Brian Belott: People Pie Pool

For his Performa 17 project, Brian Belott will present a new stage-based piece. Immersing himself into the rebellious legacy of Dada, American standup comedy, the history of slapstick, and vaudeville, Belott will choreograph a comedy of simultaneity, paying homage to the work of Kurt Schwitters, the Marx Brothers, Andy Kaufman, Lenny Bruce and many others.

Belott’s motley cast will include visual artists, comedians, property lawyers, SAT tutors, musicians, bingo players, tap dance teachers, basketball teams, sword swallowers and other assorted exhibitionists. Choreographed to coincide and overlap, Belott will collage this unhinged group of performers and entertainers into staged actions, ranging from the extraordinary to the banal, generating a cacophonous assemblage of disorderly and subversive movements, words, music, and voluntary mindlessness. Through a stream of consciousness that is consistently absurd, nonsensical and irrational the various acts will display the artist’s unique ability to take the audience on an exuberant, satirical and anarchic ride. People Pie Pool expands upon a number of collaborative performances done by Belott, all of which acutely undermine our understanding of purpose and meaning using humor as tool for social sabotage and critique.

Curated by Jens Hoffmann. Co-presented by Abrons Arts Center. Supported by the Performa Commissioning Fund and Gavin Brown’s Enterprise.

Photo credit: Brian Belott. Photo by Chris Sanders.

About Performa

Founded in 2004 by art historian and curator RoseLee Goldberg, Performa is the leading organization dedicated to exploring the critical role of live performance in the history of 20th century art and to encouraging new directions in performance for the 21st century. Since launching New York’s first performance biennial, Performa 05, in 2005, the organization has solidified its identity as a commissioning and producing entity. As a “museum without walls,” Performa contributes important art historical heft to the field by showing the development of live art in all its forms from many different cultural perspectives, reaching back to the Renaissance. The Performa Biennial is celebrated worldwide as the first biennial to give special attention to this remarkable history. The Biennial transforms the city of New York into the “world capital of artists’ performance” every other November, attracting a national and international audience of more than 200,000 and garnering more than five million website hits during its three-week run. In the last decade, Performa has presented nearly 600 performances, worked with more than 700 artists, and toured commissioned performances in nearly 20 countries around the world.

For more on Performa and its programs, including the biennial, please visit and follow us on Instagram @PerformaNYC and Facebook @PerformaBiennial. #PerformaNYC #Performa17