You are here


Saturday, April 21st 2018 to Saturday, November 10th 2018

PERFORMANCY FORUM: CIVIC REFLEX/ REFLEJO CÍVICO (a project of Brooklyn International Performance Art Foundation and Panoply Performance Laboratory)

Public performances/presentations on 5 Saturdays, Spring and Fall 2018: 
April 21, May 26, September 29, October 20, November 10, all at 8pm
FREE & Open to the Public

PERFORMANCY FORUM: CIVIC REFLEX is a collective performance/social art project involving: 1) the formation of a self-reflexive collective of 20 artists/groups 2) a series of 5 public forum events and 3) an online blog substantiating and framing “civic” “civil” and “reflexive” performance practices and performative theoretics. PERFORMANCY FORUM: REFLEJO CÍVICO es un colectivo de arte social y performance  que consiste en: 1) la creación de un colectivo de 20 artistas/grupos que se comporte de manera auto-reflexiva 2) una serie de 5 eventos/foros abiertos al público 3) un blog online dedicado a proveer contexto y enmarcar teóricamente prácticas de arte performático, civil, cívico y auto-reflexivo.

The 20 artists/groups are: Rina Espiritu, Pei-Ling Ho, Tsedaye Makonnen, Diane Dwyer, David Ian Bellows/Griess, Benjamin Lundberg Torres Sánchez, Daniel Gonzalez, Nana Ama Bentsi-Enchill, Aditi Natasha Kini and Amin Husain, Leopold Krist, Megan Livingston, Feminist Art Group (F.A.G.), Amelia Marzec, Samantha CC, Sierra Ortega, Verónica Peña, Ada Pinkston, Lorene Bouboushian, Arantxa Araujo, Helen Yung

The 20 artists/groups will meet on each of the five Saturdays for collective forum discussion and interaction, followed by performances/presentations/situations free and open to the public on each date starting at 8pm...

April 21, 8pm. Public performances/presentations by: Diane Dwyer, Benjamin Lundberg Torres Sánchez, Rina Espiritu

May 26, 8pm. Public performances/presentations by: Pei-Ling Ho, Tsedaye Makonnen, Daniel Gonzalez, Nana Ama Bentsi-Enchill

September 29, 8pm. Public performances/presentations by: Aditi Natasha Kini and Amin Husain, Leopold Krist, Megan Livingston, Feminist Art Group (F.A.G.)

October 20, 8pm. Public performances/presentations by:  Amelia Marzec, Samantha CC, Sierra Ortega, Verónica Peña

November 10, 8pm. Public performances/presentations by: Ada Pinkston, Lorene Bouboushian, Arantxa Araujo, Helen Yung, David Ian Bellows/Griess


CIVIC REFLEX/REFLEJO CIVICO is sponsored, in part, by the Greater New York Arts Development Fund of the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, administered by Brooklyn Arts Council (BAC).

Project initiated and organized by Esther Neff (PPL/PERFORMANCY FORUM), artists/groups selected via an Open Call by a peer committee convened one-time-only on March 8, 2018

EotW: "LukeJM," "Tsedaye," "jgladstone," Mixed MoE

Saturday, February 11th 2017

USER: "LukeJM"
MODE OF ENGAGEMENT: Collaboration with PPL

USER: "Tsedaye"
MODE OF ENGAGEMENT: Usership translated and interpreted by PPL into Presentation

USER: "jgladstone"
MODE OF ENGAGEMENT: Collaboration selected, User has not replied to attempts to contact them


A: How operating?
1: deliberately 90%

This inquiry is as-sembling realities
Generating a logical operation
Using additive methodologies
First, (de)liberating a picture to be made

C: Operating to what affect?
1: deliberately 80%

This is an inquiry into ability
Generating causes of multiplicit/unknown affects
By organizing an array of defined tasks
First, (de)liberate similar abilities and desires across and between previously-individuated bodies

C: Operating to what affect?
2: semblatively 70%

This is an inquiry into ability
Generating causes of multiplicit/unknown affects
By developing a hegemony of interests, desires, and uses
First, install a mechanism for (de)liberating attention into an 'on/off' conditional mode


Operations as part of opera-of-operations "Embarrassed of the Whole" Phase II:

FULL DAY Performancy Forum: glitch/heal OR gore/harm

Saturday, December 10th 2016

1. HEAL: assisting, caretaking, and healing processes penetrate the skin of reality following pressure points along the spine; glitches in the daily, peaceful moments of patience+pause, repetitions which overwhelm self-reproductive sensibilities, small objects tracking pathways, telepathic contact, passed notes, touch and talk beading like sweat between our bellies

2. HARM: anti-normalizing, sabatoging, and resisting processes exhume the bowels of sociality and being; poltergeists and parasites of the gut, arson of the eye, martyrdom of the mind, murder of the moment, removal of fundamental organs, all the entrails of love spilling out across the floor

Coco Cafe

Day de Dada

Tsedaye Makonnen

Valerie Kuehne

Alexandra Delafkaran

CAKE: pop-up show and Tsedaye Makonnen's birthday party

Sunday, May 22nd 2016


Tsedaye Makonnen (the birthday hat-wearer!)
Helina Metaferia
Ivy Castellanos
Amanda Hunt
Jodie Lyn Kee Chow
Geraldo Mercado
Zhenesse Heinemann


What It Is or What It Ain't* a one-night performance art exhibition

Thursday, December 17th 2015

6pm: Roundtable discussion moderated by the artists

8pm: Performances by Helina Metaferia (San Francisco), Tsedaye Makonnen (Washington, DC), Dell M. Hamilton (Boston), and Ayana Evans (Chicago/NYC)

Four artists come together to publicly deal with their agencies as performance artists working within and beyond institutions and artworlds. The evening begins with a public discussion sparked by examples of artists leveraging their own careers in critical ways, like Adrian Piper's pulling out of the exhibition of black performance art Radical Presence, and by the participating artists' own experiences as professional artists, educators, scholars, and curators navigating ethical, political, social, and practical decisions.

