My Barbarian: “Post-Party Dream State Caucus” at FIAF”s Crossing the Line Festival, Thursday, November 3

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French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF)

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My Barbarian:

Post-Party Dream State Caucus


Thursday, November 3 at 6:30pm

New Museum • Sky Room • 235 Bowery, NYC

Installation runs Wednesday, September 28–Sunday, January 8


Co-presented by the French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF) and the

New Museum as part of the Department of Education and

Public Engagement’s R&D Season: DEMOCRACY



New York, NY, October 28, 2016As part of the 2016 edition of Crossing the Line, the French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF)’s celebrated contemporary arts festival, FIAF and the New Museum present Post-Party Dream State Caucus from American interdisciplinary art collective My Barbarian on Thursday, November 3 at 6:30pm at the New Museum.


Working at the intersection of theater, visual arts, and critical practice, My Barbarian (Malik Gaines, Jade Gordon, and Alexandro Segade) uses performance to theatricalize social problems and imagine ways of being together. Currently in residence at the New Museum, My Barbarian presents the culmination of an eight-year project, Post-Living Ante-Action Theater (PoLAAT), which began at the museum during the Democratic primary in 2008. The accompanying exhibition, The Audience is Always Right, responds to legacies of revolutionary theater from the 1960s to present.


Days before the 2016 US presidential election, My Barbarian and special guests (including Christine Sun Kim, Zoe Leonard, Ryan McNamara, Tavia Nyong’o, A.L. Steiner, and others) invite the audience to become a super delegate in an unconventional political convention. Prompted by speeches, anthems, and games, the audience explores group identities and casts votes in a hyperbolically absurd caucus format. Our task: the promising and dangerous work of building “meaningful” consensus.


“Making fun may be our best strategy for survival.” – My Barbarian


Related Exhibition


The Audience is Always Right

Wednesday, September 28, 2016 through Sunday, January 8, 2017

Exhibition open during museum hours

New Museum, 235 Bowery, 5th Floor Gallery (between Stanton and Rivington Street)

My Barbarian’s exhibition illustrates the eight-year history of the PoLAAT in an installation that documents its various performances and many participants—professional and amateur alike—by means of an archive of ephemera and props, an 80-minute single-channel video, and a large-scale mural that nods to such strategies as those utilized by the visionary Chicano art collective Asco as well as artists employed by the WPA under the New Deal in the 1930s and ’40s. This installation serves as a backdrop for the demonstrations and participatory lectures during the PoLAAT workshops held throughout the run of the exhibition. The title of the exhibition takes on a critical and ironic undertone in this dangerous moment when politics are more hyperbolic and spectacle-driven than ever before: “The Audience is Always Right.” Except, of course, when they are wrong.


The Audience is Always Right is organized as part of the Department of Education and Public Engagement’s R&D Season: DEMOCRACY.

About My Barbarian

My Barbarian is an art collective made up of Malik Gaines, Jade Gordon, and Alexandro Segade. The group originated in Los Angeles in 2000 and are today also based in New York. My Barbarian’s work has been presented in festivals, galleries, public spaces, and museums, including MoMA, MoCA LA, SFMoMA, New Museum, and Studio Museum in Harlem. Solo exhibitions of their work have been presented at Participant Inc., New York; Hammer Museum and Human Resources, Los Angeles; Museo El Eco, Mexico City; Gallery 400, Chicago; Yaffo 23, Jerusalem; and Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects. Their work has also been included in two Performa Biennials, two California Biennials, the Biennale de Montréal, and the Whitney Biennial. The group has received awards from the Foundation for Contemporary Art, Creative Capital, Art Matters, and the City of Los Angeles.

Gaines has a PhD in Performance Studies from UCLA and an MFA in Writing from CalArts and is assistant professor of Performance Studies at NYU. Gordon earned an MA in Applied Theater from USC, has taught at CalArts and the Stella Adler Academy, and is co-owner of Wombleton Records. Segade’s MFA is in Interdisciplinary Studio Art from UCLA. He is co-chair of Film/Video at Bard College’s MFA program. All three were born and raised in California.


