center for Arts and Tactics (Monday, July 22) — Quetzal Belmont chose to symbolically heal the many public struggles from the last few years. From protests in Brazil and the US to uprisings in Bolivia, Turkey, and Syria, Belmont’s performance language was straightforward and obvious.


Ian Deleón and Anabel Vázquez (Puerto Rico/Brooklyn)

Fitness Center for Arts and Tactics (Monday, July 22) — Deleón and Vázquez played dominos in a manner resembling the many domino players on the streets of Bushwick and beyond. Without a word, the duo played their game and left.


Live Networked performances from El Bunker (La Paz, Bolivia)

Fitness Center for Arts and Tactics (Monday, July 22) — The international portion of the program was less successful than I was hoping for. It was often unclear who was performing and the quality of the video was poor. Regardless of its shortcoming, there is always a power in knowing that you are sharing an experience with people far far away.


Closing Party, Bazaar, and Auction

Grace Exhibition Space (Sunday, July 28) — This one-night only bazaar invited all the participants of BIPAF to present their documentation, props, and other for-sale ephemera.

I loved the creativity of artists who offered haircuts($10), a moment ($1), paint ball target practice ($3), advice from a Brooklyn grandmother ($1), talismans ($60), rope bracelets/anklets/necklaces (.50/inch), a stuffed animal ($100,000+), pot brownies ($2), and so many other items for this makeshift marketplace. The event included a boisterous auction (prices ranged from $1–30), and it all felt like a DIY version of Coney Island (shooting gallery and all).

I love the dreamy idealism that a performance art marketplace could potentially emerge, because even a performance artist needs to pay the bills, no?


The Brooklyn International Performance Art Festival ran from July 4 until July 28, 2013.

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Hrag Vartanian

Hrag Vartanian is editor-in-chief and co-founder of Hyperallergic.

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