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About

Founded in 1980 from an explosion of radical self-expression amidst the intensifying American culture wars, Performance Space 122 is the birthplace of contemporary performance as it is known today. The early acts that defined Performance Space 122’s unique role in New York cultural history asserted themselves as living, fleeting, and crucially affordable alternatives to mainstream art and culture of the 1980s and early 90s. Emboldened by the inclusive haven of a tight knit group of artists, performers like Penny Arcade, Ron Athey, Ethyl Eichelberger, Karen Finley, Spalding Gray, Ishmael Houston-Jones, Holly Hughes, John Kelly, John Leguizamo, Tim Miller, and Carmelita Tropicana, among many others, engaged in radical experimentation and created hybrid works that existed somewhere between dance, theater, poetry, ritual, film, technology and music.

With the renovation and reimagining of its original abandoned public-school building in the East Village completed, Performance Space 122 is entering a new, bracing chapter. Under the leadership of recently appointed Executive Artistic Director Jenny Schlenzka, and with state-of-the-art, column-free, high-ceilinged performance spaces, the organization is poised to make a case for the cultural vitality and relevance of performance for the 21st century. Schlenzka brings the idea of themed series to Performance Space 122. As part of a larger multidimensional whole, individual works are juxtaposed to evoke further meaning and push audiences to engage with our contemporary world in illuminating ways. The inaugural series (February–June) in the renovated building focuses on the East Village itself, including Performance Space 122’s iconic history, re-anchoring the organization within its immediate surroundings.

Returning to a rapidly changing neighborhood during a time marked by divisive and oppressive politics, Performance Space 122 builds on its own traditions of integration, political involvement and vehement interdisciplinarity, embodied by artists like niv Acosta, Big Dance Theater, Elevator Repair Service, Tim Etchells, Emily Johnson, Young Jean Lee, Taylor Mac, Richard Maxwell, Sarah Michelson, Rabih Mroué, Okwui Okpokwasili, Reggie Watts, and Adrienne Truscott.

Performance Space 122’s lasting presence from the pre-gentrification East Village neighborhood fervently aims to create an open environment for artists and audiences, and thus foster community through performance and discourse—to be a countering force to the often-exclusionary nature of urban development.

Performance Space 122’s upcoming series, and its annual Coil Festival, are inclusive, intergenerational, and interdisciplinary. Focusing on works that boldly resist classification, the organization continues to test and expand the boundaries of live performance.


Mission

Performance Space 122 provides incomparable experiences for audiences by presenting and commissioning artists whose work challenges boundaries of live performance. PS122 is dedicated to supporting the creative risks taken by artists from diverse genres, cultures and perspectives. We are an innovative local, national and international leader in contemporary performance.

  • to sign up for our newsletter (info about tix to the 6 shows in #Coil18 will be sent out beginning next week) pls t… https://t.co/5TSvVRZFT5

  • A note from Performance Space 122 - https://t.co/rC3KTkN7k5

  • RT @CathyJEdwards: Nomination ideas in the mid-Atlantic? Alan Cooper Leadership in the Arts Award honors outstanding arts leadership in DC,…

  • RT @klausbiesenbach: #pumpkinreunion #douglasgordon jennyschlenzka @museummodernart @momaps1 @ps122 @Gagosian https://t.co/sOsf6FjioF

  • Seeking 6 male (self-identified) performers for THEM by Ishmael Houston-Jones, Chris Cochrane, Dennis Cooper. Dec 2… https://t.co/KiOLDfparf

  • RT @artspoolco: Our member @artny72 is seeking a Director of Development & Communications. Go get it! https://t.co/H5o1438tEx

  • RT @bessieawards: Dancers, get thee to this discussion with candidates for City Council Speaker regarding arts and culture in our city! htt…

  • Thanks, @artforum for spreading the good news. https://t.co/XadFVnllpE

  • @FuseboxFestival Thanks for spreading the good word. We’re excited for yous to see the spaces! Official grand openi… https://t.co/mvfc7UkNkW

  • RT @debbiemillman: So so incredibly proud to be working with this woman! Thank you for your great leadership at @PS122 Jenny Schlenzka! htt…

  • RT @Tim_Etchells: lie on a hydraulic hospital bed while someone that does not speak uses an electronic device to look inside your body (con…

  • @Helen_E_Shaw ...we’re reimagining what we can do that’s best for artists and audiences.

  • @Helen_E_Shaw We still feel the need to do some program in Jan but w/ our venue coming back online and the overall… https://t.co/6q4PYQyLE8

  • @MildlyBitter @lindsaybarenz WELL. See you soon and often in 2018 hopefully!

  • @MildlyBitter @lindsaybarenz 🙃🙌🏾💗

  • @MildlyBitter @lindsaybarenz ...we are taking a good long look at what artists and audiences need and can’t wait to… https://t.co/OUh2JbPbiw

  • @MildlyBitter @lindsaybarenz Hi both — just wanted to say that we *are definitely* planning to program in future Ja… https://t.co/Jj3UkBpQ3A

  • Dear East Village, see you soon. #Coil18 #Homecoming https://t.co/0vrVuX6e5D

  • @hyperjetlag SEE YOU THERE

  • @DavidBerthold Thank you!!

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