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BEST ONE-UPPING OF JAY-Z 

Performance Now

Critics' Choice

Sure, Jay-Z brought performance art to the masses with an HBO special (and subsequent YouTube video with nearly 3 million views) documenting his six-hour performance of "Picasso Baby" at New York's Pace Gallery. Jay-Z's brand of art focuses on themes of celebrity and the transference of energy from audience to performer, concepts that typical consumers of American pop culture already know well. Deeper stuff was on the way, though, thanks to Performance Now, a traveling exhibition curated by RoseLee Goldberg, who appears in Jay-Z's video. The works at Artspace demonstrated a broader spectrum of ideas and emotions, conveyed by artists performing with their own bodies or directing others. These pieces, most of which appeared as video documentation, ranged from lighthearted and fun (Christian­ Jankowski's video of his neighbor hula-hooping on her roof) to hard-hitting, graphic and political (Regina José Galindo's protest walk to Guatemala's National Palace with her feet dipped in blood). Jay-Z whetted our appetite. This was the meal.

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