Rebecca Patek is a choreographer and performance artist. Her artwork synthesizes dance, theater and comedy. Patek’s work was presented mainly in New York City. Venues include MoMa PS1 as part of “Greater New York”, Impulstanz(Vienna), The Kitchen, The Museum of Arts and Design, The Chocolate Factory Theater, Abrons Art Center, and Dixon Place among others.
In 2015 she was named “a prostitute” by the New York Times, as well as having her work Ineter(a)nal F/ear recognized as one of the top ten performances of 2013 by Time Out New York. She “won” peoples choice award at Impulstanz which is the only prize given out through a public voting as well as the only prize to not come with an actual prize.
Her live work has been censored by The MoMa PS1 after its initial commission. Additionally she holds the distinction of being flagged as spam by New York Live Arts as well as deleted and her profile banned by Pornhub, and Vimeo alike.
She has received various non-monetary awards and residencies, for which she is grateful. These opportunities have enabled her to create work which was hailed by the New York Times as
” Managing to be both boring and extreme…”
This is an experience she strives hard to create for the viewer because it was at the center of her life and practice to reveal the utter banality and unsettling commonness of violence in all its forms.
Critic Alistair Macaulay very accurately notes ..”Here was all this sex happening before my eyes, yet my mind kept wandering wearily elsewhere.. “. To which she says “Yasss!”
Social commentary and institutional critique are the main focus of her body of work which ultimately led to its subsequent censorship.
In her words
I am interested in reclaiming elements of performance that are considered wrong, awkward, uncomfortable, overlooked and that are frequently dismissed. Using satire I incorporate the marginalized facets of performance, making them the central focus of the work. The un-choreographed events in the performance environment: inter-relational dynamics both onstage and between performer and audience, power dynamics, emotional subtext, things that are felt but not publicly acknowledged. I am interested in discomfort and embarrassment of the performer. Situations onstage which create an emotional conflict that is funny and absurd, but also frightening or disturbing.