The public discussion is followed and framed by performance works by Helina Metaferia, Tsedaye Makonnen, Dell M. Hamilton, and Ayana Evans.

This evening as a whole debates four solo artists' relationships with their own practices, through both artworks and discussion of artworking, providing a public forum for performance practices that deal with beliefs in the strength in the collective voice of black people/women (even if those voices disagree or contradict) as well as resistances to processes commodifying and objectifying identities and artists.

*The title of the evening quotes curator Valerie Cassel Oliver's catalog statement from the 2013 Radical Presence: Black Performance in Contemporary Art exhibition: "The intention here is to resist reductive conclusions about blackness: what it is or what it ain’t. What is clear is that it exists and has shaped and been shaped by experiences. The artists in this exhibition have defied the ‘shadow’ of marginalization and have challenged both the establishment and at times their own communities.” (2013)

A donation of $5-20 at the door is requested to provide barebones honorariums to the participating artists though no one will be turned away for lack of funds.


Thursday, October 15th 2015


Malik Crumpler, Kaya Bailey, Kevin Ramsay, Robert B. Lisek - “Random Agenda”

performances/presentations/interactions/problems by:

Soufïa Bensaïd: “Black Box or Sometimes, Often, Most of the time, I don’t know”
Zhenesse Heinemann
Tsedaye Makonnen

@Panoply Performance Laboratory, beverages lovingly provided by Brooklyn Brewery.


PF: QUINQ is open to the public with a suggested donation of $10-20 to support/reimburse the artists

For the Full Schedule for PERFORMANCY FORUM QUINQUENNIAL: A Performance Conference October 8-25:

conference = a situation during which persons confer
conferance = a "con" like "comicon" for makers and fans
conference = a culmination of a period of labor
conference = states of being and becoming together

PERFORMANCY FORUM: Emergency Visibility (EV)

Saturday, July 19th 2014

For PF: EV edition, 4 artists were solicited by an open call, which offered visibility of an ephemeral, almost private nature, and asked how artists perceive being seen and/or desire to be seen.

Posner, Dwyer, Berezney, and Dwyer proposed works dealing with sight, gaze, seeing and being seen through feminist, ontological, theoretical, situational, post-colonial, and other shifting and overlapping lenses. Join us for their four performances and a discussion forum afterwards.


TSEDAYE MAKONNEN "I want to understand why someone would go to such (toxic) lengths to change their appearance and also go beyond diagnosing this epidemic as self-hate. I want to touch on the juxtaposition between excessive vs. moderation, is this resurgence of skin lightening yet another reflection of excessive behavior we all exude in some form due to the cross-pollination of cultures, technology, accessibility, choice, individualism, etc"

JESSICA POSNER: 'BBP' "Caroline Shawk Brooks, an Arkansas farm wife and dairy maid, is credited by historian Pamela H. Simpson in her book Corn Palace and Butter Queens as creating the first widely recognized butter sculpture, "Dreaming Iolanthe," in 1876. In the 1970s, Barbara "Butter Queen" Cope rose to fame as a legendary groupie known for her use of butter as a lubricant--with songs written about her by The Rolling Stones, Led Zepplin, and others. Since 1954, Minnesota has been crowning Princess Kays of the Milky Ways. The main prize is being sculpted into a "butter head" at the Minnesota State Fair. Since 1928, Land O Lakes butter boxes have persistently featured an infinite loop of a racist, stereotypical image of a Native American woman holding a box of butter with an image of herself on a box of butter. As a medium, butter is made from milk from a breast and is ready for immediate consumption after churning: a bodily feedback loop produced through movement. Culturally, butter is wrapped in the performance of feminine sexuality, imagery, and labor. The BBP is a gesture towards identifying, deconstructing, and unraveling this. ",

PHILIP BEREZNEY: 'Not-dead-yet things' " I wonder why I keep making what seems like invisible work... when it will become visible... whether it is important (to me) that it does. The performance of these varied, cut, pieced-together materials describes their creation as it resurrects and re-configures their significance. In keeping alive, in making visible these near-dead essences, I can summon a pathos for the nearly cast-aside; I can celebrate the potential for truth and strength in uncertainty; I can begin to scratch the polish off of my own nails... I can question my sometimes-reluctance to release a grasp on formal paradigms."

DIANE DWYER: "AUDIENCE" "Originally I was interested in enacting an awareness of “performing” oneself in our increasingly mediated world. When are we performing? When are we aware of an audience? This piece was first performed alone, videotaped and placed on vimeo with no description."


$5-15 pay-what-you-can for the artists

Brooklyn Brewery see this!

Subscribe to RSS - tsedaye makonnen