artists & participants
In conjunction with the New York performance biennial Performa 11, MoMA’s Department of Media and Performance Art presents the live-work Combatant Status Review Tribunals, pp. 002954–003064: A Public Reading. The performance comprises a four-hour public reading of unedited transcripts from 18 Combatant Status Review Tribunals held at the U.S. military prison camp in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, between July 2004 and March 2005. During the reading nine performers rotate through eight juridical positions, including that of the Detainee, the Tribunal President, two Tribunal Members, the Recorder representing the U.S. government, and a Personal Representative acting as an advisor to the Detainee. The artist group—consisting of Andrea Geyer, Sharon Hayes, Ashley Hunt, Katya Sander, and David Thorne—understands the performance as a simple yet urgent gesture towards making these tribunals public. By presenting the transcripts word for word the readings offer insight into the complicated geo-political landscape in Afghanistan and Pakistan between 2001 and 2005, and expose the contradictory and problematic processes the U.S. military has used in capturing, detaining and classifying so-called “enemy combatants.”
The performance corresponds with the recently acquired multi-channel video installation 9 Scripts from a Nation at War, which premiered at Documenta 12 in 2007 and will be shown in The Yoshiko and Akio Morita Media Gallery, second floor from January 24 to July 30, 2012.
Andrea Geyer, Sharon Hayes, Ashley Hunt, Katya Sander, and David Thorne have been working together as artists, organizers, researchers, and writers since 2004. Their collaborations have been prompted by the geographical dislocations inherent to contemporary art practice, in which exhibitions, teaching jobs and other means for support of artists have an individualizing and dispersing effect. They have responded by developing projects that allow for their relationships as colleagues, collaborators and community to continue.
Combatant Status Review Tribunals, pp. 002954–003064: A Public Reading is organized by Sabine Breitwieser, Chief Curator, and Jenny Schlenzka, Assistant Curator for Performance, Department of Media and Performance Art, The Museum of Modern Art.
Combatant Status Review Tribunals
A Public Reading
Kuratoren: Sabine Breitwieser, Jenny Schlenzka
Künstler: Andrea Geyer, Sharon Hayes, Ashley Hunt, Katya Sander, David Thorne