Performance art curator RoseLee Goldberg

For our course “Role of the curator”, we got an interesting homework. It went something like this: Which famous curator would you be, if you could walk in his/her shoes? And later on in the course, pretend you are him/her. 

My mind started freaking out, as I really didn’t know who to choose. We have some amazing Slovenian female curators (Alenka Gregorič, Saša Nabergoj, Zdenka Badovinac, Marija Skočir, Nevenka Šivavec, …), but are they so world-renowned, I could act being one of them in a different country? Unfortunatelly not, as we know almost no one knows where Slovenia is.

So, I had to dig deeper and remembered a person, who was my regular companion, while writing my thesis. And why not … I like her books, I love her work and especially the little fact, that she deals with performance art.

If I wanted to “become” her, I needed to know everything about her. Who actually is RoseLee Goldberg????



I made a list of all the important milestones in her career, with some personal information, to get in the character more easily.

  • born in Durban, South Africa
  • age: “the same as my little finger and a little older than my teeth”
  • author, art historian, curator, teacher, producer
  • a dancer from a white middle-class family
  • studied Political Science&Fine Arts @ Wits University, Johannesburg
  • studied Art History @ Courtauld Institute of Art, London
  • married to a furniture designer Dakota Jackson
  • has 2 kids

1972 – 1975 director @ Royal College of Art Gallery, London (postgraduate university of art and design)

1975 moves to New York

1978 – 1980 curator @ The Kitchen, New York (Non-profit art space for performance, video, music and visual art. The Kitchen focuses on presenting emerging artists, most of whom are local, and is committed to advancing work that is experimental in nature. Goldberg curated first solo show of Cindy Sherman.)

1979 author @ »Performance Art: From Futurism to the Present«

She has established new models for exhibiting modern and contemporary performance art.

1990 curator @ »Six Evenings of Performance«, MOMA, New York

2000 author @ »Laurie Anderson«

2001 producer @ »Logic of the Birds« (Shirin Neshat), The Kitchen, New York (video:

2002 author @ »Shirin Neshat«

2004 founder @ »Performa« (A non-profit multi-disciplinary arts organization for the research, development, and presentation of 21st century visual art performance. Created to commission new performance projects, to present a dedicated performance biennial, to consult and collaborate with art institutions, and to offer ongoing education on performance art.)

2004 author @ »Performance: Live Art Since the ’60s«

2005 curator @ »Couleurs Superposees« (Daniel Buren), Guggenheim, New York

2006 award @ named a Chevalier of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres

2009 co-curator (Klaus Biesenbach) @ »100 Days« (a travelling exhibition on the history of performance art)

2010 award @ ICI Agnes Gund Curatorial Award

2013 producer @ Jay-Z video »Picasso Baby« (video:

2013 award @ ranked 24th on ArtReview’s Power 100 list of the most influential figures in the contemporary art world


Just to get a taste of who this amazing woman really is.




  1. featured image: Billy Farrell Agency (2012) RoseLee Goldberg. ⌈photograph⌋ Available from: ⌈Accessed 16 October 2016⌋.
  2. New York Univeristy. RoseLee Goldberg. ⌈photograph⌋ Available from: ⌈Accessed 16 October 2016⌋.


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