About the New Museum

The New Museum is the only museum in New York City exclusively devoted to contemporary art. Founded in 1977, the New Museum is a center for exhibitions, information, and documentation about living artists from around the world. From its beginnings as a one-room office on Hudson Street to the inauguration of its first freestanding building on the Bowery designed by SANAA in 2007, the New Museum continues to be a place of experimentation and a hub of new art and new ideas.


About Crossing the Line 2016

Crossing the Line, now in its tenth year, is an annual citywide festival that engages international artists and New York City audiences in discovery and dialogue to re-imagine the world around us. The festival is produced by the French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF) in partnership with leading cultural institutions, and is curated by Lili Chopra, Simon Dove, and Gideon Lester. This year’s edition of the festival takes place from September 22–November 3, 2016.


France has a long history of supporting national and international cultural practices, welcoming and nurturing new ideas and influential perspectives from around the world. FIAF, as the leading French cultural institution in the US, critically maintains that tradition through the Crossing the Line Festival, presenting leading-edge artists from France and the US alongside their peers from around the world.


Since its inauguration in 2007, Crossing the Line has cultivated an increasingly large and diverse following, and received numerous accolades in the press. The festival has been voted “Best of 2009,” “Best of 2010,” “Best of 2012,” “Best of 2013,” and “Best of 2014” by The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Time Out New York, Artforum, and Frieze, with performances earning an Obie and several Bessie awards. The New York Times states, “For terrifically unusual, unpredictable, unnameable performance, we’ve come to expect a lot from … the curators of the French Institute Alliance Française’s interdisciplinary festival,” and The New Yorker says, “This interdisciplinary festival…goes from strength to strength.”


About FIAF

The French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF) is New York’s premiere French cultural and language center. FIAF’s mission is to create and offer New Yorkers innovative and unique programs in education and the arts that explore the evolving diversity and richness of French cultures. FIAF seeks to generate new ideas and promote cross cultural dialogue through partnerships and new platforms of expression.



Post-Party Dream State Caucus and The Audience is Always Right are presented in conjunction with My Barbarian’s residency at the New Museum this fall, which offers a retrospective of the group’s performance pedagogy: Post-Living Ante-Action Theater, or the PoLAAT.


Crossing the Line 2016 is made possible with generous leadership support from Air France and Delta Air Lines, the official airlines of FIAF; Edmond de Rothschild Foundations; Florence Gould Foundation; The Hermès Foundation (Fondation d’entreprise Hermès) in the framework of the New Settings program; JCDecaux; and the National Endowment for the Arts; and with generous major support from Cultural Services of the French Embassy; FACE; Howard Gilman Foundation; New England Foundation for the Arts; NYC Department of Cultural Affairs; NYSCA; and Pommery.


Our Producer’s Circle: Sarah Arison, Florence Dupont, Ron Guttman, Isabelle Kowal, Elizabeth Krief Manardo, Marie Nugent-Head, and Elisabeth Wilmers.


FIAF would like to thank the following for their generous support of Crossing the Line 2016:


British Council; Enoch Foundation; Institut français; Italian Cultural Institute New York; King’s Fountain; NYC Housing Authority; Omaha Foundation; Robert de Rothschild; and SACD (Société des auteurs et compositeurs dramatiques).




What: My Barbarian: Post-Party Dream State Caucus
When: Thursday, November 3 at 6:30pm

Installation runs Saturday, September 24 through Sunday, January 8

Where: New Museum; Sky Room and 5th Floor Gallery, 235 Bowery (between Stanton and Rivington Street)
Admission: Free with RSVP [email protected]
Information: 212 219 1222 | |
Transportation: Subway – J, Z to Bowery; F to 2nd Avenue

Bus – M103 to Bowery/Prince St or Bowery/Delancey St


Twitter: @FIAFNY

Instagram: @FIAFNY

Facebook: FIAF / French Institute Alliance Française 

Hashtag: #CTL16



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