Thursday, 02 March 2023 11:51

Interview with Dan Fishback (2016)

Interview with Dan Fishback (2016) HIDVL
"Performance is the failure of language" was the advice that Dan Fishback received when faced with a disconnect between his anti-war columns and the hate speech that soon targeted him. During a conversation with Marlène Ramírez-Cancio at the Hemispheric Institute—2 weeks after the 2016 election—Fishback recounts a moment where he found himself laughing at the absurdity of Zionist organizations tacitly supporting antisemitism, soon turning his laughter turn into tears. He thought, "There must be a Yiddish word for this." And there is: "lakhn mit yashtsherkes" (laughing with lizards). In this context, Fishback discusses his past work and his pedagogy as an activist and artist, combining his love of activist journalism, rock music, and performance art.


Dan Fishback has been making theater and music in New York City since 2003. As director of the Helix Queer Performance Network, he organizes public events, teaches workshops, and curates the annual series La MaMa’s Squirts. His musical "The Material World" was named one of the Top Ten Plays of 2012 by Time Out New York. Other works include "thirtynothing" (2011) and "You Will Experience Silence" (2009). As a singer-songwriter, Fishback has released five albums, both solo and with his band Cheese On Bread, with whom he has toured Europe and North America. Much of his work is influenced by anti-war themes. He has received grants from the Franklin Furnace Fund, the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the Six Points Fellowship for Emerging Jewish Artists, and has been a resident artist at Kelly Writers House, the Hemispheric Institute of Performance & Politics, Dixon Place, MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center and BAX/Brooklyn Arts Exchange, which has supported all of his major work, in some form of another, since 2010.


Permanent URL:

Additional Info

  • TItle: Dan Fishback Interview
  • Date: November 21, 2016
  • Location: (Hemi Office) New York, New York
  • Interviewee: Dan Fishback
  • Interviewer: Marlène Ramírez-Cancio
  • Duration: 2:03:14
  • Language: English