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Steven Cohen was born in 1962 in South Africa and lives in Lille, France. He is a performance artist who stages interventions in the public realm and in gallery/theatre spaces. His work invariably draws attention to that which is marginalised in society, starting with his own identity as a gay, Jewish, white South African man. One of his best-known performances is Chandelier(2001/2), in which Cohen, dressed in vertiginous heels and an illuminated chandelier tutu, interacted with residents of a squatter camp in Newtown, Johannesburg, as it was in the process of being destroyed; the work exists as both live performance and video documentation of the public intervention. Chandelier was presented alongside Dancing Inside Outand Maid in South Africa at the Centre Pompidou in Paris as part of the Festival d'Automne in 2008; in 2009, Cohen premiered Golgotha at the Centre Pompidou as part of the same festival, and in 2011 The Cradle of Humankind.
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