'Performance pavilion for a catholic city' (2011)

construction from stainless steel and glass

Dan Graham, ‘Performance Café with Perforated Sides’ (2010).
Image: Anthony Kiendl.

In ‘Performance Pavilion for a Catholic City’, Dan Graham creates a structure that is intended to function as a space for performance and encounter. The pavilion evokes connotations of performer and audience, as viewers see themselves reflected in its shimmering surface. Conceptually, the work acts as a stage where both mirror and steel create optical effects: the perforations in the steel create a moiré pattern, an effect of visual interference. These quasi-hallucinogenic patterns evoke the optical effects of rock shows and psychedelic drug experiences associated with youth and rock culture. The pavilion beckons as a space for human interaction on both grand and intimate registers.


Dan Graham has worked in image, text, video, performance and first developed his pavilions in the 1970s, moving his artwork outside the traditional exhibition space. One of the most influential artists of his generation, Graham’s work has explored both architecture and rock music. His pavilions are a logical extension of his early video work in which he explored the phenomenological experience of the viewer and audience. He lives and works in New York City and is represented by Marian Goodman Gallery.