[vimeo http://www.vimeo.com/13098469 w=700&h=393]

Steven Cohen
Political activist, Degenerate, Provocateur, Anarchist, Performance Artist

BIOGRAPHY Steven Cohen was born in 1962 in South Africa and lives in Lille, France. He is a performance artist who stages interventions in the public realm and in gallery/theatre spaces. His work invariably draws attention to that which is marginalised in society, starting with his own identity as a gay, Jewish man. One of his best-known performances is Chandelier (2001/2), in which Cohen, dressed in vertiginous heels and an illuminated chandelier tutu, interacted with residents of a squatter camp in Newtown, Johannesburg, as it was in the process of being destroyed; the work exists as both live performance and video documentation of the public intervention. Chandelier was presented alongside Dancing Inside Out and Maid in South Africa at the Centre Pompidou in Paris as part of the Festival d’Automne in November 2008; in 2009, Cohen premiered Golgotha at the Centre Pompidou as part of the same festival, and in 2011 his latest production, Cradle of Humankind. Performances in 2010 included Chandelier at the Festival Rayons Frais in Tours, France; Golgotha at the Munich Opera Festival, Bavarian State Opera, Munich; and Chandelier and a new site-specific work, The Wandering Jew, at the first Aichi Triennale, Japan; performances in the first part of 2011 included Golgotha at Le Centre Chorégraphique National de Tours, France, and at Les Rencontres du Court, Le Bouscat, Bordeaux; Chandelier, Cleaning Time and Maid in South Africa, and Golgotha at Le TAP in Poitiers, France; and Golgotha at the Festival Escena Contemporánea, Madrid. Recent group exhibitions include Revolution vs Revolution at Beirut Art Centre, Lebanon (2012); No Fashion, Please: Photography between Gender and Lifestyle at the Vienna Kunsthalle (2011); ARS 11 at Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki (2011); and Dada South? at the South African National Gallery, Cape Town (2009-10). From 2003 to 2008 Cohen was an associated artist of the Ballet Atlantique/Régine Chopinot. In 2009 he took up residencies at the Baryshnikov Arts Center and the Center for Performance Research in New York.

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