Crossing the Line in a Good Way


Art festival “Crossing the Line” returns for a sixth edition from Sept. 14–Oct. 14. Locations in Brooklyn, Queens and Manhattan —Times Square, Essex Street Market, St. Ann and the Holy Trinity Church, The Kitchen, Invisible Dog Art Center, Abrons Art Center, and the Chocolate Factory—will be occupied by boundary-pushing artists like musician Gérald Kurdian, who performs a solo pop music concert and magic tricks between songs.

“Crossing the Line” features work by 18 international artists who “evolve forms appropriate to the intention of the work, unbounded by the narrow notions of artistic discipline,” says co-curator Simon Dove, director of the Herberger Institute School of Dance at Arizona State University. Lili Chopra, Artistic Director of FIAF, and Gideon Lester, Bard College’s Director of Theater Programs, are co-curators.

At the Essex Street Market, New York- and Berlin-based artist David Levine stages Habit, a free theater event set inside a functional and furnished ranch house designed by Marsha Ginsberg that runs for 10 days. “There’s recognizably private activity going on; people whispering, making out, changing clothes, bathing. There’s stuff to see, intimacies to violate,” says Levine. For eight hours each day for nine days, three actors perform a 90-minute script on loop, written by experimental playwright, Jason Grote. The performers alter the staging to eat, wash, and recline, as they like, creating a dynamic play that is different each run.

Following sold-out performances at last year’s “Crossing the Line,” Congolese choreographer Faustin Linyekula presents Le Cargo, a contemporary dance solo charged with turbulent histories and memories. “Le Cargo is my first solo piece and certainly one of my most intimate ones,” says Linyekula. In Dialogue, Linyekula and renowned theater director Peter Sellars engage in a discussion in which they consider the arts as a platform for social and political change.

“Art making is never repetitive for me, it is about rediscovery,” says Brazilian artist Bel Borba. For DIÁRIO (através de um OLHO BAIANO), lasting for the duration of the festival, Borba creates pieces ranging in scale from small mosaic to large sculpture all over New York, using only recycled or found objects collected from public streets. DIÁRIO will culminate in a block-long site-specific installation in Times Square, allowing passersby to experience the artist at work. Burt Sun and André Costanti’s documentary about Bora, Bel Borba Acqui, will preview at “Crossing the Line” before a run at Film Forum in October.

The lineup features progressive artists from musical, sculptural and performance backgrounds presenting dialogues, ongoing free installations, and ticketed performances to shows that explore hypnosis as an artistic medium like FIAF Artist in Residence, Joris Lacoste’s 4 Prepared Dreams. Initiated and produced by the French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF) and presenting sponsor, Nespresso, catch part or all of “Crossing the Line’s” evoking art feast.