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Non Grata Group Show

Alice Chilton Grace Gallery
2009-06-01

Alice Chilton Grace Gallery for Performance Art Documentation At Williamsburg mainstay, the Front Room Gallery, the exhibition Within the Menagerie, has some company. The newly opened and tentatively named Alice Chilton Grace Gallery for Performance Art Documentation, a new offshoot of Bushwick’s Grace Space, has opened up a small second location in a former back room. The new space (the second Williamsburg space to open in the past three months) will expand Grace Space’s mission of promoting and presenting performance art by focusing on the documentation, artifacts, and ephemera from performances past. The inaugural exhibition of photographic documentation of performances by the Non Grata Group has the space off to a good start. Taken in a journalistic style, the photos (often with magic marker descriptions in the margins for context) show dramatic moments from Non Grata Group performances. An Estonia based international collective with over 40 members, the Non Grata Group seeks to avoid the formal art world’s star system propped up by galleries, critics, and museums. All anonymous, the members have a visceral, confrontational oeuvre that feels remarkably present in the images of ritualistic ecstasy on display here. Also included are fascinating “maps” of performances, giving the viewer insight into the planning and choreography that goes into each work. An interesting and unusual gallery experience to be sure.

—Dylan Peet
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