Rituals of Rented Island: Object Theater, Loft Performance, and The New Psychodrama—Manhattan, 1970–1980.


Rituals of Rented Island: Michael Smith, Busman’s Holiday Retreat Revue, performance at The Performing Garage, May 1981; courtesy of the artist; photo: Kevin Noble.

Whitney Museum of American Art, until 02 February 2014.
This exhibition illuminates a radical period of 1970s performance art that flourished in downtown Manhattan, or what filmmaker and performance artist Jack Smith called Rented Island, which still remains largely unknown today. Working in lofts, storefronts, and alternative spaces, this group of artists, with backgrounds in theatre, dance, music, and visual art, created complex new forms of performance to embody and address contemporary media, commercial culture, and high art.