Lecture: An Introduction to Performance Art in Four Parts—A Conversation with Michael Portnoy



Admission actions

From the grotesque to the political, the mundane to the playful, performance art has evolved to encompass a wide range of creative approaches and attitudes. This four-part lecture series invites you to consider key moments in the history of performance art and explore the work of artists who are continuing to blur boundaries and redefine artistic practice. This series coincides with the launch of Iterations, an initiative presenting newly commissioned works by a range of artists over the next three years.

The fourth and last lecture of the series features the work of Michael Portnoy, an artist whose practice revolves around performance through participatory installation, video, and a variety of other media. Together with Dittmer Curator of Contemporary Art Hendrik Folkerts, Portnoy discusses his artistic approach to performance and how he connects his practice to the many manifestations of performance in our society at large.

About the Artist
Michael Portnoy is a New York–based visual and performing artist. Coming from a background in dance and experimental comedy, his performance-based work employs a variety of media from participatory installations to theater, sculpture, video, writing, painting, and curation. He has presented internationally in museums, art galleries, and theaters, including recently Steirischer Herbst, Graz, Austria (2018); Akademie der Künste der Welte, Cologne, Germany (2017); KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin, Germany (2017); Playground, STUK, Leuven, Belgium (2016, 2014); Liverpool Biennial, Liverpool, UK (2016); Witte de With, Rotterdam, the Netherlands (2016); the Centre Pompidou, Paris, France (2015); Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, the Netherlands (2014); Palais de Tokyo, Paris, France (2013); The Kitchen, New York, USA (2013); dOCUMENTA 13, Kassel, Germany (2012); 11th Baltic Triennial (co-curator), Vilnius, Lithuania (2012); and the Taipei Biennial, Taipei, Taiwan (2010). He is a visiting professor at Malmö Art Academy. 

Michael Portnoy2

 100 Beautiful Jokes, 2014.

Michael Portnoy. Performance. Photo by Ernst van Deursen. 

Please join us for the other lectures in this series:

Friday, March 15 at 3:00

Fluxus and the Art of Participation
Friday, March 22 at 3:00

Contemporary Approaches
Friday, April 12 at 3:00

Persons with disabilities who would like to request an accessibility accommodation for an Art Institute program are encouraged to send an e-mail to access@artic.edu two weeks in advance of the program. 


Sign up for our enewsletter to receive updates.

Learn more

Image actions