[T]he dueling pressures of an art market that fetishizes youth, blackness as style and sex, and a harsh economic reality that locks most young cultural producers into debt is producing heightened political awareness among young artists.COCO FUSCO - 'One Step Forward, Two Steps Back? Thoughts about the Donelle Woolford Debate'
Visiting Scholar, Comparative Media Studies/Writing
Hosted by Professors Edward Schiappa and Junot Díaz
Coco Fusco is a New York-based interdisciplinary artist and writer. She is a recipient of a 2013 Guggenheim Fellowship, a 2013 Absolut Art Writing Award, a 2013 Fulbright Fellowship, a 2012 US Artists Fellowship and a 2003 Herb Alpert Award in the Arts.
Fusco's performances and videos have been presented in two Whitney Biennials (2008 and 1993), BAM’s Next Wave Festival, the Sydney Biennale, The Johannesburg Biennial, The Kwangju Biennale, The Shanghai Biennale, InSite O5, Mercosul, Transmediale, The London International Theatre Festival, VideoBrasil and Performa05.
Her works have also been shown at the Tate Liverpool, The Museum of Modern Art, The Walker Art Center and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Barcelona. She is represented by Alexander Gray Associates in New York. Fusco is the author of English is Broken Here: Notes on Cultural Fusion in the Americas (1995) and The Bodies that Were Not Ours and Other Writings (2001), and A Field Guide for Female Interrogators (2008). She is also the editor of Corpus Delecti: Performance Art of the Americas (1999) and Only Skin Deep: Changing Visions of the American Self (2003). Fusco's work combines electronic media and performance in a variety of formats, from staged multi-media performances incorporating large scale projections and closed circuit television to live performances streamed to the internet that invite audiences to chart the course of action through chat interaction.
Her most recent performance, Observations of Predation in Humans: A Lecture by Dr. Zira, Animal Psychologist, revives the character from Planet of the Apes to offer a commentary on contemporary forms of aggression that is supplemented by multimedia illustration.
Fusco received her B.A. in Semiotics from Brown University (1982), her M.A. in Modern Thought and Literature from Stanford University (1985) and her Ph.D. in Art and Visual Culture from Middlesex University (2007). She has taught at Tyler School of Art, Columbia University School of the Arts, Parsons The New School for Design and The Fundacão Armando Alvares Penteado in Brazil.
Over the last five hundred years, non-western human beings have been exhibited in the taverns, theaters, gardens, museums, zoos, circuses and world's fairs of Europe, and the circuses and freak shows of the United States. In commemoration of this practice, video maker Coco Fusco and performance artist Guillermo Gomez-Pena lived in a gilded cage in Columbus Plaza in Madrid for three days in May 1992. Presenting themselves as aboriginal inhabitants of an island in the Gulf of Mexico that was overlooked by Columbus, the video documents "authentic" and "traditional" tasks, including writing on a laptop computer, television, sewing voodoo dolls and working out.