“ I was using my body as a piece of material and manipulating it. I think of it as going into the studio and being involved in some activity. Sometimes it works out that the activity invloves making something, and sometimes the activity itself is the piece.” Bruce Nauman 1965
Bruce Nauman Self portrait as a Fountain 1966-7
VITO ACCONCI In 1969, already a published poet, Vito Acconci made his first visual artworks by combining photographs with texts to document task-oriented activities that he performed specifically for the lens. In Grasp (1969), he acknowledges the archival capabilities of photography—"camera as grasp, photo as storage"—but foregrounds the performative act of picture taking, of physically seizing an image.
Body, Sexuality, Gender Interior Scroll 1975 “ I thought of the vagina in many ways – physically, conceptually: as a sculptural form, an architectural referent, the sources of sacred knowledge, ecstasy, birth passage, transformation. I saw the vagina as a translucent chamber of which the serpent was an outward model: enlivened by it’s passage from the visible to the invisible, a spiraled coil ringed with the shape of desire and generative mysteries, attributes of both female and male sexual power. This source of interior knowledge would be symbolized as the primary index unifying spirit and flesh in Goddess worship” - cs
Courtesy the Smart Museum Adrian Piper: The Mythic Being Through December 10. Smart Museum , 773/702-0200. In 1973 conceptual artist Adrian Piper, a woman of mixed black-white racial heritage, created an alternate persona called the Mythic Being. Donning an Afro wig, sunglasses, and a mustache, she documented how she and others responded to the character
Marking her first explorations in spontaneous and unannounced performance, in 1970, Piper embarked on her seminal Catalysis series in which she physically transformed herself into an odd or repulsive person and went out in public to experience the frequently disdainful responses of others. These explorations into xenophobia involved such activities as covering her clothing with sticky, wet paint while shopping at Macy's. Though photographs are all that remain of the Catalysis series, the work itself focused on the interaction between the artist and the public, and more specifically, on the reaction of the individual to Piper's presence.
Courtesy the Smart Museum Adrian Piper: The Mythic Being Through December 10. Smart Museum , 773/702-0200. In 1973 conceptual artist Adrian Piper, a woman of mixed black-white racial heritage, created an alternate persona called the Mythic Being. Donning an Afro wig, sunglasses, and a mustache, she documented how she and others responded to the character This work is one of the first examples of "the indexical present," a highly effective (yet commonly criticized as confrontational) technique that Piper uses to situate the work in the immediate present and create a direct relationship to the viewer by the use of words like "I," "You," "Here," and "This," instead of "We," "There," etc
In the late 1960s, Piper was influenced by artists such as Sol LeWitt, Vito Acconci, and Yvonne Rainer, and much of her work was based on Conceptual art Piper's primary intention was to evoke a spontaneous response from an unknowing audience. For The Mythic Being , Piper took on the persona of a young, black male and went to public sites to experience attitudes and responses toward this socially contested figure, described best in the title of one of the series, I Embody Everything You Most Hate and Fear (1975 The Mythic Being
Orlan – “Carnal Art” A series of nine cosmetic surgical operations were performed as art between 1990 and 1993 . “ “ she has chosen to reconstruct herself using some of the more beautiful images of female beauty from the history of western Art rather than relying on media images of supermodels as sources of inspiration.”
“Instead of making her nose smaller she intends to enlarge it as much as possible”
“ Orlan’s art raises many questions regarding current ideals of feminine beauty and the anxieties such ideals impose on men and women alike As we all current live in a society obsessed with unattainable youth and perfection.”