Liam Gillick and Anton Vidokle: A Guiding Light

When 7 Nov 2010
6:00PM - 8:00PM
Where Frederick P. Rose Auditorium
Cooper Union, 41 Cooper Square, Lower Level 1
New York, NY 10003
United States

Video still from “A Guiding Light,” 2010, by Liam Gillick and Anton Vidokle. Courtesy of the artists, Performa, and Casey Kaplan, New York

November 7, 2010, 6pm

Press Release:

Performa and the 8th Shanghai Biennale Present:

Liam Gillick and Anton Vidokle

A Guiding Light

Screening in New York

Performa is pleased to announce the New York premiere of A Guiding Light, by artists Liam Gillick and Anton Vidokle. This marks a historical first collaboration between Performa and the Shanghai Biennale. A Guiding Light is currently on view at the 8th Shanghai Biennale and will be screened with a special live component for audiences at Cooper Union’s Frederick P. Rose Auditorium in New York on November 7, at 6 pm.

For A Guiding Light, Gillick and Vidokle invited artists Boško Blagojević, Noah Brehmer, Nadja Frank, Shuddhabrata Sengupta, and Danna Vajda, critic Tim Griffin, and curators Anna Colin, and Shama Khanna to consider the curatorial premise of the 8th Shanghai Biennale, “rehearsal.” Working with this theme, Biennale Executive Curator Gao Shiming explored the site of an exhibition “as a reflective space of performance” that “focuses on the full process of creating, producing, and exhibiting artwork.” To make the film for A Guiding Light, Gillick and Vidokle gathered these eight participants at a New York television studio, combining a curatorial text by Shiming with a structural analysis of a 1952 episode of the television soap opera Guiding Light in a staged production that shifts between analysis and self-critique. Captured by several cameras, the film that results preserves the soap opera’s signature stage blocking and cuts, while highlighting the differences and difficulties that we encounter when attempting to capture the potential of art today.

Filmed at Manhattan Neighborhood Network, the crew included Ken Kobland; Hilarion Banks; Chris Hedin; Dan Brosnan; Chris Grehan; and Amy L. Forsythe. Collaboration Advisors are Gao Shiming, RoseLee Goldberg, and Defne Ayas. The Production Manager for the New York screening is Performa Curator Tairone Bastien. Support for the presentation in New York is provided by The School of Art at The Cooper Union, with special thanks to Saskia Bos, Dean, The School of Art at The Cooper Union.

Liam Gillick was born in Aylesbury, England, and resides in New York and London. He has presented solo exhibitions at The Kunsthalle, Zurich; Whitechapel Gallery, London; Palais de Tokyo, Paris; and most recently MCA Chicago. He has produced many public projects including the Home Office, London, and Lufthansa Headquarters, Frankfurt; as well as collaborative works such as the Annlee project, and the film Vicinato 2, which have been widely exhibited. He has written extensively on contemporary art and published a number of books including Proxemics: Selected Writing (1988–2006).

Anton Vidokle was born in Moscow and resides in New York. He is a co-founder of e-flux, which has produced projects such as The Next Documenta Should Be Curated By An Artist; Do it; Utopia Station poster project; and Martha Rosler Library. In 2006–2007, Vidokle organized an independent project in Berlin called unitednationsplaza, which involved more than a hundred artists, writers, philosophers, and diverse audiences. His work has been exhibited at the Venice Biennale; Dakar Biennale; Tate Modern, London; Museo Carrillo Gil, Mexico City; UCLA Hammer, LA; and Haus Der Kunst, Munich, among others.


Performa, a non-profit multidisciplinary arts organization established by RoseLee Goldberg in 2004, is dedicated to exploring the critical role of live performance in the history of twentieth century art and to encouraging new directions in performance for the twenty-first century. In 2005, Performa launched New York’s first performance biennial, Performa 05, followed by Performa 07 (2007), and Performa 09 (2009). In 2011, Performa will present its fourth biennial, Performa 11 (November 1–21, 2011).

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