Bétonsalon, Paris



A roundtable discussion around the notion of “carnivalisation of identities” convened by artist Nathalie Muchamad, featuring fellow artists Jean-François Boclé, Tarek Lakhrissi and Mükerrem Tuncay, WETRANSFER featured presentations from the artists as well as two videoconferences by curator and scholar Claire Tancons and from Guadeloupe’s Memorial ACTe, a Caribbean center for the interpretation and memory of the slave trade.

05.23. – 08-13
DuSable Museum, Chicago



After opening at Contemporary Arts Center New Orleans in 2015 and traveling to the National Art Gallery of the Bahamas and the National Gallery of Cayman Islands in 2016, EN MAS’: Carnival and Performance Art of the Caribbean, the exhibition I initiated in 2011 and which won an Emily Hall Tremaine Exhibition Award in 2012 returns to the US with a first stop in Chicago at the DuSable Museum of African American History inaugurating a new era at this new Smithsonian Affiliate. Curated with Krista Thompson, featuring John Beadle, Charles Campbell, Christophe Chassol, Nicolas Dumit Estévez, Marlon Griffith, Hew Locke, Lorraine O’Grady, Ebony G. Patterson ad Cauleen Smith

Showcasing a contemporary Caribbean art exhibition at a historic museum of African American history is timely and important to tease out the intertwined legacies of the African diaspora in the Americas through street masking and masquerading, marching and protesting, mourning and celebrating, all of which take on different guises in the various EN MAS’ artists projects sited in the Dominican Republic, Martinique, Trinidad and Jamaica carnivals, in the Bahamas’ Junkanoo, during London’s Notting Hill Carnival and New York’s Brooklyn Labor Day Parade as well as in New Orleans.

Fresh Milk/ ARC Magazine National Gallery of the Cayman Islands, Grand Cayman




As part of Tilting Axis: Curating the Caribbean, the third international gathering of art practitioners working in or on the Caribbean I participated in the panel The Spaces of Exhibitions: Traditional vs Non-Traditional Spaces moderated by Tobias Ostrander of PAMM with Sean Leonard of Alice Yard and Eungie Joo. Organized by Fresh Milk and ARC Magazine, supported by Res Artis, Perez Art Museum Miami and Davidoff Initiative among others and hosted by the National Gallery of the Cayman Islands.

Paper: Roadworks: Processional Performance and the Diasporic Articulation of the Curatorial. Borrowing from Christopher Cozier’s characterization of the artwork of masman Peter Minshall as roadwork, and reflecting upon Homi Bhabha’ assessment of William Kentridge’s processional ethics, I proposed processional performance as an articulation of the curatorial under conditions of diaspora and dispossession.

Tulane Law School, New Orleans



The Entertainment and Art Law Society of Tulane Law School invited Claire Tancons to reflect upon issues of copyright and intellectual property based upon her experience working at the intersection of Carnival and processional performance within a global art context.

Q&A: An informal exchange between curator Claire Tancons and Tulane Law School students and faculty within the framework of the Entertainment and Art Law Society, Carnival & Copyright builds upon curatorial practice and legal expertise to articulate the ethical challenges inherent in working with creative communities in the public sphere.

The Metrograph, New York



On the occasion of editor Jason Farago’s interview with Matthew Barney for their new issue, Even Magazine is organizing a screening of Barney’s rarely-seen film De lama lâmina, shot during carnival in Salvador de Bahia in 2008.

Conversation: Post-screening conversation between Even Magazine editor Jason Farago, De Lâma Lamina performer, musician and composer Melvin Gibbs, and Claire Tancons.

MICA, Baltimore



The annual Mixed Media Lecture of the Art History Department at the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) coordinated by Monica Amor. Recent mixed-media lecture series have featured Amelia Mesa-Baines, Rick Lowe and Shamim S. Momin.

