rituals of rented island

LAST WEEK! Don’t miss Rituals of Rented Island, which revisits 1970s New York—a groundbreaking moment in the history of performance art—through work by Vito Acconci, Laurie Anderson, and John Zorn, among others.

Installation view of Rituals of Rented Island: Object Theater, Loft Performance, and the New Psychodrama—Manhattan 1970-1980 (Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, October 31, 2013–February 2, 2014). Photograph by Ron Amstutz

Pig, Child, Fire! consisted of five acts. In the first, a giant puppet hung upside down from the ceiling. A man’s head emerged from its anus as a woman read ‘Stavrogin’s Confession’ from Dostoyevsky’s The Possessed, a live goat (rather than the eponymous pig) nibbled cabbage, and, on the street, a bearded man walked by with the sleeve of his coat on fire. The even more disorienting second act took place mainly on West Broadway as a pair of gangsters darted through traffic, engaging in a slapstick shoot-out.” — from J. Hoberman’s essay on, among other things, Squat Theater, one performance group featured in “Rituals of Rented Island,” a show currently open at the Whitney. I would include the final three acts in his description, but they sounded sort of boring.

Need some good weekend reading? Check out The New York Times fall art preview, including T. J. Wilcox: In the Air, Robert Indiana: Beyond LOVE, and Rituals of Rented Island: Object Theater, Loft Performance, and the New Psychodrama—Manhattan, 1970–1980.

The groundhog’s shadow isn’t the only one on view today. Check out Ken Jacobs's 3-D shadow-play in Rituals of Rented Island: Object Theater, Loft Performance, and the New Psychodrama—Manhattan, 1970–1980, closing today.

Ken Jacobs, “Slow is Beauty”—Rodin, Idea Warehouse, November 1974. Courtesy the artist. Photograph by J. F. Brown

“Defiantly edgy and challenging.” Time Out New York gives Rituals of Rented Island: Object Theater, Loft Performance, and the New Psychodrama—Manhattan 1970–1980 five stars.

Kipper Kids, performance at Forum Theater, Berlin, 1973. © Kipper Kids, courtesy the artist

Tonight, artist Theodora Skipitares will lead an evening of performance and demonstration around her practice of puppet theater.

Theodora Skipitares, Skysaver, performance at Galerie ak, Frankfurt, November 8–16, 1980. Courtesy the artist. Photograph by Christian Hanussek

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FINAL WEEKS: A mesmerizing, multi-sensory experience, Rituals of Rented Island: Object Theater, Loft Performance, and the New Psychodrama—Manhattan, 1970–1980 revisits a pivotal moment in the history of performance art through installations, film and video, objects, photographs, and other ephemera.

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CLOSING SUNDAY! Celebrated by The New York Observer as “an essential show,” Rituals of Rented Island revisits 1970s Manhattan—a groundbreaking moment in the history of performance art—through installations, film and video, objects, photographs, and other ephemera.

Fall is right around the corner, and we’re looking forward to a new season of exhibitions including a panoramic film installation by T. J. Wilcox, the Robert Indiana retrospective, and a look at the radical period of 1970s performance art.

Robert Indiana (b. 1928), The American Sweetheart, 1959–61. Oil on Homasote. Cari and Michael J. Sacks, Chicago. © 2013 Morgan Art Foundation, Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

We’re giving away four pairs of tickets to Thursday’s exclusive opening reception and Halloween party celebrating Rituals of Rented Island: Object Theater, Loft Performance, and the New Psychodrama—Manhattan, 1970–1980. Visit the Whitney's Facebook page to enter. 

Theodora Skipitares, The Venus Café, performance at Byrd Hoffman Studio, June 1977. Courtesy the artist. Photograph by Richard A. Heinrich

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In celebration of Rituals of Rented Island, we’ve rounded up a selection of featured titles on artbook.com with an emphasis on performance and nostalgia. Use code “WHITNEY25” at checkout for a 25% discount and free shipping. A portion of proceeds from every purchase benefits the Whitney!

Art in America talks to curator Jay Sanders about his upcoming exhibition, Rituals of Rented Island: Object Theater, Loft Performance, and the New Psychodrama—Manhattan, 1970–1980, opening October 31.

Kipper Kids, performance at Vanguard Gallery, Los Angles, 1978. © Kipper Kids, courtesy the artist

News from the Press Office: The first museum exhibition to consider a radical period of 1970s performance art that flourished in downtown Manhattan opens at the Whitney on October 31.

Michael Smith, Busman’s Holiday Retreat Revue, performance at The Performing Garage, May 1981. Photograph by Kevin Noble; Image courtesy the artist