Gaetano at Gala

Various Artists

The Performa 2023 Biennial Opening Night Gala will celebrate our milestone 10th Performa Biennial and its full return to a vibrant three-week showcase of new, live performances by the best and brightest contemporary artists from around the world.

BFA/Mike Vitelli


52 Mercer Street
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"Kicking off the tenth edition of the Biennial, the Opening Night Gala will celebrate the history of SoHo as the epicenter of artistic experimentation through a series of performances and actions."

-Opening Night Gala 2023

Performa 2023 Opening Night Gala

The Performa 2023 Biennial Opening Night Gala will celebrate our milestone 10th Performa Biennial, honoring a trifecta of Performa legends: long-time Performa Board Member Jeanne Greenberg Rohatyn, multi-Performa Biennial alumnus Derrick Adams, and Performa hero and muse, Italian architect and designer Gaetano Pesce.

The gala will pay tribute to the honorees with a lineup of performances and innovative culinary experiences revolving around the rich history of SoHo in the 1970s, where artistic communities produced some of the most pioneering, experimental work of the 20th century. Fluxus-inspired actions will greet gala guests as they enter the SoHo loft space, and the evening will feature performances of early works by the Trisha Brown Dance Company; live music by Derrick Adams and Dave Guy, trumpeter for The Roots; a conceptual performance by Gaetano Pesce, who will create his iconic lamps in a live “workshop” for gala guests; and chocolate sculptures that evoke the cast-iron building façades of SoHo by Andrea Ferrero. Catering will be provided by BITE, who will take inspiration from FOOD––the infamous artist-run restaurant in SoHo founded by Carol Goodden, Tina Girouard, and Gordon Matta-Clark, which brought the artistic community together and is said to have inspired the field of relational art.

The evening will pay tribute to Jeanne Greenberg Rohatyn’s long-standing commitment to Performa, where she has served as a Board Member since 2006 and as Board Chair between 2009 to 2016, playing an instrumental role in furthering Performa’s mission to encourage new directions in performance for the 21st century. The evening will also honor artist Derrick Adams, who has participated in three Performa Biennials, beginning with the inaugural edition with ANEW: The Transformative Nature of a Thing at Participant Inc. for Performa 05; Once Upon a Time…, co-presented by the Calder Foundation and Salon 94 for Performa 13; Pablo Fanque's Circus Royal / Sideshow, and Institution of Me, both curated by Adrienne Edwards for Performa 15. Adams was additionally featured artist alongside collaborator Dave Guy for the 2020 Performa Telethon––a groundbreaking Nam June Paik-inspired live broadcast fundraiser at Pace Live. Alongside Rohatyn and Adams, Performa honors Gaetano Pesce, who for over sixty years has been dedicated to the principle of research and innovation. For the Performa 19 Biennial, Pesce relocated his studio to Salon 94, where his assistants were at work preparing molds, pouring resin, hand finishing, and other processes, in a conceptual performance meant to “transfer the atmosphere” of the working shop, with its sounds, machines, and urgent, improvisatory energy.

7 pm: Cocktails

8 pm: Dinner & Performances

10 pm: Artist Party

Honorees: Derrick Adams, Jeanne Greenberg Rohatyn, Gaetano Pesce

Co-Hosts: Wendy Fisher, Rashid Johnson and Sheree Hovsepian, Kianga Ellis Projects

Patrons: Sarah Arison, Mimi Brown, Gagosian, Agnes Gund, Lévy Gorvy Dayan, Fiona and Eric Rudin, David Zwirner

Benefit Committee: Nate Berkus and Jeremiah Brent, Katherine Bishop*, Derek Blasberg, James Keith Brown and Eric Diefenbach, Julien Creuzet and Ana Pi, Laura Currie, Domenico and Eleanore De Sole, Fairfax Dorn and Mare Glimcher, Marcel Dzama, Cristina Enriquez-Bocobo and Michael Kantrow, Andrea Franchini* and Cian Connor, Nikita Gale, Barbara Gladstone and Erik Savercool, RoseLee Goldberg* and Dakota Jackson, Ronald and Jan Greenberg, Mark Guiducci, Ronald and Amy Guttman, Anna Maria Häkkinen, Jeremy O. Harris, Hauser & Wirth, Barbara Hoffman, Sue Hostetler, Pierce Jackson and Dianna Mesion, Zoe Jackson and Eric Render, Assaf Kimmel, Eileen O'Kane Kornreich, Sarah Levine, Julie Mehretu, Laurence Milstein, Marilyn Minter, Tyler Mitchell, Jessica Sofia Mitrani, Shirin Neshat, Adam Pendleton, Meruert Planul-Tolegen, Ashley Stewart Rödder, Kara Ross, Beth Rudin DeWoody and Firooz Zahedi, Roya Sachs*, Antwaun Sargent, Carla Shen and Chris Schott, Cindy Sherman, Laurie Simmons, Debora and Jes Staley, Moses Sumney, Asad Syrkett, Pilvi Takala, Ellen and Bill Taubman, Max Teicher / 291 Agency, Laurie M. Tisch, Nora Turato, Franz Erhard Walther, Arden Wohl, Haegue Yang

*2023 Gala Steering Committee Member

Immediately following the Gala, Performa will host its beloved Artist Party at this year’s Performa Hub, a mix-used storefront designed by Berlin-based architect Assaf Kimmel located four blocks away from the dinner at 408-412 Broadway. Hosted by Performa alumni including Korakrit Arunanondchai, Sara Cwynar, Liz Magic Laser, Sigrid Lauren, Shikeith, and Tschabalala Self, among others, the evening will feature live music by Oscar Nñ of Papi Juice, as well as a series of yet-to-be-announced performances.

For more information, contact Sabrina Potterpin at or 212-920-7341.

About Various Artists

Music by Oscar Nñ

Performances by Keliel and Alexa West


Performa Team

Senior Producer at Large: Sasha Okshteyn

Managing Director and Executive Producer: Esa Vincenty Nickle

Performa 17 Opening Night Gala, Harlem Parish, NYC, Wed, November 1, 2017. Photographer: Benjamin Lozovsky/
Performa 17 Opening Night Gala, Harlem Parish, NYC, Wed, November 1, 2017. Photographer: Benjamin Lozovsky/