Lecture: Sidelong Glance and Sideway Steps: The Processional Side of Performance

Cranbrook, Detroit



Cranbrook Academy of Art’s lecture series considers the consequences of globalization on creative practice and social engagement – from issues of cultural homogenization to the politicized body to neo-liberalism – and questions how pressure for global cultures and multiple identities fuels the communication of ideas. Other guests speakers in the series this year include Kristi McGuire, Sampada Aranke and Ebony G. Patterson.

Lecture: Carnival is not the Costume

Visiting Critic Claire Tancons discusses her work on Carnival-inflected performance at the invitation of Fiber Art Department Artist-in-Residence Mark Newport.

Printemps de Septembre Toulouse



Building upon the musical meal-performance (repas-performance harmonisé) of the Fall 2016, theprocessional performance will bring together an even greater array of participating individual and organizations in a city-wide, deconstructed parade of sorts that simultaneously draws attention to and attempts to mend the impacts of social fractures in the urban landscape and in human relationships. Under the artistic direction of Claire Tancons, featuring Mohamed Bourouissa as co-artistic director and visual artist  and Christophe Chassol musical director and musician among others TBA.

Faena Forum Miami Beach



Tide by Side is a people-powered, participatory processional performance in the Faena District Miami Beach for the opening of its Faena Forum, organized by Faena Art under the artistic direction of Claire Tancons in collaboration with musician and composer Arto Lindsay and architect Gia Wolff featuring works by Carlos Betancourt, Carnival ArtsLos CarpinterosMiralda and Marinella Senatore with a special guest appearance by Ernesto Neto.

With participants numbering in the several hundreds in a district-long, avenue-wide itinerary spanning several hours, Tide by Side will not just celebrate the opening of Miami’s newest cultural district with people, food and music. It will also ask questions about the importance of cultural communities amidst new urban developments and test the conditions for the formation of new social constituencies.

Printemps de septembre Toulouse



etcetera: un rituel civique, a two-part project directed by Claire Tancons for the first biennial edition of Printemps de septembre in Toulouse, will form a rich ceremonial complex comprised of diverse forms of public address including art, sport, sound and food and culminate in a multi-stop, city-wide, processional performance in Fall 2017.

etcetera: un repas-performance harmonisé, the first part of the project in Fall 2016, is a “ meal-performance” conceived by visual artist Mohamed Bourouissa and “harmonized” by musician and composer Christophe Chassol. From the palate to the mouth, from the mouth to the voice, from the voice to the word, the meal and its hymn will open up the space where a civic ritual can begin to unfold.

Tate Modern



A Collection of essays and features covering ideas and content spanning BMW Tate Live Programme 2012-2014 to illustrate what insights the set of artistic practices called ‘performance’ can bring to contemporary life, and how performance is informed and developed through its contemporary context.Designed by renown design firm Brody Associates with augmented reality technology through animated typography, images, audio and video to bring “ liveness” into the book. Edited by Cecilia Wee with Joseph Kendra

Up Hill Down Hall? Carnival Performance in the Turbine Hall: between Institutional Critique and Instituting the Public looks back at Claire Tancons’Up Hill Down Hall: An indoor Carnival (BMW Tate Live 2014) through an essay by Tancons and Q&A by artists and participants Marlon Griffith, Hew Locke, Gia Wolff, Dubmorphology, Paul Goodwin and Sonya Boyce, Central St Martins, Batala Samba Reggae, Elimu Mas Band and more. Featured in Chapter 2, the richly-illustrated 14-spread feature provides elements of reflection to the question: “ What can institutions and the public create together through performance?”

Pew Center for Arts & Heritage & University of California, Berkeley




A richly cross-listed glossary of keywords on art and performance including multiple entries per keywords such as “ prop” , “ score” , “ action” , “ studio” written by artists, choreographers, curators, dancers, directors, thinkers and musicians and interspersed with interviews with major figures in art and performance. Designed by graphic design firm LeClair Lucas as a web-only, non-hierarchical, customizable and expandable microsite structured only by the browsing path of the reader.
Edited by Paula Marincola and Shannon Jackson

With contributions to the keywords Participation and Curating, Claire Tancons expounds on her longstanding practice of processional performance inflected by her scholarship on carnival, public ceremonial culture, civic rituals and popular movements with fresh examples from experiences from recent projects in the Dominican Republic and Trinidad and Tobago.

