Alex Tatarsky, UNTITLED FREAKOUT (TELL ME WHAT TO DO), The Kitchen, New York, November 10, 2021. Photo Maria Baranova.

Alex Tatarsky


On View: October 20-November 22, 2021

512 West 19th Street

Opening day hours:

In Residence: October 20–November 22, 2021


Public Studio Visits: October 27, November 3, November 10, and November 17 at 7pm

Performance artist Alex Tatarsky will create a laboratory for performance research, thinking through the opportunity of a residency as a home—a “residence”—to revisit latent ideas and cultivate unhinged processes within the framework of an institution, a context that can often inhibit individual values and experimentation. Taking inspiration from Palace of Depression, a mansion constructed of detritus in Depression-era New Jersey, Tatarsky imagines constructing an opulent home for one’s darkest feelings. Principles of assemblage shape improvisations guided by discarded objects and materials to probe our relationship to decay, and the things we push out of sight. Tatarsky will work with a group of collaborators who will provide performance prompts, or give insights into their process in order for Tatarsky to potentially inhabit their practices. Each week, the public will be invited in for studio visits and guided tours, which additionally serve as performative acts. Organized by Lumi Tan, Senior Curator.


Alex Tatarsky makes performances in the uncomfortable in-between zone of comedy, dance-theater, performance art, and deluded rant—sometimes with songs. Called “a hilarious, finely tuned absurdist” (Theatre Jones) and “an East Village relic” (Vogue), Tatarsky experienced fleeting fame as Andy Kaufman’s daughter and used to perform as a mound of dirt. Venues include La MaMa, MoMA PS1, Gibney, Abrons Arts Center, Judson Church, PSNY, JACK, and many bars and basements. Writings on counterfeit poetics and grotesque politics have appeared in publications including The New Inquiry, Hypocrite Reader, ArtReview Asia, Folder, Viscose, and Vulture. They teach workshops on masks, rot, and mistranslation and are honored to have been a Movement Research Artist-in-Residence, Abrons Artist-in-Residence, Poetry Project Curatorial Fellow, Independence Fellow, and Pew Fellow. Together with Ming Lin they form one half of Shanzhai Lyric, and founded the fictional entity Canal Street Research Association. Recent research interests include bootlegs, hellscapes, and compost.


Alex Tatarsky: UNTITLED FREAKOUT (TELL ME WHAT TO DO) is made possible with commissioning support from NYSCA Restart NY: Rapid Live Performance Grant program and Marta Heflin Foundation; annual grants from Lambent Foundation Fund of Tides Foundation; 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.

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

Image: Alex Tatarsky. Photo by Sarah Amores. Courtesy of the artist.