Perform“Changes in art are generallyinsignificant unless they involvesome form of cognitive change,and unless they presupp...
Society of Spectacle• “spectacle was a spectacle, a  circus, a show, an exhibition, a  one way transmission of  experience...
“The only performance that makes it, that makes it all the way, isthe one that achieves madness. Am I right? Eh? “Turner (...
Unhinged Performances - critically gone “She stood before me quite naked – or nearly so. Over the nipples of her breast we...
Roots and History  Performance                    5
Off the wall into the space - from passive object of consumption to active body of production• From the 1960’s  onwards th...
The Roots of Performance or Body art “a happening cannot be reproduced” Allan Kaprow                       Yves Klein     ...
Happenings - “a happening cannot be reproduced” Allan Kaprow                                         The happening seeks t...
The gesturing body - Process and Chance                        “here the direct application of                        an a...
The Spectator in time in space• A decisive shift in the role of the  spectator. In typically  Greenbergian modernism the  ...
Key features of Conceptualism•   The dematerialisation of the art object•   Resistance to the art market / to corporate   ...
The ontology of art       Joseph Kosuth remarked that the      ‘purest’ definition of conceptual artwould be that it is an ...
1. The irrational riot of the            body  • Talking dirty in the    institution                           13
• Disinterested, disembodied, transcendental                                               14
“….it can be seen that museums betray, in the smallestdetails of their morphology and their organisation,their true functi...
“The thing is, wisdom has always derogated the body, with its corruptions   and distractions, as a threat to truth.  There...
“The resulting trajectory ofAcconci’s compulsive ejaculationseffected a literal cum-shot in theface of the transcendentcle...
2. The personal is politicalThe ‘threat ‘ of ‘irrational’       female body                         18
19
Carolee Schneemann                                     Interior Scroll“Physical equivalences areenacted as a psychic and i...
Eleanor AntinFaith Wilding “Waiting” 1972                                               Anna Mendieta                     ...
Marina Abramovic     “Rhythm 0”     1974IN “Rhythm O” Abramovic offeredherself passively to spectators, whocould do what t...
Putting myself in the Picture                                “Since 1960 I have been concerned                            ...
Orlan        24
The Performance Audience -  Decentred and Moving Janine Antoni. Loving Care, 1993.   25
Mucho Macho Masochistic      Mutilation                    26
Performance Art -A Serious Business                    Hermann Nitsch                         “Because I live in a        ...
Performance Art -A Serious Businesshttp://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=26R9KFdt5aY&feature=PlayList&p=0FEF07D6133E662B&playnext=...
Criticisms?• Performance art had a  limited impact outside the  university or gallery circuit.  Hermetic.• Constricted by ...
Not so Glum              30
The Laws of Sculptors• 1. Always be smartly  dressed, well groomed  relaxed friendly polite  and in complete control  2. M...
32
Pathetic Performance• The  hysterical,impotent  anti macho ketchup  bloody body in pain                        33
Paul McCarthy Anti Heroic?                34
“the sense of modern masculinityas an extended adolescence draws    on what might be called thefeminisation of masculinity...
“McCarthyeliminates thepossibility ofpsychologicaldistancing oneselffrom what is takingplace; the viewerlaughs and recoils...
Performances Return (Second Wave)90’s…  Reasons for:• The liveness of live art “you had to be there”. In a  mediated cultu...
Still got the power to Shock?                                38
• Aleksandr Brener:• “in the mid 1990’s he tried to copulate  with his wife on a city sidewalk during  frosty weather, and...
Tehching Hsieh(b. 1950, Taiwan)Best known for his five One YearPerformances: between 1978 and1986, the artist spent one yea...
In 1994, Zhang Huan lathered his nude body in honey                                                             For My New...
Body as MetaphorFrancis Alys, When Faith Moves Mountains, 2002                                                  Zhang Huan...
44
45
Inside each of themakeshift boxeswere Chechnyanrefugees seekingasylum in Germany.In Germany it isillegal for immigrantsto ...
“For art to be great art it has to         be serious art”                                47
Hayley NewmanConnotations-Performance Images 1994-98.“Proposing that the use of imagery ‘is antithetical to “real” ‘event’...
‘Tactical Frivolity’                       49                       49
‘Tactical Frivolity’                       49                       49
•ARTIST EATS FOX 2004                            •   OCEAN WAVE II 2003/4•In a private at home performance, Mark ate      ...
•MONKEY NUT 2003•Mark pushed a monkey nut along                                        •   RUNNING TAP 2005the road for 7 ...
EARLESS 2005    McGowan TV Coverage                          Mark pulled a television along the road with                 ...
