Steven Cohen is on residency in Strasbourg, organised by Haute école des arts du Rhin, Pôle Sud and FRAC Alsace (9 April to 28 June 2015). The video of Coq/Cock, ,his 'uninvited public intervention' in Paris in September 2013 that resulted in his arrest on charges of 'sexual exhibitionism', is included on the exhibition Chercher le garçon at MAC VAL (Musée d'Art Contemporain du Val-de-Marne) from 7 March to 30 August 2015. On 13 March, Heure Exquise presented Rencontre avec Steven Cohen, a screening of six videos, at the Palais des Beaux Arts in Lille, France. Cohen performed Chandelier from 22 to 25 April at the Berkeley Street Theatre in Toronto as part of Canadian Stage's Spotlight South Africa festival.
Exhibitions / Works
- Coq/Cock on A Sculptural Premise (Cape Town, 28 November 2013 - 11 January 2014)
- Magog (Cape Town, 18 October - 24 November 2012)
- Life is Shot, Art is Long (Cape Town, 21 January - 6 March 2010)
- Additional silkscreen works (1992-2002)
- Life is Shot, Art is Long (2010)
Articles, Interviews, Reviews
- Stven Cohen discusses his work and approach on HEAR (6 May 2015)
- Interview by Lucinda Jolly on Magog (October 2012)
- 'Take two: Cohen truncated': Magog reviewed by Sean O'Toole (Mail & Guardian, 26 October 2012)
- 'The evolution of love': The Cradle of Humankind reviewed by Anthea Buys (Mail & Guardian, 5 July 2012)
- 'Beneath the skin': Charl Blignaut on The Cradle of Humankind (City Press, 4 December 2011)
- 'Walking the dead': Profile by Charl Blignaut (The Times, 16 April 2011)
Steven Cohen was born in 1962 in South Africa and lives in Lille, France. He is a performance artist who stages interventions in the public realm and in gallery/theatre spaces. His work invariably draws attention to that which is marginalised in society, starting with his own identity as a gay, Jewish, white South African man. One of his best-known performances is Chandelier (2001/2), in which Cohen, dressed in vertiginous heels and an illuminated chandelier tutu, interacted with residents of a squatter camp in Newtown, Johannesburg, as it was in the process of being destroyed; the work exists as both live performance and video documentation of the public intervention. Chandelier was presented alongside Dancing Inside Out and Maid in South Africa at the Centre Pompidou in Paris as part of the Festival d'Automne in 2008; in 2009, Cohen premiered Golgotha at the Centre Pompidou as part of the same festival, and in 2011 The Cradle of Humankind. Performances have taken place at venues and festivals including the Munich Opera Festival, Bavarian State Opera; the first Aichi Triennale, Japan; Festival Escena Contemporánea, Madrid; Danae festival, Milan; La Bâtie - the Festival of Geneva; C/U (Body Mind) Festival, Warsaw; Les Halles de Schaerbeeck, Brussels; Festival les Anticodes, Brest, France; Oktoberdans festival, Bergen, Norway; Festival d'Avignon, France; and the National Arts Festival, Grahamstown, South Africa, among others. Recent group exhibitions include Black Milk: Holocaust in Contemporary Art at the Museum for Contemporary Art, Roskilde, Denmark (2014); My Joburg at la Maison Rouge, Paris (2013); the 11th Havana Biennale (2012); Revolution vs Revolution at Beirut Art Centre, Lebanon (2012); No Fashion, Please: Photography between Gender and Lifestyle at the Vienna Kunsthalle (2011); ARS 11 at Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki (2011); and Dada South? at the South African National Gallery, Cape Town (2009-10). From 2003 to 2008 Cohen was an associated artist of the Ballet Atlantique/Régine Chopinot. In 2009 he took up residencies at the Baryshnikov Arts Center and the Center for Performance Research in New York. In September 2013 Cohen's 'uninvited public intervention' Coq/Cock at the Trocadéro in Paris resulted in his arrest on charges of 'sexual exhibitionism'; a Paris court found him guilty, but imposed no penalty against the artist.