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“The writer must earn money in order to be able to live and write, but he must by no means live and write for the purpose of making money.” – Karl Marx

Taking these words to heart, NYU Skirball will present a pay-what-you-think-it’s-worth, two-week commemoration of the great philosopher’s 200th birthday. Admission to all performances is free: however, audiences will receive an invoice detailing the cost of every element of the production (supply). They are then free to determine the worth of the production and donate accordingly (demand) thus enabling the artists to “earn money in order to live and write.”

Karl Marx (1818–83), revolutionary economist, philosopher and author of The Communist Manifesto, was one of the most influential figures of all time. Curated by Jay Wegman and inspired by Marxist writings on the perils of capitalism, class struggle and socialism, the festival features works that represent aspects of Marx’s theories: P Project (the effects of capitalism); Labor Brujx (the oppression of the proletariat) and Non-Western (economics). Special events include panels, talks by international philosophers and the premiere of Choral Marx, a choral adaptation of Marx’s Manifesto.



October 17, Wednesday, 7:30 p.m.

P Project tests Marx’s theories on capitalism by offering audiences cold, hard cash in exchange for a performance. Ivo Dimchev is a Bulgarian performing artist, known internationally for his provocative and often controversial works of performance art. P Project (2012) is an escalating, interactive performance where actual cash fuels participation based on several P words, such as Piano, Pray, Pussy, Poetry, Poppers, and so on. The People will be offered several opportunities to Participate in the P Project, for which they be Paid quite well.

Ivo Dimchev, is a Bulgarian choreographer, visual artist, singer-songwriter, now living in London. His work is extreme and colorful mixtures of performance art, dance, theater, music, drawings and photography. Dimchev has created over 30 pieces, has received numerous international awards, and has presented his work across Europe, South America and North America. He is the founder and director of Bulgaria’s Humarts Foundation, organizes an annual competition for contemporary Bulgarian choreography, is an Artist in Residence at Kaaitheater in Brussels, and tours extensively. In 2014, he opened MOZEI in Sofia, Bulgaria, as an independent space for presenting contemporary art and music.

This piece is recommended for ages 16+



October 19 + 20, Friday + Saturday, 7:30 p.m.

Brujx, a world premiere, ritualizes the labor of the dancers, exposing and transcending it to unearth the powerful and primal magic brujx within them. As in all of achugar’s [sic] work it proposes DANCE as the necessary transformational healing for our time. Brujx resists western assumptions of beauty and hierarchical order, freeing the dancers both of their role as worker in the power structure within the creative project and of the universal shame of being animal-sexual-powerful-instinctive creatures.

luciana achugar, a Brooklyn-based choreographer from Uruguay, has been making work in NYC and Uruguay independently and collaboratively since 1999. She is a two-time Bessie Award recipient and was nominated for a 2016 Bessie for Outstanding Production for her latest An Epilogue for OTRO TEATRO: True Love. She was a 2017 Alpert Award recipient, a Guggenheim Fellow, and a Foundation for Contemporary Arts Grantee, amongst other accolades. She was one of Dance Magazine’s 2012 “25 to Watch” and her Bessie Award-winning work PURO DESEO was named one of 2010 Time Out/NY’s “Best of Dance.” Her works also include The Pleasure Project and OTRO TEATRO.

This piece is recommended for ages 16+


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October 22, Monday, 6:30 p.m.

From the Marxist standpoint, “Communism” refers to the multiple versions of our commons (the commons of nature, the commons of our biogenetic inheritance, the commons of our intellectual substance) which are all threatened by today’s global capitalism. Perhaps the most important version of our commons  is the world-wide digital grid which more and more controls and regulates our lives. How can a new emancipatory movement fight for the public control of the digital commons? In preparing and executing the October Revolution, Trotsky showed us the way when he focused on the seizure of power over the technical and material base of a state (electricity, railways, phone, etc.). How can we apply this Trotsky’s insight to our contemporary predicament?

Slavoj Žižek, Ph.D., is a senior researcher at the Institute of Sociology, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia, and a visiting professor at a number of American Universities (Columbia, Princeton, New School for Social Research, New York University, University of Michigan). He obtained his Ph.D. in Philosophy in Ljubljana studying Psychoanalysis. He also studied at the University of Paris. Slavoj Zizek is a Hegelian philosopher, Lacanian psychoanalyst, and Marxist social analyst. He is the author of  The Indivisible RemainderThe Sublime Object of Ideology,  The Metastases of Enjoyment,  Looking Awry: Jacques Lacan through Popular Culture, and  The Plague of Fantasies, and The Ticklish Subject. His latest publications are  Disparities, and  Antigone (both at Bloomsbury Press, London).

