Photographs © Paula Court

Paweł Althamer Biba Performa

110 Kent Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11249 MAP

Just announced: Queen Mother of Reality on view at Socrates Sculpture Park May 11 – August 3, 2014

For his first large-scale public work for New York City, Polish artist Paweł Althamer will stage events at Biba, a local bar and restaurant in Brooklyn situated on the East River, from which the shimmering Manhattan skyline can be seen from a distance. In light of Althamer’s customary interest in citizenship, collaboration, and marginalizisation, the artist will arrange events and interventions in collaboration with artists Noah Fischer, Roman Stańczak, Rafal Zwirek and Aaron Burr Society, and the artist's sons Bruno (an artist) and Szymon (a Polish chef). Events, painting workshops, and performances will run throughout the duration of Biba Perfoma. 

Over the course of Performa 13, the group will also collaborate on Queen Mother of Reality, a monumental sculpture which will be built over the duration of Performa 13 on the waterfront outside Biba. Queen Mother of Reality is a reclining woman looking across the water to Manhattan, built from local steel and discarded scraps by the artists and other volunteers, and is a companion sculpture to the Statue of Liberty. The sculpture defines a new spirit of New York - rather than welcoming immigrants from overseas for a new life, the Queen Mother watches over displaced people, and offers shelter.

Althamer plans to create a sense of possibility among bar workers and members of the diverse local community, which includes Hasidic Jews, hipsters, Puerto Ricans and the Polish among others. Biba Performa is an invitation to audiences to join in conviviality and revelry throughout the biennial, and to participate in an open forum for considering the ways in which communities, particularly immigrant communities, are formed in suburban areas away from the bright lights of the city.

You are welcome to drop in during Biba's opening hours or to see the progress of the sculpture on the waterfront at any time, but several special events will take place over the course of Performa 13. 

Opening of Biba Performa:
November 1, 2-5pm

Queen Mother of Reality Inauguration
Thursday, November 7, 5:00 pm 

Biba Performa Performance Evening
Thursday, November 14, 5:00 pm 

Closing celebration, events and special dinner
Tuesday, November 19, 5:00 pm

Follow along on Biba Performa's Facebook page for project updates and live streams of events.

Biba Performa is a Performa Commission and part of the Polish Pavilion Without Walls.

When you purchase a ticket to attend a Performa 13 performance, you will receive a special code for a free Uber ride in your email confirmation.



Supported by Foksal Gallery Foundation (Warsaw), neugerriemschneider (Berlin), Fundacja Sztuka i Współczesność, CCA Ujazdowski Castle, and Polish Ministry of Cultural and National Heritage, Tilton Gallery.

Event Title
Date & Time
  • Sat. Nov 2, 2:00 pm
Help kick off Paweł Althamer's month-long performance project at Biba of Williamsburg.
  • Sat. Nov 9, 6:00 pm
  • Sun. Nov 10, 6:00 pm
  • Mon. Nov 11, 6:00 pm
  • Tue. Nov 12, 6:00 pm
  • Wed. Nov 13, 6:00 pm
  • Thu. Nov 14, 6:00 pm
  • Fri. Nov 15, 6:00 pm
  • Sat. Nov 16, 6:00 pm
A series of intimate dinners cooked by the artist. Each night, he serves a decadent feast of hand selected dishes from across India, mixing traditions to create his own sort of Indian fusion.