Performance Space 122 (PS122), which is preparing to return to its permanent East Village home after extensive renovations, has appointed Jenny Schlenzka as its next executive artistic director. Her appointment marks the organization’s first female artistic leader.
Schlenzka, a curator of performance at MoMA PS1, brings over a decade of curating experience, primarily in live performance and media art. She will be PS122’s third artistic leader and will build on the foundations of earlier directors Mark Russell (1985–2005) and Vallejo Gantner (2005–2016). Her appointment commences February 1, and her programming will begin in 2018.
Gantner announced he was stepping down from the organization in May 2016 but would continue to stay at the helm until a new leader was appointed.
“I feel very honored to join Performance Space 122 at this crucial crossroads,” said Schlenzka in a press statement. “Historically, the organization has been a place of radical experimentation and interdisciplinarity, shaping artistic communities in the East Village and beyond. It will be exciting to work with artists and staff on extending these core values into the future.”
“At Performance Space 122, we celebrate courage—to challenge preconceived notions, to break barriers, both in substance and form, to take visible actions towards a freer, more expressive, diverse and equitable society,” added Enrico Ciotti, president of Performance Space 122’s Board of Directors. “Jenny is a bold risk-taker whose programmatic choices combine a thorough curatorial approach with such great instincts on what it is that makes the heart of our extended community pulse. She will be a great leader at a very exciting time of growth for Performance Space 122.”
PS 122 was founded in 1979 in New York's decommissioned Public School 122 building, and provided an artistic platform for performance artists including Eric Bogosian, Karen Finley, John Leguizamo, and many others.