Nicole Peyrafitte is a Pyrenean-born multidisciplinary artist whose videos, paintings, writings, singing & cooking are often integrated into multimedia stagings. Her rich, multi-textured and layered work draws on her eclectic background and the experiences of shaping identity across two continents and four languages. The work has been presented and/or performed in such venues as The Metropolitan Museum, the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, The University of Bordeaux, Birbeck College at the University of London, Poets House NYC, The Poetry Project NYC, Cave Poesie Toulouse, France, Wayne State University, Naropa University, Boulder CO., etc. Her latest projects include the documentary film Basil King: Mirage as producer & co-director (with Miles Joris-Peyrafitte), & Bi-Valve, a performance project that includes 17 texts, 14 paintings & 3 Videos. She has authored 2 CDs, The Bi-continental Chowder & Whisk, Don’t Churn (with Michael Bisio, bassist); the DVD Sax, Soup Poetry & Voice, with Pierre Joris & Joe Giardullo, and 3 chapbooks of writings (Ride the Line, The Calendar, & Homage à la Vénus de Lespugue). She has also illustrated & created covers for a number of books by Pierre Joris. Her performance Remember-Reflect-Mark was documented in Emergency INDEX 2011(Ugly Duckling Presse).

“Nicole Peyrafitte is a brilliant and most original performer. Her vocalizations, her songs, her gestures are provocative: both stunningly beautiful and powerfully unnerving at times. She is the chthonic goddess come to tempt you, scare you, transform you. She is in the poetic lineage of Greek tragedy, Café Voltaire antics, of dada and surrealist play but with a post-modern, hip sensibility. I am transfixed when she’s on stage.”


“…Performance artist Nicole Peyrafitte serves up some very interesting sound-scapes and emotional improvisations on her new CD entitled “La Garbure Transcontinentale / The Bi-Continental Chowder”. Alternating between French and English poetics, Peyrafitte attempts to help the listener make the connection that she has made through her heuristic research in America and in France… the Bi-Continental Chowder is a very tasty and imaginative work. With Peyrafitte’s vocal borrowings from Meredith Monk and Yoko Ono and a band that lends credence to her vocal explorations, this CD is definitely recommended for those listeners in need of an ear stretching.”


Artiste multimédia, Nicole Peyrafitte est originaire de Luchon dans les Pyrénées Gasconne du Haut Comminges. Elle vit entre Brooklyn, New York, et le petit village pyrénéen de Bourg d’Oueil.

Nicole Peyrafitte est autodidacte, elle considère que chaque étape de son travail est une tentative de satisfaire un besoin d’apprendre par immersion, plutôt que par digestion ou indigestion. C’est cette quête qui génère aujourd’hui son travail qui incorpore voix, peintures, vidéos, textes, mouvements, musique et souvent cuisine.

Elle se produit aux USA et en Europe.

“Nicole Peyrafitte est une interprète brillante et extrêmement originale. Ses vocalisations, ses chansons, ses gestes sont provocants : à la fois éblouissants, beau et aussi déconcertants.

Elle est la déesse chthonienne qui vient vous tenter, vous effrayer, vous transformer. Elle est dans la lignée poétique de la tragédie grecque, du Café Voltaire, de dada et des jeux surréalistes mais le tout avec une sensibilité post-moderne audacieuse. Quand elle est sur la scène je reste médusée”.



Best Performance Art Venue


Nicole Peyrafitte’s Experimental Cabaret at Tess’ Lark Tavern
453 Madison Ave., Albany. 463-9779.

Yes, we know all about delightfully strange art happenings at iEAR at RPI, but Nicole Peyrafitte’s Experimental Cabaret — held at Tess’ Lark Tavern at 7 p.m. on the second Monday of the month — has been a marvelous boon to thinking-outside-the-box artists, and it’s decidedly more democratic. Since the monthly shows began back in November, Peyrafitte has hosted a wide variety of unclassifiable multimedia performance art — improv poetry ‘n’ dance, PowerPoint ‘n’ stand-up comedy, poetry ‘n’ live jazz, video ‘n’ DJ, whatever. You just never know what you’re going to see and hear — and that’s the beauty of it. Ex Cab is on hiatus for the summer, but Peyrafitte promises to rev things up again for a second season beginning in October.

Best Performance Artist


Watching this poet-vocalist-all-around-artist performing the American premiere of “Bi-Continental Chowder” at Firlefanz Gallery in Albany earlier this year, one audience member was moved to describe the performance as follows: “A French woman with stylist-spiky red hair balanced a brass chime bowl on her head, and while singing a 5,000-year-old Sumarian poem, walked the length of the gallery and back tapping the bowl with a sea shell and a wooden stick. When she returned to the stage, she kept singing, removed the bowl, then stood on her head and while performing various acrobatic leg movements, continued singing the poem until the end. At the same time a large pot of chowder was cooking.”

Now that’s performance art.


Ràdio País (Entervista with Domenja Lekuona, 2004)