The 2020 program for Pace Live—the designated performance series at Pace Gallery’s new eight-story flagship in New York—will include communion with subjects old and new. In its first full year organized by Mark Beasley, the initiative’s curatorial director, Pace Live will feature projects relating to the gallery’s roster of artists and estates, with other events involving partner presenters to be announced in time.

In March, the Dutch artist duo known as Studio Drift will present Ego Duet(s), a collaboration between a kinetic sculpture (described as an “inorganic organism”) that—via algorithms and software—interacts with singers, dancers, and musicians. One of those will be Lee Ranaldo, the noise-minded guitarist for Sonic Youth, with a second for a real-time duet with him awaiting confirmation.

In May, in line with Pace’s 60th anniversary, the gallery will present the first performance since the 1970s of Jean Dubuffet’s Coucou Bazar, a multimedia spectacle that the art brut painter premiered at the Guggenheim Museum in 1973. Involving paintings as well as costumes and electronic music by the Turkish composer Ilhan Mimaroglu, the performance piece will accompany an exhibition of Dubuffet’s work. Visitors to the TEFAF art fair in New York might have gotten a taste last spring when Pace presented performances from the overall work around its booth at the Park Avenue Armory.

Sometime in the summer will come a concert to fundraise for the restoration of the childhood home of soul-music star Nina Simone—whose house in North Carolina was acquired in 2017 by a group including Pace artist Adam Pendleton plus fellow artists Rashid Johnson, Ellen Gallagher, and Julie Mehretu. “The proviso is that whoever we invite has a connection to the legacy and work of Nina Simone, which pretty much includes everyone,” Beasley said of a ticketed concert whose proceeds will go to support the endowment for the project.

In September, four performances and installations will respond to an exhibition devoted to Robert Rauschenberg’s interdisciplinary work across the worlds of dance, theater, and music. Under the working title “Rauschenberg, Come to Life,” the gallery-wide live presentations by contemporary artists and music will, as per a project description, “connect to the legacy and radical cross-genre dynamism of Rauschenberg.”

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Pace Gallery’s seventh floor performance space in New York.
Courtesy Pace Gallery

Of the performance program as a whole, Beasley said, “Pace Live is a cross-form program that engages the deep history of performance at the gallery, from Dubuffet to Rauschenberg, while also privileging the new sights and sounds of contemporary art practices. Performance is a promiscuous form of expression, moving from language and libretto through costume and stage design to dance and film. Pace Live is designed to follow where artists lead.”

The gallery also announced new representation of Torkwase Dyson, who last fall created an early Pace Live production in collaboration with Performa that featured Arthur Jafa, Gaika, Deja Smith, and others in a multimedia performance affair. Dyson won the Studio Museum in Harlem’s Joyce Alexander Wein Artist Prize award for painting in 2019 and has a new solo show at the New Orleans Museum of Art. She also has a forthcoming exhibition curated by Hans Ulrich Obrist later this year at Serpentine Galleries in London.

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