INSTITUTION IS A VERB [Edited by Panoply Performance Lab Founder Esther Neff, Ayana Evans, Tsedaye Makonnen and Elizabeth Lamb] is a compendium of community-contributed texts, scores, notes, and documentation culminating and indexing 7 years of collaboration, para-capitalist research, and performative institution during Panoply Performance Laboratory’s operations as a laboratory site at 104 Meserole Street in Brooklyn, NY.
Gathering texts, documentation, scores, notes, and recollections from the community of performance makers, witnesses, and others who actualized PPL’s operation as a lab site at 104 Meserole Street 2012-2018, this project echoes, recognizes, and critically reflects upon (p)articular performances, forms of gathering, collective ideation procedures, and (for)bearances of witness practiced across the site, its situations, and multiplicit envisaging processes. To presence, to difference, to practical, performative resilience, descriptions of what was seen, how some felt, what one did and why are dedicated in documentary formats. In context, for history, in substantiation of the value of each other, PPL (in lab iteration) culminates 7 years of collaboration, para-capitalist research, and performative institution (institution as a verb).
It includes contributions from : Setare Arashloo | Chloë Bass | Raha Behnam | Gelsey Bell | Lorene Bouboushian | IV Castellanos | Christen Clifford | Day De Dada | Lindsey Drury | Dominique Duroseau | Diane Dwyer | Anna Mikaela Ekstrand | Shawn Escarciga | Ayana Evans | Amy Finkbeiner | Johanna Gilje | Kaia Gilje | Rae Goodwin | Zhenesse Heinemann | Maria Hupfield | Leili Huzaibah | Anja Ibsch | Akiko Ichikawa | Eset (Simone) Johnson | Jenna Kline | Valerie Kuehne | Elizabeth Lamb | Teena Lange | Abigail Levine | Anya Liftig | Thea Little | Jodie Lyn-Kee-Chow | Clarinda Mac Low | Tsedaye Makonnen | Raki Malhotra | Amelia Marzec | Brian McCorkle | Honey McMoney | Geraldo Mercado | Sophie Merrison | Esther Neff | Sierra Ortega | Polina Riabova | Jean Carla Rodea | Iran Sanadzadeh | Justin Sterling | Alex Sullivan | Gavin Tao | Jeremy Toussaint-Baptiste | april vendetta | Joël Verwimp | Charlene Vickers | Ni’Ja Whitson | Helen Yung
“How important is it to document ephemeral art practice? It’s imperative if contemporary visual art performance is to be understood and analyzed in the future. The work of Panoply Performance Laboratory, which presented artists from 2012 to 2018, stands as a model organization, responsible for galvanizing the community it served.” —Martha Wilson
“The artist Kamau Amu Patton once gave me a deceptively simple definition for performance art: He said that for performance to take place, the artist has to be present and transgressive. In Bushwick, Brooklyn, for seven years, performance artists honed, deepened and developed these qualities in a space that gave them the breathable air to do so. Panoply Performance Lab was a place of crucial experimentation, because it was a space that valued the artist’s presence — full roaring presence — and esteemed transgression — against audience expectations, against cliché, even against the self. Institution is a Verb, is a historical archive relating how the artists of PPL used that space to come into their powers and learn how to breathe fire.” — Seph Rodney
Editors: Esther Neff (PPL founder), Ayana Evans, Tsedaye Makonnen, Elizabeth Lamb.
Panoply Performance Laboratory (PPL) is a flexible performance collective, experimental philosophy thinktank, and organizational entity working through hybrid “life art” forms of social assembly, mobilization, theatricality, musicality, and materialization that often combine multiple disciplines and modes. Follow Panoply on IG @panoplylab.