The Virtues of Being Stupid• The writer Dean Kenning in an article for Art  Monthly argues that McGowan’s ‘idiotic’  perfo...
•“But without any justification for why theseemingly stupid things he is doing should beworthy of the designation (as art b...
• ‘Deploying a politics of subversion,  contemporary anarchist practices  exercises a satirical pressure on the  state in ...
Tino Sehgal  critique is a trap since it also affirms what it criticisesand does not propose a solution to the problem”   ...
Marcus Coates                57
Spartacus Chetwynd •   http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=sp4VR6bzNJk&feature=related   58
What fascinates Chetwynd is how she can amass groups of peopleinto acts of rational absurdity. This is not about humiliati...
Andrea Fraser                                               In an inversion of her familiar role as museum guide, the     ...
Klara Linden               22
Klara Linden               22
Self Reflexive Role Playing for Everyone!“think about the word parenting for God’s sake -try to imagine your grandfather sa...
Top Marks for Realness                     63
“Savoir Etre has replaced savoir faire”“all these people are enticed, nudged orforced to promote an attractive anddesirabl...
Branding the Self                    65
Does it matter what we call  it? Or where we see it?                        66
“to be forever free in the  power, glory, spirituality  and romance, liberated in  the mainstream, critically  gone.”Jeff ...
You’re having a laugh - Leigh Boweryhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SBc7DPu2O5cLeigh Bowery (Sunshine,Australia, 1961 – Lon...
• Ursula Martinez• She sets fire to her tits,  interrogates her parents, re-  defines class, blurs fiction with  reality, cur...
70
70
Fabienne Audéoud & John Russell: The withdrawal from conversation/the return of the Oceanic: the weight of the breast6|9|2...
Some key aspects of Performance• The corrupting force of the irrationality of the bodies drives (desire, sex)  as a counte...
•   An attempt to rethink the relationship between artists, artwork and viewer.    Specifically, as with conceptualism, a ...
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Perform

  1. 1. Perform“Changes in art are generallyinsignificant unless they involvesome form of cognitive change,and unless they presupposesome modification of thoseprocesses of triangulation bymeans of which a spectator, awork of art, and a world ofpractices and referents arelocated relative to each other.”Charles Harrison“Conceptual Art and theSuppression of the Beholder” 1
  2. 2. Society of Spectacle• “spectacle was a spectacle, a circus, a show, an exhibition, a one way transmission of experience. It was a form of ‘communication to which one side, the audience, can never reply; a culture based on the reduction of almost everyone to a state of abject non-creativity, of receptivity, passivity and isolation.’• Christopher Gray ‘Everyone will live in his own Cathedral”: the Situationists 1958-1964
  3. 3. “The only performance that makes it, that makes it all the way, isthe one that achieves madness. Am I right? Eh? “Turner (aka Mick Jagger) in Performance (dir. Donald Cammell and Nic Roeg 1970)
  4. 4. Unhinged Performances - critically gone “She stood before me quite naked – or nearly so. Over the nipples of her breast were two tin tomato cans, fastened with a green string around her back. Between the tomato cans hung a very small birdcage and within it a crestfallen canary. One arm was covered from wrist to shoulder with celluloid curtain rings, which she later admitted to have pilfered from a furniture display in wanamakers. She removed her hat, which had been trimmed with carrots, beets, and other vegetables. Her hair was close cropped and dyed vermilion. “ Baroness Elsa Amelia Jones, Irrational Modernism 4
  5. 5. Roots and History Performance 5
  6. 6. Off the wall into the space - from passive object of consumption to active body of production• From the 1960’s onwards the body burst out of the often idealising (ideological) confines of the picture frame into the physical space of the art gallery. 6
  7. 7. The Roots of Performance or Body art “a happening cannot be reproduced” Allan Kaprow Yves Klein Claus Oldenburg Snapshots from the City 1960Cabaret Voltaire The Spectator in Minimalism The gesturing body
  8. 8. Happenings - “a happening cannot be reproduced” Allan Kaprow The happening seeks to erase the line between art and life, between viewer and maker, between artist and audience. To increase awareness of the latent potential of people to collaborate together across social spaces is its political ‘act’.Claus OldenburgSnapshots from the City1960 8
  9. 9. The gesturing body - Process and Chance “here the direct application of an automatic approach to the act makes it clear that not only is this not the old craft of painting, but it is perhaps bordering on ritual itself, which happens to use paint as one of its materials.” Allan Kaprow 1958 9
