Installation view of Alexis Blake, Crack Nerve Boogie Swerve at KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin, 2023. Photo: Frank Sperling

The Performance is a US Premiere and the Award-Winning Artist’s First Performance in New York City

High Line Art, which organizes public art programming and installations displayed along the High Line, is excited to present the US premiere of Crack Nerve Boogie Swerve, a performance and installation by Amsterdam-based artist Alexis Blake. Crack Nerve Boogie Swerve will take place on September 5, 6, and 7, 2023 at 7pm each night on the High Line in the 14th Street Passage. Presented at TENT in Rotterdam in 2019 and KW Institute for Contemporary Art in February 2023, Blake’s performance on the High Line will mark the work’s US premiere and the artist’s first performance in New York City.

Alexis Blake, an American who has established her art practice in Europe, merges visual arts, performance, and dance to explore the body as an archive of embodied knowledge. Each of Blake’s compositions are based on extensive research into specific histories—such as the politics of emotions, archetypal depictions of women in western art history from the Renaissance to the start of Modernism, or the banning of lamentations in Ancient Greece—which she uses to build an ever-expanding lexicon of gestures, sounds, and even scents. In all her works, the artist directly connects with the representation and subjectification of women’s and queer bodies while activating them as sites and agents for socio-political change.

For the High Line, Blake presents a new iteration of her work Crack Nerve Boogie Swerve, a work that takes up glass and breaking as metaphors for the fragility and strength of the individual and collective body. Both an installation and a performance, the work starts with sheets of glass nestled in moveable steel bases. The performers, who are a percussionist, low frequency sound artist, and four dancers coming from different dance genres such as hip hop, contemporary, ballet, Afro-fusion, and tap, activate the glass to explore transparency, resistance, resonance and breaking—breaking free from constraints and liberating oneself from the confinement of oppression.

In this site-specific iteration, Crack Nerve Boogie Swerve engages with dance practices
born in New York City, as well as the architecture of the surrounding buildings, pointing to the brick factories and warehouses newly replaced with glass-and-steel skyscrapers and residential buildings. Blake takes the crew’s varying forms of expression as a starting point for collaboratively probing how to learn from, come close to, and empathize with one another. However, they aim not to appropriate each other’s sonic and body language. Rather they use the glass as a tool to communicate, break patterns, and collectively give rise to a new vocabulary of sound and movement, albeit without losing their subjectivity.

The performance is free and open to the public. It takes place in a covered passage and happens rain or shine. Visitors are encouraged to RSVP online in advance. The nearest entrances to the High Line are located at 14th Street and Gansevoort Street. The nearest elevator is located at 14th Street near 10th Avenue. Program venues are accessible via wheelchair. Please note that during the performance, loud low-frequency sounds will be played, which may affect pregnant people as well as people with epilepsy and heart conditions.


Alexis Blake (b. 1981 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) lives and works in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Blake’s work has been featured in exhibitions at institutions including KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin, Germany (2023); Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, Netherlands (2021); Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA), Dublin, Ireland (2019); and TENT, Rotterdam, Netherlands (2019). Her performances have been presented at festivals and institutions including Holland Festival at Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, Netherlands (2022); Performatik19: The Brussels biennial of performance art at BOZAR: Centre for Fine Arts, Brussels, Belgium (2019);

British Museum as part of Block Universe Performance Festival, London, UK (2016); and the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, Netherlands (2015). Blake has participated in major international exhibitions, including the Riga International Biennial of Contemporary Art, Riga, Latvia (2018), and XXI Triennale di Milano, Milan, Italy (2016). Blake was an artist-in-residence at WIELS, Contemporary Art Centre, Brussels (2020+2021), the Delfina Foundation, London (2016), Jan van Eyck Academie, Maastricht (2014–15), Fondazione Antonio Ratti with Yvonne Rainer (2015). The artist’s work rock to jolt [ ] stagger to ash was awarded the Prix de Rome in 2021.


Founded in 2009, High Line Art commissions and produces a wide array of artworks on the High Line, including site-specific commissions, exhibitions, performances, video programs, and a series of billboard interventions. Led by Cecilia Alemani, the Donald R. Mullen, Jr. Director & Chief Curator of High Line Art, and presented by the High Line, the art program invites artists to think of creative ways to engage with the unique architecture, history, and design of the park, and to foster a productive dialogue with the surrounding neighborhood and urban landscape.

For further information on High Line Art, please visit


The High Line is both a nonprofit organization and a public park on the West Side of Manhattan. Through our work with communities on and off the High Line, we’re devoted to reimagining public spaces to create connected, healthy neighborhoods and cities.

Built on a historic, elevated rail line, the High Line was always intended to be more than a park. You can walk through the gardens, view art, experience a performance, enjoy food or beverage, or connect with friends and neighbors—all while enjoying a unique perspective of New York City.

Nearly 100% of our annual budget comes through donations. The High Line is owned by the City of New York and we operate under a license agreement with NYC Parks.

For more information, visit and follow us on FacebookTwitterInstagram.


Lead support for High Line Art comes from Amanda and Don Mullen. Major support is provided by Shelley Fox Aarons and Philip E. Aarons, The Brown Foundation, Inc., and Charina Endow- ment Fund.

This program is supported as part of the Dutch Culture USA program by the Consulate General of the Netherlands in New York, and with financial support from the Mondriaan Fund, the public cultural funding organization focusing on visual arts and cultural heritage. The program also received the kind support of the Berlin Senate Department for Culture and Community.

High Line Art is supported, in part, with public funds from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature, and from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the New York City Council, under the leadership of Speaker Adrienne Adams.

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