Art Gallery at York University



The first monograph of Japan-based, Trinidad-born artist Marlon Griffith published on the occasion of Griffith’s Ring of Fire procession and exhibition organized by the Art Gallery of York University in the Summer and Fall 2015. The book retraces Griffith’s apprenticeship as a carnival designer or masman in Trinidad and Tobago though to his debuts on the international art scene with the genre of processional performance, which has become his signature practice. Edited by Emelie Chhangur, curator and assistant director at the AgYU with essays by Chhangur, Gabriel Levine, Christopher Cozier and Chanzo Greenidge.

Claire Tancons’ essay Quickening the Heart: A Masman from Japan queries into Griffith’ use of the processional as a proto-cinematic device through the use of projected images and ponders whether the ensuing effect functions as the necessary disembodiement of a practice which is no longer localized. In not to many words, it simply asks: How to be a masman from Japan?

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art



Disembodied States is a special nine-part feature from the Collection Rotation series of SFMOMA’s online journal, Open Space, featuring artists, thinkers and writers from outside of California, as a celebration of the breadth and reach of the SFMOMA’s collection and a nod to these last moments in which the museum exists as an hypothetical space before the reopening of the building.

Edited by Claudia LaRocco with Gordon Faylor with contributions by Sofia Le Fraga, Dawn Lundy Martin, Lance Grabmiller, Emily Johnson, David Kelley, Francesca Capone, Chris E. Varga, Angela Ellsworth, and Claire Tancons.

A vitual exhibition blending works from within and without SFMOMA’s collection, Midtopic Mysteries: An Ambulatory Museum Theory presents artistic practices that manifest as predominantly as performance and immerse the viewer/participant — and oftentimes the artists themselves — into the ideological limbo between utopia and dystopia called midtopia. It also outlines a theory of and curatorial methodology for processional performance, set against a brief historicization of the practice from European medieval mystères to contemporary Caribbean carnivals. It further hints at the return of the body-in-motion from screen to stage to street and elicits why the millenary display mode of the processional matters anew today. Finally, Midtopic Mysteries approaches theory in its double meaning as procession (a linear formation of figures in a Greek frieze) and theory (a system of ideas), thus blending theory and practice.



Edited by Natasha Hoare, Coline Milliard,
Rafal Niemojewski, Ben Borthwick
and Jonathan Watkins Laurence King Publishing

Curating has been a key concept both in and outside the art world in the past few years, with the remit of what a curator does having changed and expanded with each new exhibition or biennale. With an emphasis on the ‘now’ and the most recent exhibitions, this book examines the variety and richness of curating practices today. Each highly illustrated case study is structured around an interview with the curator responsible for the show. The text both tells the story of the show’s making and fills in background information about the curator’s work.

Contributing curators include Adam Sutherland, Anthony Huberman, Art Angel, Chus Martinez, Claire Tancons, Clementine Deliss, Fram Kitagawa, Joanna Warza, Johnson Chang, Juliana Engberg, Katrina Brown, Khaled Kourani and Charles Esche, Mami Katoaka, Koyo Kouoh, Leah Gordon, Maria Lind, Pablo Leon de la Barre, Pierre Bal Blanc, Ragnar Kjartansson and Andjeas Ejiksson, Raimaudas Malasauskas, Sofia Hernandez Chong Cuy, Solange Farkas, The Fair Gallery, Michael Connor/The Rhizome Digital Archives




A Gathering of scholars, poets, puppeteers, curators, and artists at the University of Toronto for two days of public presentations, dialogues and performances organized by Gabriel Levine at the Jackman Humanities Institute, Program for the Arts, Centre for Drama, Theatre, and Performance Studies, University of Toronto

Keynote: Flesh as Object in Circum-Atlantic Performance. A Critique of the Exhibitionnary Complex




The ninth edition of Sharjah Art Foundation’s March Meetings, Education, Engagement and Participation, will consider how institutions, initiatives, curators and artists have increasingly prioritised their relationships with audiences and communities through current thinking around ideas of education, engagement and participation.

