Anya Liftig and Sophia Cleary
Jamillah James Curatorial Fellowship
Saturday, May 31st 2014
Anya Liftig
Anya Liftig


Performance: Anya Liftig and Sophia Cleary
Brooklyn-based performers Anya Liftig and Sophia Cleary present an evening of performance rooted in comedic and ecstatic engagements of the everyday, examining their lives as artists, and mining anxiety as a performative strategy.

Artist Statements

Anya Liftig is a transpecies artist who is currently in the process of transitioning from human to canine. Her performance will explore the phenomenology of nature through John Milton’s maxim, “The way to know were not to see but taste.”

Sophia Cleary will present Female Figure II, a solo performance that cultivates sensitivity to an emotional body by acknowledging a persistent tension between performer and audience. A lecture-performance and dance, Female Figure II explores the specificity and nuance related to ways of speaking, and how the quality of the voice can misconstrue or amplify the words that are uttered.

Video Documentation


Anya Liftig has performed extensively in New York, at venues such as Exit Art, The Kitchen, Grace Exhibition Space, and Socrates Sculpture Park, among others. Her work, The Anxiety of Influence, was an intervention into Marina Abramovic’s The Artist is Present, the 2010 retrospective at The Museum of Museum of Modern Art, New York. Liftig’s work has been published and written about in the New York Times Magazine, Bomb, the Wall Street Journal, Vogue Italia, Marie Claire Italia, Heeb, Public Culture, Art Papers, ArtNews, The L Magazine, New York Magazine, X-tra, Hyperallergic, Burnaway, among others. She is a graduate of Yale University and Georgia State University and has received grant and residency support from the MacDowell Colony, Petersborough, New Hampshire; The Field, New York; Mertz Gilmore Foundation, New York; Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, Vermont; Flux Projects, Atlanta; The Atlantic Center for the Arts, New Smyrna, Florida; University of Antioquia, Casa Tres Patios-Medellin, Colombia; and Flux Projects, Atlanta.

Sophia Cleary is a performance artist based in Brooklyn, NY. She is the founder and coordinator of the works-in-progress series REHEARSAL and is co-editor for Ugly Duckling Presse’s performance annual publication, Emergency INDEX. She has worked with Neal Medlyn, Ann Liv Young, Dynasty Handbag (Jibz Cameron), Vanessa Anspaugh, Alexandra Bachzetsis and the Kate Bush Dance Troupe. Her latest project is playing drums in Penis, a feminist punk band co-founded with Samara Davis. She has presented her work at New York venues the Bushwick Starr, the Center for Performance Research, Danspace Project, and Dixon Place. She holds an MA in Performance Studies from the Tisch School of the Arts, New York University.