Projects

Jonathan Berger

A restaging of a forgotten piece of music from Andy Kaufman’s 1979 variety show at Carnegie Hall


Jonathan Berger’s project seeks to act as an investigative portrait of an unclassifiable figure of American cultural history. Best known as an actor and comedian, Andy Kaufman appeared regularly on 1970s and ‘80s American television as well as having an alternative career as an innovator and live performer. For Frieze London, Jonathan Berger presents fragments from Kaufman’s personal life and career, alongside the Overture that was performed at Kaufman’s 1979 variety show Andy Kaufman Plays Carnegie Hall. This piece of music was co-conceived by Gregg Sutton, only played on that occasion and not recorded. Present in the space to engage with visitors are Kaufman’s friends, family and collaborators including Michael Kaufman, Wendy ‘Little Wendy’ Polland, Gregg Sutton and Bob Zmuda. The Project's many elements underscore how the fluid nature of information shapes our understanding of reality and truth, an exploration which lies at the core of Kaufman’s artistic practice.

Jonathan Berger (b.1980, USA) lives in New York and works across a number of disciplines including sculpture, performance, archival projects and education. His projects often engage with the creation and presentation of exhibitions. Berger received his MFA from New York University (NYU) in 2006 and his BFA from California Institute of the Arts (CALARTS) in 2002. A recent recipient of a Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant, he is an Assistant Professor at NYU as well as the Director of the University’s 80WSE Gallery. Recent exhibition projects include ‘On Creating Reality, by Andy Kaufman’ presented at Maccarone Inc., New York (2013) in conjunction with ‘Andy Kaufman’s 99cent Tour’ at Participant Inc.; and ‘Stuart Sherman: Nothing Up My Sleeve’ at Participant, Inc., New York (2009), which was included in the 2009 PERFORMA Biennial. Men's Formalwear supplied by mossbroshire.co.uk