It was EPIC !!! NM’s Brooklyn Performance Combine storms the Brooklyn Museum

Norte Maar, Brooklyn Performance Combine, Brooklyn, Bushwick, art, dance, poetryBrooklyn, NY – The Brooklyn Performance Combine will easily go down as Norte Maar’s most ambitious event to date. We know we use the word a lot, but this time we can certainly call the event EPIC as the two-hour durational event at the Brooklyn Museum included 2 DJ’s, 5 poets, 10 visual artists, 11 performing artists and William Powhida! We are not sure the Brooklyn Museum itself was prepared for what took place, and to be honest, neither were we as the entire time-based performance was designed through rolling dice and random charting.

Brooklyn, Norte Maar, Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn Performance Combine

In the Beaux-Arts Court with The Brooklyn Performance Combine. Photo: Julie Lemberger

The Brooklyn Performance Combine played out like complex symphony with shifting consonant and dissonant sensory inputs created by the simultaneous performances and exhibitions. Dance, art, music, sound and poetry collided in harmonic and inharmonic ways while all throughout the show sculptor Ben Godward assembled one of his creations and later handing off its dismantled pieces to members of the audience. Our poets recited some of their newest works over the sound of cellist Mariel Roberts performing electronic score by Tristan Perich and violist Josh Henderson performing in conjunction with DJ jojoSoul, who maintained a constant remix of vinyl records by John Cage. On the visual front, paintings were paraded around the court between performances by veteran dance companies including Gleich Dances with The Brooklyn Ballet Youth Ensemble, Tiffany Mills Company, Edisa Weeks’ Delirious Dances and the noted Butoh of Vangeline Theater. And there were spontaneous interjections from tap dancer Allie Pizzo who arose on top of the audience to perform—all of this within 120 minutes!

The Brooklyn Performance Combine was “certainly one of our most successful programs ever in the Beaux-Arts Court,” said the Brooklyn Museum.

While the overall performance featured art for arts sake, some artist’s used the performance as an opportunity to comment on the current exhibition Crossing Brooklyn which has been cited for it’s lack of inclusiveness. “To some degree, the inclusiveness of this event was a response to the Brooklyn Museum’s exhibition Crossing Brooklyn: Art from Bushwick, Bed-Stuy, and Beyond, and the Museum’s claim to be exhibiting the 35 hottest artists from Brooklyn,” wrote Charles Kessler on his blog. “The Brooklyn Museum doesn’t show nearly enough Brooklyn artists – inexplicable since they are otherwise very Brooklyn-oriented, and Brooklyn is one of the hottest art scenes in the world right now,” continued Kessler, “For them to come up with such a limited exhibition after years of neglect is insulting.”

Artist Loren Munk, known for his paintings that aestheticize art history and document the local art community, created a new work titled Re-Crossing Brooklyn: A Partial Resurvey of Unconsidered Artists. The painting listed over 200 artists neglected by the museum. William Powhida, who has built an entire oeuvre satirizing the art world, stood at a mic and offered a critique not only of Loren’s painting but also of the Museum as a whole.

In his review of Crossing Brooklyn for The New York Times, critic Ken Johnson wrote “Brooklyn artists deserve better than this too-small, ideologically blinkered exhibition.” Indeed! And so Norte Maar jumped at the opportunity to load up it’s Trojan Horse of Brooklyn based visual, literary, and performing artists and give them the opportunity to interact with the museum, it’s audience and it’s world class collection. There was something really special seeing a painting by Brooke Moyse parade into the Beaux-Arts Court past a masterpiece by Monet. The simple spontaneous juxtapositions of sculpture and dance, sound and poetry, tap shoes and a roaming violist were the true essence of the event.

“A clever mash-up of poets, painters, and performers in an unrehearsed, uninterrupted inter-mixture of sorts […] the most daring of sights, sounds and moves, pushing through The Brooklyn Museum’s typical boundaries.” – Bushwick Daily

For full bios on all the artists involved click here.

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