Julie Tolentino

Tolentino creates intimate solo movement-based installations including her time-based durational performances, sculptural endurance events and audio soundscapes.  Since 1990, David Rousseve/REALITY Dance Theater (lead senior member, company tour manager), Ron Athey (co-director, choreographer, performer) and collaborative works with:  Ibrahim Quarishi, Helen Paris and Leslie Hill, Margarita Guergue, Amy Pivar, Ori Flomin, Rob Roth, Vaginal Davis, Jonathan Berger, Stosh Fila and others.  She has performed Alison Knowles’ “Wounded Furniture” in ’07 Fluxus Party, curated by Nick Hallett and Zach Layton, Monkey Town, Brooklyn and presented a remnant sculpture via performance as part of Lovett/Codgagnone’s “Still Here” series at Momenta Art. Video appearances include: Deserter, curious.com; POSITIVE LIFE—Living with AIDS (c. 1993) and HALLELUJAH: A Portrait of Ron Athey with Catherine Gund, Aubin Pictures, New York. She has performed in video works by Barbara Hammer, Tom Kalin, Ella Troyano/Carmelita Tropicana, BITTERSWEET by David Rousseve. as well as music videos of Diamanda Galas, Primus , Madonna, Chaka Khan (choreographer: Donna Uchizono) and Walking with the Dead, c. 1994 – text for John Killacky. She has worked with sound artists: Aldo Hernandez, F100, Bernard Elsmere, Julie Fowells, Deborah Melford, Mark So, Robert Crouch, Johanna Fateman (of MEN and LeTigre). In 2010, she created an artist-to-artist video exploration with Abigail Severance entitled EYE WITNESS,.

Tolentino’s work been presented at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin; Pact Zollverein, Essen, Germany; Studio 303, Montreal, Canada; La Batofar, Paris, France; Participant Inc, Performa05 Biennial, Momenta and Monkey Town Gallery, The Kitchen, Danspace Project, LePerc/BAM, Henry Street Settlement Center, Downtown Arts/Simon Says Festival, NYC, NY; Fierce Festival, Birmingham; Green Room, Manchester; Spill Festival/Visions of Excess, London, UK, Madre Museo, Naples, It; Walker Arts Center, On the Boards, Seattle; Soma Arts, SF; UCLA Center for Performance Studies, LA, CA and  the Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (LACE), Perform Now! Festival, Pieter Performance Space, Mimoda,  and Francois Ghebaly Gallery in Los Angeles. In collaboration with Vaginal Davis and Jonathan Berger, she adapted HONEY (standing) as a living set and durational performance at MOCA in LA in Jan 2011. She is a returning guest artist at the LACE annual Gutted series in Feb 2011.

Her solo projects include the following full-evening and durational performance/installation-based works:  Marks of My Civilization (1992); Butterfly Box #3 (1996); Mestiza: Que Bonitos Ojos Tienes (1998); (Untitled) at Le Batofar, Paris, France (1999);  Pieces of Mind-Mestiza as Landscape (1999) with live DJ Aldo Hernandez ; The Bottom Project (2001); 10 States to Permanent Sleep (2002); For You (2003); A True Story About Two People (2005); LEAD/LED (2005); Stringhead (2008); The Sky Remains The Same (2008-ongoing); Cry of Love-A Labyrinth (2009); Eyewitness (2009); Cry of Love (2010); Raul N Julio (2010) Honey (2010); Untitled (for Tom) – study, 2010.  YOUR UNTITLED MARK UPON ME is her most recent series which investigates portraiture in Manila, Phillippines.  She is also creating a duet with songwriter/icon, Carla Bozulich in a new work entitled:  STORMING.  Tolentino hosts a site-specific opening for the Joshua Tree Art Tours in October and present three evenings of performance by Alex Segrade in Fall 2011.


Currently all works center on the body’s (inevitable) disenegration, the excesses of aging and the body’s attempt at secrecy via hidden texts, history, emotion and memory. Described as ‘highly visual movement meditations’, these physically rigorous works are mirrored on the intimate notion of a guided tour which teases-out  a future imagined, claimed, and etched for and without another.



Julie appeared in Red Hot and Blue’s “Safe Sex is Hot Sex” poster and Gran Fury’s national bus campaign “Kissing Doesn’t Kill” in the early 1990’s. She was highlighted as a Featured Artist in the the national Gay Games ’94 ad campaigns. She appears in Madonna’s SEX Book, as well as editorial pages for OUT Magazine, Visionnaire, The Pink Pages, DIVA, Tetu Paris, Time OutNY, Time Out UK, Curve, Movement Research Journal, Shifter 15 and numerous others.   Her work is frequently included in art and performance journals and conferences worldwide. She will appear in RODARTE’s forthcoming art book shot by Catherine Opie.

She was original founder and creator of the NY Clit Club (1990) as well as early 90’s queer weeklies hosting performance: Tattooed Love Child and Dagger. Tolentino performed at sin-a-matic, Los Angeles; Fetish Ball, Los Angeles; The Altar, The Cock and Pork, NYC and The Schmidt Theater, Hamburg, Germany (Six Sex Weeks). She curated a comprehensive performance video installation at the Film Anthology Archives for the ’99 MIX Gay and Lesbian Experimental Film and Video Festival featuring an international roster of performance artists’ works on video and alternate digital media.

Julie was awarded a Franklin Furnace Performance grant 1999-2000 and international travel support from Arts international in 2000.  FOR YOU (2005) was created in part with support of an ArtsAdmin Bursary (grant and residency) in London, UK and the generous support of Participant Inc. She was awarded a Field Space grant from THE FIELD in New York City in June 2007. She received a 2010 residency at Pact-Zollverein – Essen, Germany and is a recipient of a year CHIME 2010 Grant with Doran George. Most recently, she received funding from ART MATTERS 2010-11 for research/travel to the Phillippines and a Yellow House Fund/Tides Foundation grant for curatorial research and presentation, as well as support for FEEDBACK-IN-PROCESS for Artists series in 2011.

Tolentino has been a member of the advisory board for the Lesbian, Gay Bisexual and Transgender Anti-Violence Project and The New Festival Film Fest in New York City. She is the co-author of the Lesbian AIDS Project’s Women’s Safer Sex Handbook, and was a founding member of ACT UP New York’s House of Color Video Collective.


She is currently co-director, with Ron Athey:  PRAXIS MOHAVE BOOTCAMP FOR PERFORMANCE ARTISTS, a bi-annual ten-day intensive workshop for international artists based in Joshua Tree, California.

She trained in Massage Therapy at the Pacific School of Oriental Medicine in NY. Julie is certified in Thai Medical Massage and is a Watsu® practitioner.  She teaches “Company Class” at Pieter and is available for private yoga, alignment and Eastern-based therapeutic bodywork sessions. She divides time between Los Angeles, New York City and Joshua Tree, California.