  10. 10. The Spectator in time in space• A decisive shift in the role of the spectator. In typically Greenbergian modernism the viewer was taken out of time and space and history - a disembodied eye who was lifted somewhere else. In minimalism the viewers experience of the artwork was concretely tied to the experience of the space as a physical being. A physical self-conscious about looking at the physical objects of Robert Morris minimalism was key. It was a Untitled profoundly different kind of artistic 1965 consumption. 10
  11. 11. Key features of Conceptualism• The dematerialisation of the art object• Resistance to the art market / to corporate buying power. Critique of the institutions of art (museums, critics, dealers):• Investigation of the status of the art object -the ontology of art• A rejection of the myths of modernism - especially in relation to ideas of expression, authenticity (see collaborative practice)• New mediums - the embrace of non conventional forms for artistic communication - text, photography, video, performance- the search for more democratic forms of communicating• A questioning of the social role of the artist artists no longer mute doers• A re-imagining of the role of the spectator - a John Baldessari shift from a passive consumer of aesthetic ‘What is Painting’ objects- to an active reader and interpreter 1968 11
  12. 12. The ontology of art Joseph Kosuth remarked that the ‘purest’ definition of conceptual artwould be that it is an inquiry into the foundations of the concept ‘art’. 12
  13. 13. 1. The irrational riot of the body • Talking dirty in the institution 13
  14. 14. • Disinterested, disembodied, transcendental 14
  15. 15. “….it can be seen that museums betray, in the smallestdetails of their morphology and their organisation,their true function, which is to strengthen the feeling ofbelonging in some and the feeling of exclusion inothers. Everything in these civic temples in whichbourgeois society deposits its most sacred possessions[…] combines to indicate that the world of art is ascontrary to the world of the everyday life as the sacredis to the profane. The prohibition against touching theobjects, the religious silence which is forced uponvisitors, the puritan asceticism of the facilities, alwaysscarce and uncomfortable, the almost systematicrefusal of any instruction, the grandiose solemnity ofthe decoration and the decorum, [..] monumentalstaircases both outside and inside, everything seemsdone to remind people that the transition from theprofane world to the sacred, presupposes , asDurkheim says, ‘a genuine metamorphosis’, a radicalspiritual change…”Pierre Bourdieu“A Sociological Theory of Art’ in “The Pure Gaze:Essays on Art”printed in “The Field of Cultural Production” 15
  16. 16. “The thing is, wisdom has always derogated the body, with its corruptions and distractions, as a threat to truth. There is a foolishness of the body: it’s always liable to the contingencies, myopia and errors of passion, appetite,need. This is why fasting, which is as old as religion itself, is regarded as a technique of seeking proximity to God.When fasting the soul is not being jostled by the seductions and satisfactions of salivating mouths, rumbling bellies, delicious smells, and all devastating invitations to bite, chew, suck and swallow. Food is an enemy of the soul because the mouth and belly couldn’t care less about eternity. ” Dave Beech “Getting Carried Away” Variant issue 1 16
  17. 17. “The resulting trajectory ofAcconci’s compulsive ejaculationseffected a literal cum-shot in theface of the transcendentcleanliness and geometric order ofthe then ascendant aesthetic ofminimalism, tainting the purity ofits precious bodily fluids with hisvenereal discharge. “Douglas Fogle“A Scatological Aesthetics for theTired of Seeing”Chapmanworld catalogue 17
  18. 18. 2. The personal is politicalThe ‘threat ‘ of ‘irrational’ female body 18
  19. 19. 19
  20. 20. Carolee Schneemann Interior Scroll“Physical equivalences areenacted as a psychic and imagisticstream in which layered elementsmesh and gain intensity by theenergy complement of theaudience.” Carolee Schneemann,More than Meat Joy 1979 20
  21. 21. Eleanor AntinFaith Wilding “Waiting” 1972 Anna Mendieta “Rape Scene” 1973 21
  22. 22. Marina Abramovic “Rhythm 0” 1974IN “Rhythm O” Abramovic offeredherself passively to spectators, whocould do what they liked with a rangeof objects and her body. A textOn the wall read “there are seventytwo on the table that can be used onme as desired. I am the object.”Bythe end of the performance all herclothes had been cut off with razorblades, she had been cut, painted,cleaned, decorated, crowned withthorns and had a loaded gun pressedto her head. After six hours theperformance was halted byconcerned spectators. 22
