Franklin Furnace: Performance & Politics

23 October 2018
Pratt Institute Film/Video Department, NYC
6:00 - 9:30 PM
The Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics and Franklin Furnace Archive, Inc. present Franklin Furnace: Performance & Politics (2018). Co-curated by Martha Wilson and Oraison H. Larmon, this collection of archival materials in the Hemispheric Institute Digital Video Library represents the historical, cultural, and political legacy of Franklin Furnace. Spanning the last four decades the collection brings together 42 works selected from the Franklin Furnace Event Archives that were produced, funded, or presented by the organization. The materials include textual documents, slides, photographs, moving images, and other artifacts that document the organization as a contemporary avant-garde venue in New York City. 
Cassils "Hard Times" (2010) Photo: Luke Gilford Digital photo courtesy of Franklin Furnace Archive, Inc.The collection features artists from across the Americas who confront sociopolitical issues through various art practices—artists' books, concrete poetry, literary performance, temporary installation art, performance for the camera, cyberformance, and performance art. This archival body of materials focuses on the important artworks of women, queer/trans folks, and people of color, who are largely excluded from the historical record. The artists in the collection examine the politics of race, gender, and sexuality while forming new political imaginaries that challenge unjust social policies, violations of rights, and hegemonic power structures. By historically preserving the works of these artists, the Hemispheric Institute Digital Video Library provides a space for such materials to live, perform, and engage political issues that are relevant today.
Franklin Furnace: Performance & Politics includes works by the following contributors: Eleanor Antin, Ron Athey, Horace Brockington, Cassils, Patty Chang, Peter Cramer & Jack Waters, Billy X. Curmano, DANCENOISE, DISBAND, Zackary Drucker & Flawless Sabrina, Bob Flanagan & Sheree Rose, Sherman Fleming & Kristine Stiles, Lawrence Graham-Brown, Guerrilla Girls, Dynasty Handbag, Martha Hellion & Carla Stellweg, Essex Hemphill & Wayson Jones, Holly Hughes, M. Lamar, Ana Mendieta, Tim Miller, Estera Milman, Tracie Morris, Shirin Neshat, Rashaad Newsome, Lorraine O'Grady, Dread Scott, Pamela Sneed, Annie Sprinkle, Amber Hawk Swanson, Julie Tolentino, Diane Torr, Johanna Went, and Martha Wilson, among many others.
Photo at right: Cassils "Hard Times" (2010) Photo: Luke Gilford Digital photo courtesy of Franklin Furnace Archive, Inc.
Franklin Furnace: Performance & Politics will take place in the Film/Video Department at Pratt Institute on 23 October 2018 from 6–9:30pm. This event will include a critical overview of the archival collection; a panel with Julie Tolentino, Thomas J. Lax, and Hentyle Yapp; as well as a live performance by the group DANCENOISE. The evening will conclude with the release of the catalog Franklin Furnace: Performance & Politics (HemiPress, 2018).
A reception with food and drinks will follow the event in the lobby. This event is free and open to the public, but requires an RSVP to attend as there is limited seating (please email Franklin Furnace with the subject line “Launch Party” at Please contact us a few weeks in advance if you need sign language interpretation or if you require other accommodations (the venue is wheelchair accessible). 
October 23rd, 2018 | 6:00 – 9:30 PM
Pratt Institute Film/Video Department
550 Myrtle Avenue, Brooklyn NY 11205


Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics | New York University
Franklin Furnace Archive, Inc. | Pratt Institute
Global South Center | Pratt Institute
Performance + Performance Studies Department | Pratt Institute
School of Liberal Arts and Sciences | Pratt Institute


Martha Wilson,
Founding Director
Franklin Furnace Archive Inc.
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