Event Public Program

Lee Byars

8-10 February 2024, at 6 PM, 6.40 PM and 7.20 PM

James Lee Byars: Performance works 1967-1994

James Lee Byars: performance works 1967-1994 is the third event of the Public Program dedicated to the American artist’s exhibition at Pirelli HangarBicocca. The program, from February 8 till February 10, features the reenactment, inside the exhibition spaces, of six of the artist’s most iconic performances – which he also named “plays”, “actions” or “events”: “Four in a Dress” (1967); “Breathe (Two in a Hat)” (1968); “Ten in a Hat” (1968); “Be Quiet” (1980); “Your Presence Is the Best Work / A Presence Is the Best Work” (1992); “Five Points Make a Man” (1994).
The six works, spanning a time period from 1967 to 1994, involve twelve performers and deal with some of the most significant aspects of Byars’s performance practice: the production of clothes wearable by several people simultaneously, a challenge to the limits between the individual and the collective; the engagement of the audience and its central role in the context of the exhibition; the ephemeral aspect of art; the human body and its mortality.

The program also includes, on February 8, 9 and 10 (every 40 minutes from 6 PM until 8 PM in the museum’s Lab), a screening of the video “James Lee Byars. Antwerpen 18 April – 7 May 1969” by Belgian director Jef Cornelis. This is a 33-minute documentary film shot in 1969 on the occasion of a three-day exhibition by James Lee Byars at White Wide Space in Antwerp, during his first appearance in Europe.

The program is curated by Giovanna Amadasi, with the collaboration of Marcella Vanzo and Zona K.

Performers: Marco Boldrini, Alessio Cerfeda, Sofiya Chotyrbok, Norma Cicala, Daniele De Giovanni, Sara Grimaldi, Chiara Marini Ferretti, Jessica Lonny Moscaritolo, Rosaria Murolo, Pleto Ple, Roberto Simonte, Super Sciri.
The program and performances are realized in collaboration with the Estate of James Lee Byars and Michael Werner Gallery.


Thursday 8 February | 6 PM, 6.40 PM, 7.20 PM
Friday 9 February | 6 PM, 6.40 PM, 7.20 PM
Saturday 10 February | 6 PM, 6.40 PM, 7.20 PM


Each performance lasts about 40 minutes. Admission to the event is free. 

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