Panel discussion : Curating as Communities with Ahmed El Attar, Zoe Butt, Susanna Chung and Claire Tancons




A conference by Claire Tancons, associate curator of the first biennial edition of Printemps de septembre, at l’Institut Supérieur des Arts de Toulouse, at the invitation of Les Amis du Printemps de septembre. In this conference, titled etcetera after the name of her project, Tancons will address the question of what a contemporary civic ritual could be in France today.

Lecture : etcetera



EN MAS’: Carnival and Performance Art of the Caribbean is out!

Edited by Claire Tancons, Krista Thompson
Published by Independent Curators International, New York
and Contemporary Art Center, New Orleans

Distributed by D.A.P.

Foreword by Neil Barclay, Renaud Proch
Text by D. Eric Bookhardt, Petrina Dacres, Paul Goodwin, Shannon Jackson, Erica Moiah James, Nicholas Laughlin, Thomas J. Lax, Alanna Lockward, Kobena Mercer, Annie Paul, Claire Tancons, Krista Thompson, Yolande-Salomé Toumson

EN MAS’ is one of the first publications to give serious scholarly attention to contemporary art works considering carnival in the 21st century, filling a gap in two decades of exhibitions of contemporary Caribbean art that did not explicitly address carnival as an artistic practice. A hybrid exhibition catalogue and academic reader with a lively carnivalesque feel, it presents nine newly commissioned artist projects by John Beadle, Charles Campbell, Christophe Chassol, Nicolás Dumit Estévez, Marlon Griffith, Hew Locke, Ebony G. Patterson, Lorraine O’Grady and Cauleen Smith. The book also includes a timeline of diasporic pan-Caribbean carnivals, tracing the influence of Caribbean carnivals and festivals on the theater, dance, and Broadway stages in New York and London, in contemporary art galleries and biennials from São Paulo to Havana to Gwangju, at the Olympics as well as in protest and other movements.


Volume 1, Number 1, January 2016



Special Issue: “Art and the Commons: Tract, Circuit, Sphere” guest edited by Amy J., Elias Johns Hopkins University Press

Editor’s Forum: “The Commons as Network” moderated by Amy J. Elias with contributions by Susan Leigh Foster, Kimsooja, Claire Tancons, Hsuan Hsu, Imre Szeman, Doris Sommer, Grant Kester, Petra Kuppers, André Lepecki, David Raskin, Patrick Jagoda and Tom Lutz.

October. FIAC, Fondation d’Entreprise Ricard and Institut Français cura.books



A publication to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Young Curators Invitational program, a collaboration between Fondation d’Entreprise Ricard and FIAC to broaden awareness and knowledge of the French art scene by bringing promising personalities from the emerging generation of art critics and curators to Paris.

Past YCI contributors include Lara Khaldi, Maaike Lauwaert, Mariangela Méndez, Alina Erban, Chantal Wong and Claire Tancons (YCI 2012) with a text on artist Jimmy Robert, “Specters of Performance Past and Future.”

04.25. Performa Institute, New York University, New York


As with previous Performa biennials, which each used a singular historical period (Italian Futurism, Russian Constructivism, and Surrealism) to address the importance of live performance in shaping the art and ideas of twentieth century art, the “Renaissance” will serve as the main historical anchor for the upcoming Performa 15 biennial (November 2015).

In order to address the vibrant experimentation and interdisciplinarity that characterizes contemporary artists performance, the two-day conference extends Performa’s curatorial research platform to include “the Renaissance” – an extraordinary historical precedent to today’s performance art practices when artists, architects, and scientists worked across genres, creating live events that significantly contributed to civic and cultural life.

