Visual art performance award presented by The Vinyl Factory artist and sound pioneer Christian Marclay.
Presented for only the second time since the honour was introduced in 2011, the Malcolm McLaren Award, sponsored by The Vinyl Factory, marked the end of Performa’s 2013 art performance biennale at the festival hub in New York.
Rewarding the artist who most adeptly demonstrated Performa’s guiding principles of innovative and thought-provoking performance art, the 2013 accolade was collected by Ryan McNamara for his work MEƎM: A STORY BALLET ABOUT THE INTERNET; “a choreographic exploration of the online world as a space of engagement, and of the digital architecture that conditions current anxieties over influence and transmission.”
Picking up the $10,000 prize and an award created by designer Marc Newson, McNamara’s performance synthesized themes of mass media, surveillance, creative commons and a culturally global world of communication. As such, his winning performance had much in common with the award’s namesake, whose seminal punkish, free-styling hip hop record Duck Rock was also celebrated on the night. Set to be reissued on vinyl by The Vinyl Factory next year, Duck Rock cast a similarly keen eye across the nature of pop culture consumption in an increasingly globalised world when it was first released in 1983.
In summing up their verdict on the biennale, the panel of judges noted:
“Performa should be congratulated for this year’s program. It was dedicated to exploring that it means to make performance and showed so many new artists this year, many of which we’ve never seen or even heard of before…McNamara is doing what Performa wants to be doing—he exemplifies an artist pushing himself to a new level, past new boundaries and into new areas.”
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