Over the course of nine weeks from February through May, Hard Return: 9 Experiments for this Moment will transform the Neuberger Museum of Art into a site of collaboration, investigation, and performance art. Located at the heart of the Purchase College, SUNY campus, in Westchester County, New York, this exhibition is co-curated by acclaimed performance artist Kate Gilmore and performance art scholar Jonah Westerman, both of whom are on the Purchase College faculty.

Nine artists have been commissioned to create diverse, participatory, durational week-long projects that experiment with a sense of being alive in this moment while probing the influence of history on the present, proposing different ways of shaping and understanding community.

To learn more, visit purchase.edu.

Performance Schedule

Brendan Fernandes (February 1–5)
Working with vogue expert and Pose cast member Jason Rodriguez and an ensemble of student dancers, Fernandes’s dance piece is a response to African art in the Neuberger collection, considering the transmission of cultural forms and knowledges across time and space and from body to body.

Alix Pearlstein, “Inventory” for Hard Return: 9 Experiments for this Moment (2023)

Alix Pearlstein ’88 (February 15–19)
“Inventory” blurs the lines between then and now, self and other, live and recorded by using improvisational exercises to examine a personal archive of objects from previous artworks — props, structures, gestures — with a group of student actors.

Daniel Bozhkov (February 22–26)
Through an intensive involvement with soil science and cucumbers, Bozhkov investigates the viability of life on Earth and other planets. He works with the composer Erin Gee, faculty, and students to develop and perform an opera in five acts that considers multiple futures and pushes the science-fictional limits of the present.

Nao Bustamante (March 8–12)
Bustamante and a group of student actors present a series of theatrical set pieces organized around the history of optics and tools used in gynecology and how these have interacted with, and informed conceptions of, femininity and womanliness.

Amber Hawk Swanson, poster for The Harmony Show (2021–present) for Hard Return: 9 Experiments for this Moment, featuring (from left to right) Davecat, Sidore Kuroneko, and Amber Hawk Swanson

Amber Hawk Swanson (March 29–April 2)
Hawk Swanson will film episodes of The Harmony Show, a multi-faceted talk show she developed with her collaborators, Davecat, and his partner, Sidore Kuroneko, a life-size silicone doll. The Harmony Show delves into issues of personhood, desire, race, queerness, disability, and community in two modalities.

Emily Coates (April 5–9)
In an exploration of the history of cosmic dances and their attempts to reckon the heavens in human scale through movement, Coates interweaves a multi-channel video installation with a dance piece featuring original choreography, music, and cameos by Purchase College science faculty.

Autumn Knight (April 12–16)
Featuring performers from the college community, the sculptural installation and dialogue-based performance work “Complain/Disappoint” explores affective labor, vulnerability, and the expectations placed on workers who we ask to shoulder others’ burdens while ignoring that they have their own.

Patty Chang with Astrida and Aleksija Neimanis (April 26–30)
Performers and audience members interact in a participatory, immersive environment that investigates the seams between vision, touch, and sound as well as the borders between individual and collective experience.

Jesus Benavente (May 3–7)
Benavente’s series of installations and interventions explore the ways our surroundings shape our sense of self and the permissible, offering glimpses of how people can push back on these limitations and expand our sense of the possible.

Admission to the Neuberger Museum of Art is free.

For more information, visit purchase.edu.

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