ARCAthens
Job Piston

Job participated as a Curatorial Fellow for the Athens Residency (Spring 2024) . Click here to see Job’s program.

 

Job Piston is an independent curator and artistic director with a dynamic career spanning over a decade in New York and Los Angeles. With a Master of Fine Arts from the University of California, Los Angeles, Piston has established a profound expertise in contemporary art and performance combining his unconventional background as a visual artist and biennial curator. Between 2016 and 2022, Piston served as an independent curator and producer, developing groundbreaking programs and online showcases that explore the intersections of surrealism, queer mythology, and identity politics. Notable special projects include a video screening by Asian diaspora artists for Nowness and Art at a Time Like This during The Armory Show VIP program, and commissioning multi-disciplinary installations by artists and architects for various cultural projects.

Piston was instrumental in organizing five editions of the Performa Biennial in New York, the world’s leading visual art performance organization founded by the art historian RoseLee Goldberg. In 2023, as co-curator for the Performa Finnish Pavilion with Defne Ayas and Esa Nickle, Piston developed a comprehensive framework for the US premieres of artists like Anna Maria Häkkinen, Teo Ala Ruona and Niko Hallikainen. In collaboration with international partners, he expanded audience engagement and created new opportunities for visiting artists, including Pilvi Takala through an Artist-in-Residence program. From 2015 to 2021, his tenure at Performa saw the commissioning of city-wide installations and performances, establishing late night programs bridging queer nightlife and live art, and launching impactful online exhibitions that broke records for digital impressions. Throughout his career, Piston has organized programs and projects with Tania Brugera, Judy Chicago, Elmgreen & Dragset, Barbara Kruger, Zanele Muholi, James Welling, Korakrit Arunanondachai with Alex Gvojic and boychild, Charlap Hyman & Herrero, Sara Cwynar, Jane Jin Kaisen, Richard Kennedy, Kia LaBeija, Monica Mirable & Sigrid Lauren, Jacolby Satterwhite, Shiketh, Athi-Patra Ruga, amongst others.

Piston’s work is marked by a commitment to exploring avant-garde themes and a notable ability to engage with a broad spectrum of artists and thinkers across music, dance, fashion, photography, video, design and architecture. He possesses a unique skill for establishing art partnerships, demonstrating an exceptional ability to not only enrich the art community but also connect the gap between cultural institutions and audiences. His diverse projects reflect a deep understanding of the contemporary art landscape and use of an expert method to transform new ideas into live performances. This approach has earned his projects recognition in prominent publications and solidifying his reputation as an innovative curator and creative pioneer in the art world.