Croatia-born, Amsterdam-based artist Nora Turato will present a monologue at Manhattan’s Society for Ethical Culture exploring the anxieties surrounding contemporary wellness culture and self-help practices. Additionally, Turato will present a new digital work at Fulton Transit Center.
Cue The SunPerforma Commission
Known for her text-based works and performances addressing the possibilities of language in a culture oversaturated with information, Nora Turato will present a monologue embodying a multitude of personas exploring the cumulative anxiety borne out of the phenomena of self-optimization. The performance, Cue The Sun, draws from the methodology of wellness gurus, personal development coaching and other self-improvement principles to consider what it means to create a personal ideology of betterment via language, gesture, and performance today—to dissect the effort of transforming one’s self from the inside out, performing one’s self optimal version, and the inner anxiety that is mirrored in the attempt to achieve it.
Cue The Sun will be staged in the distinct architecture of the Society for Ethical Culture on the Upper West Side of Manhattan—a humanist space dedicated to ethical relationships, social justice, and democracy. In the development of the new performance, Turato has continued her work with Hollywood voice coach Julie Adams—a self-described “character doula”—with whom she has undertaken rigorous vocal and gestural training sessions. To devise the script, Turato has also employed a range of therapeutic modalities, including neurofeedback, running, hypnosis, magic, and holotropic breathwork, using the techniques to remove herself in order to channel the different voices and identities that inhabit the work.
As a visual anchor to the work, Turato has created bold new graphics that incorporate an original typeface produced specifically for the commission. Inspired by the serif fonts of the Industrial Age, the typeface echoes a historical moment that was a time of radical social transformation. Turato was formally trained as a graphic designer which informs her interest in typography, specifically its ability to influence the viewer subconsciously: a change in typeface signals a change in messaging on an intuitive level that may not be actively perceptible to many people.
Performa will partner with MTA Art and Design’s Digital Art Program to present a series of video graphics—in the form of short pieces of text taken from the performance script, that Turato describes as “signs from the universe” — to appear at Fulton Transit Center a commuter hub in Lower Manhattan that connects to nine subway lines and the World Trade Center PATH station.
Curated by RoseLee Goldberg and Kathy Noble
About Nora Turato
Nora Turato’s (b. 1991, Zagreb, Croatia) work explores the possibilities and limits of language amid the oversaturation of information in the contemporary moment. Collecting words and phrases from an indiscriminate range of sources—articles, conversations, advertising slogans, and Kardashian quotations in equal measure—Turato often reworks her found language into a growing script that she memorizes and performs, alternating tones, moods, and characters. Turato also turns her reworked artistic language into video, installation, artist books, and murals, using her signature bold typography as well as her own handwriting to speak to an information age where words are abstracted and disconnected from meaning.
Recent solo exhibitions include pool 5, Museum of Modern Art, New York (2022); poor babies, so scared of themselves and others, Galerie Gregor Staiger, Zurich (2022); govern me harder, 52 Walker, New York (2022); ri-mEm-buhr THuh mUHn- ee, Secession, Vienna (2021); Eto Ti Na, MGLC, Ljubljana (2020); MOVE2020, (curated by Caroline Ferreira), Centre Pompidou, Paris (2020); what do you make of this? did you make this up?, and Someone Ought to Tell You What It’s Really All About, Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art, Porto (2019). Turato has been featured in group exhibitions at Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Copenhagen; Astrup Fearnley Museet, Oslo; Kunsthaus Hamburg; MUDAM, Luxembourg; Kunsthalle Basel; Cincinnati Contemporary Art Center and Kunstraum Kreuzberg/Bethanien, Berlin; DAAD Gallery, Berlin; Luma Foundation, Zurich; Museum of Contemporary Art, Zagreb; Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit; Manifesta 12, Palermo; mumok, Vienna and others.
Digital work at Fulton Center Complex in Lower Manhattan
Nora Turato, Cue The Sun, made possible by the generous support of the Mondriaan Fund, the public cultural funding organization focusing on visual arts and cultural heritage. Lead underwriting support is provided by Richard Chang. Additional support provided by Performa's Commissioning Council Members: Yana Peel, Agnes Gund, Lise Stolt-Nielsen, A. Alfred Taubman Foundation, Sarah Arison, Rivka Saker, and Thaddaeus Ropac, and supported as part of the Dutch Culture USA program by the Consulate General of the Netherlands in New York.
Caitlin Adams, Producer
Andre Ferreira, Technical Producer
Julie Adams, Dialect/Vocal Coach
Kia Tasbihgou, Typeface Designer
Sam de Groot, Typeface Designer
Claes Storm, Nora Turato Studio
Founding Director and Chief Curator: RoseLee Goldberg
Senior Curator: Kathy Noble
Performa Biennial 2023 Producer: Caitlin Adams