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The Best New Work

© Gideon Lewis-Kraus. Courtesy of David Levine.


Harvard Art Museums, 32 Quincy Street
Cambridge MA

Artist David Levine’s The Best New Work is a series of performances designed to deliver canonical works of art criticism to a wider audience by performing them, as personal monologues, in the exhibition venue itself. Actors drift through the galleries, gift shop, cafe, and open spaces of the building, performing their essay as though on an endless loop. The performers’ attitude, delivery, affect, and mood reflect their location, their audience, and time of day.

First presented by professional actors at REDCAT, a center for contemporary art in Los Angeles, and then at the Princeton University Art Museum, this latest iteration of The Best New Work will be performed at the Harvard Art Museums by students in Levine’s course Acting, Theory, and Public Speech. Over three days, students will perform works by a range of writers, from Karl Marx to Linda Nochlin.

The performance will take place in various spaces throughout the museums, including in the galleries, Calderwood Courtyard, cafe, and the shop.

Performers will be speaking aloud to themselves or to whoever might be nearby as they move through the museums. Guests are welcome to listen to and wander with the student performers as they explore the museums through their chosen text.

Additional information about the course and the texts being performed is available at the admissions desk in the courtyard.