Confirmed speakers include Shahzia Sikander, artist; Alexander Nagel, NYU; Mark Franko, Temple University; Christopher Heuer, Princeton University; Kate Lowe, Queen Mary, University of London; Katharine Park, Harvard University; Alessandra Russo, Columbia University; Pamela Smith, Columbia University; and Rebecca Zorach, University of Chicago and curator Claire Tancons.

Georges Auditorium, Dillard University, New Orleans


An afternoon of celebration for the 50th anniversary of suiting by Mardi Gras Indian Big Chief Victor Harris of the Mandingo Warriors, Spirit of Fi Yi Yi. Musical tribute and spiritual offering by Luther Gray and Sula. Reflections by Jerome Smith, Community Leader, Big Chief Clarence Dalcour of the Creole Osceola, Jeffrey Ehrenreich, Professor of Anthropology at the University of New Orleans and Claire Tancons, curator of contemporary art. Presentations and commendations by members of the Mandingo Warriors as well as city council members and congressmen.

Gerrit Rietveld Academy, Studium Generale, Amsterdam


Through talks, readings, live performances, screenings and masterclasses, ARE YOU ALIVE OR NOT? Looking at ART through the lens of THEATRE proposed itself as a ‘modus operandi’ for generating knowledge, ideas, questions, collaborations, happenings and things.

The project took it’s initial inspiration from a wish expressed in the introduction to Claire Bishop’s book Artificial Hells, Participatory Art and the Politics of Spectatorship: “It is hoped that these chapters might give momentum to rethinking the history of twentieth-century art through the lens of theatre rather than painting or the ready-made”.

A Conference-festival & exhibition at De Brakke Grond theatre brought together around 35 individual and collaborative student projects intersecting with a four-day symposium convened and moderated by invited curators Claire Bishop (art historian, writer New York), Claire Tancons (curator, researcher, writer New Orleans), Joanna Warsza (curator, Berlin) & David Weber-Krebs (theatre maker Brussels).

Each day followed it’s own unique trajectory with audiovisual, participatory, performative, theatrical and theoretical contributions.

Contemporary Art Center, New Orleans.


EN MAS’: Carnival and Performance Art of the Caribbean is a pioneering exploration of the influences of Carnival on contemporary performance practices in the Caribbean, North America, and Europe conceived around a series of nine commissioned performances realized during the 2014 Caribbean Carnival season across eight cities in six different countries.

Opening at CAC New Orleans in March 2015 in an exhibition design by Gia Wolff, and prior to a national and international tour organized by ICI, EN MAS’ brought together material remnants or reconstitutions from the performances as well as photographic and filmic thus also presenting some of the best photographers, filmmakers and videographers working in the Caribbean today including.

EN MAS’ is curated by Claire Tancons and Krista Thompson; organized and presented by the Contemporary Arts Center (CAC), New Orleans. The exhibition is made possible by an Emily Hall Tremaine Exhibition Award with additional support by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and Institut Français (Afrique et Caraïbes en Créations program.) EN MAS’ will be accompanied by a publication of the same name including critical essays, monographic texts and extensive illustrations co-published by ICI and CAC, and distributed by D.A.P.

Université Paris Diderot (Paris 7), Paris


Using the conclusions of Bakhtin, Eagleton, Kinser, and Cohen among others, this international conference on carnival will bring together historians, anthropologists, and sociologists to explore the links between carnival and politics as showcased by carnivals in Europe, North America, the Caribbean and Latin America.

The Politics of Carnival was organized by Aurélie Godet and María Laura Reali, with a committee composed of Gilles Bertrand, Anna Caiozzo-Roussel, Milla Cozart Riggio, Nathalie Dessens, Samuel Kinser, Guillaume March, Denis-Constant Martin, Michel Prum, Helen A. Regis, Monika Salzbrunn, Randy J. Sparks and Claire Tancons.

The conference was held on 13-14 February so as to coincide with the annual ‘promenade de Bœuf-Gras’ (Fat Cow Parade), one of the highlights of the Paris carnival.