Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster’s Top 5 Performances of All Time

Paris-based artist Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster is all about being in the moment. An enigmatic practitioner of various mediums—film, photography, and spatial installation among them—Gonzalez-Foerster seeks to create live moments in time when people and places can interact. For Performa 09, the third iteration of New York’s performance art biennial, she will stage an opera called K.85—in collaboration with Berlin-based composer and performer Ari Benjamin Meyers—inspired by two dark urban films: Orson Welles’ drama The Trial and Martin Scorsese’s black comedy After Hours. It will be staged at various secret locations across lower Manhattan (we’ll let you in on one: Katz’s, the famous Lower East Side deli). We asked Gonzalez-Foerster for her favorite performances of visual art. (Left: Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, Riyo, 1999. Film still. Courtesy of Jan Mot, Brussels and Esther Schipper, Berlin.)

1. John Cage cooking mushrooms on stage, Maison de la Culture, Grenoble, France 198?. “Something completely unexpected on stage.”

2. Richard Foreman’s Café Amérique with Daniel Emilfork, Maison de la Culture, Grenoble, France, 1981. “Confusion and hysteria on stage.”

3. Marina Abramovic & Ulay’s Nightsea Crossing, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, 1981.
“Incredible concentration and tension without stage.”

4. Alain Bergala, Cinematheque Francaise, Paris, 199?. “Lecture, orality and projection, cinema and revelation.”

5. Il Tempo del Postino, Manchester and Basel. “Onstage, our stage, to be continued…”

Dominique Gonzalez-Foertser performs November 18 and 19 at the Abrons Center, which is located at 466 Grand St, New York.