Houston International Performance Art Biennale

Houston International Performance Art Biennale

LONE STAR EXPLOSION is a week long Performance Art Biennale held in Houston Texas.   Atrracting innovative artists and organizations around the globe; In providing this platform, the festival encourages new ideas and collaborative projects connecting local, national and international artists throughout Houston’s private, public, alternative, and cultural organizations.1780629_634290079970900_118289838_n

The Biennale is an artist inspired grass roots level festival providing Houston and the region the potential to witness some of the most compelling presentations of contemporary performance art from a dynamic and energetic group of international artists. The opportunity is for local Houston artists to showcase their city to the greater global art community and establish Houston as one of the most important art destinations in the country and the leader in the state of Texas.

Local involvement is a special opportunity to support international exchange and promote Houston as an international destination for experimental and dynamic contemporary performance. With the team of artists and collaborators, the 2012 and the 2014 events were a great success and there is a huge potential for the growth of this festival in the upcoming years.

The first Biennale, held in March of 2012 was curated by Jack Massing of Houston and co-founder Myk Henry from New York.  The second Biennale, held in February of 2014 was curated by Julia Wallace and Jonatan Lopez, both from Houston.  2012 and 2014 Biennale organizers also include Nestor Topchy co-founder and President of Hive Houston, Marianna Lemesoff and Biennale administrator and project manager, Kelly Alison.

Past Biennale’s have hosted over sixty artists from around the world, including South Korea, Estonia, Ireland, Berlin, France, Canada, Venezuala, China, Spain, Costa Rica, Finland and  Mexico. National artists from New York, Chicago and Los Angeles and regional artists from Dallas, Austin and San Antonio.

Past venues include the Contemporary Art Museum of Houston, Art League Houston, DiverseWorks, Box13 Artspace, Avant Garden and NotsuoH.

How did this event come about? by Myk Henry (2012 Creative Director and International Curator)Nestor Topchy was on a trip to New York in October 2011. He ran into Myk Henry at a Grace Exhibition Space performance event in Bushwick, Brooklyn. They began talking about the art scene in Houston and Nestor told Myk about the Notsuoh space, describing it as:“ Possibly one of THE most interesting enclosed urban spaces Texas”. He described the space as being a huge old storefront/warehouse with high ceilings, still housing some of the old dust covered merchandise.Myk, having been a key organizer of the Williamsburg (Brooklyn) warehouse (immersionist) scene 1989-1992 was intrigued by Nestor’s description of the space. He suggested doing a live art event at notsuoH and Nestor thought this would be a fantastic opportunity to kick off Houston’s first performance art biennale.

Upon returning to Houston, Nestor spoke with Jim Pirtle about using the notsuoH space to provide a platform for showcasing “Lone Star Performance Explosion” and the organization was established as a 501(c)(3) under the HIVE Houston umbrella. Since then the organizational team has expanded to include Kelly Alison, Julia Claire Wallace and Jonatan Lopez and many more volunteers who are all working hard to bring this exciting international event to fruition again in 2016.

Notsuoh 2014 Photos by Alex Barber

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