Malcolm McLaren Award

For Performa 09, Performa curator Mark Beasley and Malcolm McLaren planned to produce a collaborative live performance lecture as a highlight of the biennial. These plans, however, were sadly cut short by the tragic loss of McLaren to cancer.

Young Kim, heir to the estate of Malcolm McLaren, and Beasley organized this award to celebrate McLaren’s tremendous spirit and legacy of innovation. The inaugural award for Performa 11 (November 1–21, 2011) was presented by writer Greil Marcus and musician Lou Reed to Ragnar Kjartansson during the Performa Grand Finale at the Bowery Hotel.  At the Grand Finale of Performa 13 the award was presented by Christian Marclay to McLaren winner Ryan McNamara. The winner of the McLaren Award for Performa 15 will be announced on November 22, 2015 during the Grand Finale at Hotel Americano. Book tickets to the Grand Finale and announcement of the McLaren Award here.

Malcolm McLaren (English, b. 1946 London, England; d. Switzerland, 2010) was a pop cultural visionary and icon. An artist in the most post-modern sense of the word, time and time again, he was at the forefront of movements. Starting as a young student in London’s art schools including Goldsmiths Art College and St. Martin’s, he studied drawing and painting before experimenting in radical, politicized artworks inspired by the Internationale Situationniste, and most famously Punk. All of his various life-long activities—as legendary shop conceptualist (Let It Rock, Too Fast To Live Too Young to Die, Sex, Seditionaries, World’s End and Nostalgia of Mud), his 12-year design partnership with Vivienne Westwood, pop music group creator and manager (Sex Pistols, Bow Wow Wow), singer/composer (Duck Rock, Fans, Waltz Darling, Paris), lecturer, performer, producer, filmmaker, director, philosopher, politician (running for Mayor of London in 1999) and of course his art films, Shallow 1-21 and Paris, Capital of the XXIst Century were expressions of his art.