Radical Presence: Black Performance in Contemporary Art is the first comprehensive survey of performance art by visual artists of African descent from the United States and the Caribbean. While black performance has been largely contextualized as an extension of theater, visual artists have integrated performance into their work for more than five decades, generating a repository of performance work that has gone largely unrecognized until now. Radical Presence provides a critical framework to discuss the history of black performance traditions within the visual arts beginning with Fluxus and Conceptual art in the 1960s through present practices of contemporary artists. Radical Presence features video and photo documentation of performances, performance scores and installations, audience interactive works, as well as art works created as a result of performance actions. In addition, the exhibition features a live performance series scheduled throughout the run of the exhibition, including performances during the opening weekend of the exhibition.
The exhibition features work by three generations of artists including Derrick Adams, Terry Adkins, Papo Colo, Jamal Cyrus, Jean‐Ulrick Désert, Zachary Fabri, Sherman Fleming, Coco Fusco, Theaster Gates, Girl [Chitra Ganesh + Simone Leigh], David Hammons, Trenton Doyle Hancock, Lyle Ashton Harris, Maren Hassinger, Wayne Hodge, Satch Hoyt, Ulysses S. Jenkins, Shaun Leonardo, Kalup Linzy, Dave McKenzie, Jayson Musson aka Hennessy Youngman, Senga Nengudi, Tameka Norris, Lorraine O’Grady, Clifford Owens, Benjamin Patterson, Adam Pendleton, Pope.L, Rammellzee, Jacolby Satterwhite, Dread Scott, Xaviera Simmons, Sur Rodney (Sur), Danny Tisdale, and Carrie Mae Weems.