Event

Undoing Language: Early Performance Works by Brian O’Doherty

Brian O Doherty Vowel Grid 1998 High Res Crop (1)

Archived Event

No Longer Showing.

October 8, 2021, 7pm EDT
512 West 19th Street
Tickets: $15. This event is sold out. An in-person waitlist will begin 30 minutes before the performance. 

This program brings together early performance works by artist, art critic, poet, and novelist Brian O’Doherty that engage with the breakdown of language into vowels that are isolated from meaning and enunciated as bodily sounds. It will include the first-ever performance of Vowel Chorus for Five Voices (1968) by the vocal ensemble Ekmeles; the movement and sound work Vowel Grid (1970) performed by Roxy Farman and C. Spencer Yeh; and a new commission by vocalist and composer Holland Andrews, who will unpack the layers of the O’Doherty’s vowel performances and poems in a soundscape. At age 93, this program recognizes O’Doherty’s role as an artist who created a substantial body of performance works engaging with the performativity of language and how it interacts with the performance of the “self,” but also led the first national funding for performance and media art at the National Endowment for the Arts in 1970s, making an indelible mark on the New York performance art scene. Guest curated by Lucy Cotter.

To view the program for this show, click here.


​Artist and Curator Bios
Brian O’Doherty is an artist, art critic, novelist, filmmaker, and poet who has worked under several identities. Born in Ireland in 1928 and trained as a doctor, he began his art career in the 1960s in New York. As an artist he works with drawing, installation, and performance, exhibiting in museums and galleries worldwide. He is the author of two books and three novels, one of which was Man-Booker prize nominated. He was art critic for the New York Times in the 1960s and editor of Art in America in the ‘70s and is best known for his paradigm-shifting I nside the White Cube essays (1976). Recent publications include the monographic survey Between Categories: Patrick Ireland/Brian O’ Doherty (Lund/Humphries, 2009) edited by Brenda-Moore McCann; the artist’s novel A Crossdresser’s Secret, Sternberg Press, 2014; the critical anthology Brian O’Doherty/Patrick Ireland: Word, Image and Institutional Critique edited by Christa-Maria Lerm Hayes, 2017; Brian O’Doherty: Collected Essays, University of California Press, 2018; and A Mental Masquerade, edited by Thomas Fischer and Astrid Mania, Spector Books, 2019.

Lucy Cotter is an Irish curator and writer based in Portland, OR where she is the 2021 Curator in Residence at Oregon Center for Contemporary Art.  Previous projects include being the curator of the Dutch Pavilion, 57th Venice Biennale 2017. She is author-editor of Reclaiming Artistic Research (2019) and a regular contributor to journals such as Flash Art, Frieze, and Mousse Magazine. She holds a PhD in Cultural Analysis from the University of Amsterdam and lectures at Portland State University. She is currently working on an experimental play entitled The Entangled Museum, alongside new curatorial projects.

Undoing Language: Early Performance Works by Brian O’Doherty is made possible with endowment support from Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust; annual grants from The Amphion Foundation, Inc., The Aaron Copland Fund for Music, Howard Gilman Foundation, and The Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Foundation; and in part by public funds from New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Governor and the New York State Legislature. Curatorial travel supported by Portland State University. 

Season programming is made possible in part with support from The Kitchen’s Board of Directors and The Kitchen Leadership Fund. To learn more about the Leadership Fund, click here.

Image: Brian O'Doherty, Structural Play: Vowel Grid, 1970. Performance, Grianan Aileach, Donegal, Ireland, 1998. 
Courtesy of the artist and Brenda Moore-McCann.

The Kitchen Blog

Artboard 1

An Institution of Domination is Anti-Love

Dec 21 2021

Dear friends, Writer, feminist, activist, and author bell hooks in her essay “Love as the Practice of Freedom” (2006) reminds us, “A culture of domination is anti-love.” I write to you today from The Kitchen in consideration of this “culture of domination”, and the ways it keeps manifesting it...Read On

The Kitchen Exterior Small Banner

The Kitchen is Hiring!

Dec 07 2021

Join Our Team The Kitchen is currently seeking two new full-time staff members to join our team! Please see the excerpts below for some preliminary information regarding these available positions, and click each link to read the full listing and job description on NYFA.org. Curatorial Assis...Read On

Img 9836

Announcing Our Winter/Spring 2022 Season

Dec 01 2021

Announcing The Kitchen's Winter/Spring 2022 Season Sadie Barnette: The New Eagle Creek Saloon , January 18–March 6madison moore: Nightlife-in-Residence , January 18–March 6In Support, featuring work by Fia Backström, Francisca Benítez, Papo Colo, and Clynton Lowry, through March 12&#16...Read On

Read More on The Kitchen's Blog