An Unexpected Opera Performance at the CalArts Benefit in New York

The event was attended by Tony Oursler, Josephine Meckseper, and Jill Kraus.

My Barbarian leading the crowd through the streets of Chelsea. Photo: Aria Isadora/ BFA NYC

The New York iteration of the CalArts Benefit Exhibition and Sale took place on Saturday at both Metro Pictures and Paula Cooper Gallery. Helping to bridge the gap between the two spaces was performance art collective My Barbarian (which you may recognize from its turn in the 2014 Whitney Biennial), who guided the crowd through the streets of Chelsea as part of their Broke Baroque Festive Operetta, a strange and comic experience involving, as you might imagine, a lot of opera singing, but also wigs, silver cloaks, and iPad screens.

There was a breadth of art donated by former students and faculty on display in both spaces. Several of the exhibiting artists were in attendance, including Tony Oursler, Rita McBride, Josephine Meckseper, Malik Gaines, Pieter Schoolwerth, and Lyle Ashton Harris, which served as an impressive showcase of the program’s talented and committed alumni.

The benefit will conclude on on May 14, with an auction of more than 30 works by artists including John Baldessari and Ed Ruscha at Christie’s.

AN installation view of the works on sale at Metro Pictures. Photo: Aria Isadora/ BFA NYC

An installation view of the works on sale at Metro Pictures.
Photo: Aria Isadora/ BFA NYC.

My Barbarian leading the crowd through the streets of Chelsea. Photo: Aria Isadora/ BFA NYC

My Barbarian leading the crowd through the streets of Chelsea.
Photo: Aria Isadora/ BFA NYC/

My Barbarian's "Broke Baroque Festive Operetta". Photo: Aria Isadora/ BFA NYC

My Barbarian’s “Broke Baroque Festive Operetta.”
Photo: Aria Isadora/ BFA NYC.

Alex Segabe, Anthony P. McGlaun, Malik Gaines, Lyle Ashton Harris, Naima Keith and Liz Glynn Photo: Aria Isadora/ BFA NYC

Alex Segabe, Anthony P. McGlaun, Malik Gaines, Clara Kim, Lyle Ashton Harris, Naima Keith, and Liz Glynn.
Photo: Aria Isadora/ BFA NYC.

Jia Jia Fei, Dillon Cohen, Elena Soboleva Photo: Aria Isadora/ BFA NYC

Jia Jia Fei, Dillon Cohen, and Elena Soboleva.
Photo: Aria Isadora/ BFA NYC.

Jill Kraus, Naima Keith, Sara Friedlander, Steve Henry Photo: Aria Isadora/ BFA NYC

Jill Kraus, Naima Keith, Sara Friedlander, and Steve Henry.
Photo: Aria Isadora/ BFA NYC.

Jill Kraus and Tony Oursler Photo: Aria Isadora/ BFA NYC

Jill Kraus and Tony Oursler.
Photo: Aria Isadora/ BFA NYC.

Josephine Muckseper and Lisa Anastos Photo: Aria Isadora/ BFA NYC

Josephine Meckseper and Lisa Anastos.
Photo: Aria Isadora/ BFA NYC.

Lissa McClure, Steven D. Lavine, Marian Goodman Photo: Aria Isadora/ BFA NYC

Lissa McClure, Steven D. Lavine, Marian Goodman.
Photo: Aria Isadora/ BFA NYC.

Misha Pafkar and Daniel Doubrobkine Photo: Aria Isadora/ BFA NYC

Misha Pafkar and Daniel Doubrobkine.
Photo: Aria Isadora/ BFA NYC.

Paula Cooper and Steven D. Lavine

Paula Cooper and Steven D. Lavine.

Steven D. Lavine, Jill Kraus, Tony Oursler and Thomas Lawson Photo: Aria Isadora/ BFA NYC

Steven D. Lavine, Jill Kraus, Tony Oursler, and Thomas Lawson.
Photo: Aria Isadora/ BFA NYC.

Tony Oursler and Marcia Resnick Photo: Aria Isadora/ BFA NYC

Tony Oursler and Marcia Resnick.
Photo: Aria Isadora/ BFA NYC.


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