RSVPs will open on Oct. 1, 2018



October 26 + 27, Friday + Saturday, 7:30 p.m.

A NYC premiere set in the California Republic of 1848, Non-Western is a quick-change musical fantasy that plays with the tropes of the Western genre. Economic desires motivate its figures, from ranchero to coyote, all of whom are portrayed by the three members of My Barbarian in an unstable exchange of costumes, puppets, action figures and projections. Even as class drama drives the plot, the colonial situation confuses a Marxist analysis, and signals the kinds of appropriations and adaptations Marxist critique undergoes in the non-West. Songs include “Toward a Leftist Positionality” and “The Form of Personal Property.”

My Barbarian is a performance group made up of Malik Gaines, Jade Gordon, and Alexandro Segade. Their work plays with social difficulties and theatricalizes historic problems. Since 2000, they have presented work in major venues internationally, in solo and group exhibitions, museum programs and theater festivals. They were included in two Performa Biennials, two California Biennials, the Biennale de Montréal, and the Whitney Biennial. They’ve received awards and fellowships from United States Artists, Foundation for contemporary Art, Art Matters and the City of Los Angeles.



October 28, Sunday, 5 p.m.

Choral Marx is a singing adaptation of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels’s Manifesto for the Communist Party. It is a piece for mixed chorus—mixed not just in terms of gendered voice parts but also in terms of training and ability—made up of vocalists from both the contemporary music scene and socialist organizing communities, accompanied by an ensemble of five cellos and five flutes.  It is an attempt to re-sound Marx and Engels’s 1848 critique of capitalism in 2018 and explore how the Manifesto continues to resonate today.

Ethan Philbrick, a Brooklyn-basedcomposer and writer, has performed original work in New York at BRIC, SculptureCenter, Abrons Arts Center and the Grey Art Gallery. His writing has been published in TDRPAJ, Women and Performance, Studies in Gender and Sexuality and Movement Research Performance Journal. He teaches in the MFA in Performance + Performance Studies Program at Pratt Institute.



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Wed, Oct 17 @ 7:30pm

Fri, Oct 19 @ 7:30pm

Sat, Oct 20 @ 7:30pm

Mon, Oct 22 @ 6:30pm

Fri, Oct 26 @ 7:30pm

Sat, Oct 27 @ 7:30pm

Sun, Oct 28 @ 5:00pm


  • rob welte

    Where will the #holodomor survivors be sharing their stories? Make Communist genocide cool again!

  • ReverendDraco✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ ᵃᶜᶜᵒᵘᶰᵗ

    Should there not be consequences for celebrating one of America’s enemies?

    Oh, right – the Administration are also America’s enemies. . .

    • America’s protectors are her worst enemies, by default.
      Treason is defined in the Constitution at Article 3, Section 3, as consisting “only in levying War against (the United States), or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort.”
      All members of the American military take an oath to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; (and to) bear true faith and allegiance to the same.”
      When the military is committed to foreign actions without a declaration of war by Congress, as required by Article 1, Section 8, Paragraph 11 of the Constitution, that is a violation of the Constitution, arguably the action of domestic enemies.
      When a member of the military participates in an unconstitutional foreign military deployment, s/he violates both the Constitution and his/her oath to “support and defend” it, giving “aid and comfort” to it’s “domestic enemies,” committing treason by the definition given by the Constitution.

      • mka

        Go rub your beads pal. You are way off base.

  • bereasonableplz

    I’m not understanding how the celebration of the father of an ideology which murdered 100 million is a good idea. I hope the people attending this blood festival will be monitored

  • mka

    What is being taught in the “higher education” academies is the proof that absolute power corrupts absolutely.
    The proof is these little zombies , that have been taught to embelish a political manifesto of starvation,blood and violence. This is the same system ‘marxism;that makes all teachers and “professors” go out into the labor field for
    re-education when it takes over a country. This latter part is the only one I endorse completely.

    • Lord Acton would be a good starting point, but unlikely to make any sense standing alone.