  23. 23. Putting myself in the Picture “Since 1960 I have been concerned with the creation of a formal imagery that is specifically female, a new language that fuses mind and body into erotic objects that are nameable and at the same time quite abstract. Its content has always related to my own body and feelings, reflecting pleasure as well as pain, the ambiguity and complexity of emotions.” Hannah Wilke 23
  24. 24. Orlan 24
  25. 25. The Performance Audience - Decentred and Moving Janine Antoni. Loving Care, 1993. 25
  26. 26. Mucho Macho Masochistic Mutilation 26
  27. 27. Performance Art -A Serious Business Hermann Nitsch “Because I live in a technically civilised world, I sometimes have need to wallow in mud like a pig. ” Otto Muhl 1963
  28. 28. Performance Art -A Serious Businesshttp://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=26R9KFdt5aY&feature=PlayList&p=0FEF07D6133E662B&playnext=1&index=10Chris Burden “Trans-Fixed” 1974 Chris Burden ‘Shoot’ 1971
  29. 29. Criticisms?• Performance art had a limited impact outside the university or gallery circuit. Hermetic.• Constricted by ideas about authenticity, truth, endurance.• Handicapped by a zealous earnestness and moral superiority.• Unproblematic relationship with documentation. 29 29
  30. 30. Not so Glum 30
  31. 31. The Laws of Sculptors• 1. Always be smartly dressed, well groomed relaxed friendly polite and in complete control 2. Make the world believe in you and be prepared to pay heavily for this privilege 3. Never worry assess discuss or criticise but remain quietly respectful and calm 4 The Lord chisels still, so don’t leave your bench for long 31
  32. 32. 32
  33. 33. Pathetic Performance• The hysterical,impotent anti macho ketchup bloody body in pain 33
  34. 34. Paul McCarthy Anti Heroic? 34
  35. 35. “the sense of modern masculinityas an extended adolescence draws on what might be called thefeminisation of masculinity. In this work it is as if the link between hysteria and powerlessness inwomen’s art of the 80’s has shifted to that of the experience of men”John Roberts “Domestic Squabbles” in “Who’s Afraid of red, white and Blue?” edited by David Burrows 35
  36. 36. “McCarthyeliminates thepossibility ofpsychologicaldistancing oneselffrom what is takingplace; the viewerlaughs and recoils atthe same time”Dan Cameron 36
  37. 37. Performances Return (Second Wave)90’s… Reasons for:• The liveness of live art “you had to be there”. In a mediated culture, performance art’s insistence on the particularity of the ‘event’ in space and time is central.• Slow art in a fast culture• Cheap art in an expensive culture (high return on minimum investment - low overheads - cynical). Flexible, strategic, zero drag.• Looking glum is no longer good for ‘serious’ performance ‘business..’. The avant-garde opposition to entertainment, commerce has lost its power and authority. 37
  38. 38. Still got the power to Shock? 38
  39. 39. • Aleksandr Brener:• “in the mid 1990’s he tried to copulate with his wife on a city sidewalk during frosty weather, and on another occasion to give himself a blowjob in public (he failed in both). Elsewhere he attempted to force his way into the Ministry of Defense in Moscow to put slippers on the Minster’s feet; and at the height of the war in Chechnya he pranced around Red Square with boxing gloves, announcing that he was challenging Boris Yeltsin to a fight. Late in 1996, Brener sprayed a dollar sign on Kasmir Malevich’s White Square on a White Background [..] for which he was arrested and imprisoned.”• Brandon Taylor, Art of Today, p.199 13
  40. 40. Tehching Hsieh(b. 1950, Taiwan)Best known for his five One YearPerformances: between 1978 and1986, the artist spent one year lockedinside a cage, one year punching atime clock every hour, one yearcompletely outdoors, one year tied toanother person, and, lastly, one yearwithout making, viewing, discussing,reading about, or in any other wayparticipating in art. Hsiehs finalperformance piece, Thirteen YearPlan, was completed in 1999 after aprocess lasting thirteen years. 41
  41. 41. In 1994, Zhang Huan lathered his nude body in honey For My New York, he wore a suit made of fresh cuts of meatand fish oil and sat down on a roughhewn latrine seat stitched together and strode down Fifth Avenue, releasingin a public bathroom in Beijingʼs East Village art colony, white doves from a cage, a Buddhist gesture ofoffering himself up as a tasty lunch to hoards of compassion.swarming flies and insects.ZHANG HUAN ‘My New York’ 200212 Square Meters1994
  42. 42. Body as MetaphorFrancis Alys, When Faith Moves Mountains, 2002 Zhang Huan, To Raise the Water Level in a Fishpond,Five hundred volunteers attempt to shift a sand 1997.Dune outside Lima, Peru. Forty workers who had gone to Beijing looking for work, were invited to stand in a pond on the city’s outskirts in an attempt to raise the water level. There presence in the pond had no real effect, but alluded to the political potential of mass action 43
  43. 43. 44
  44. 44. 45
  45. 45. Inside each of themakeshift boxeswere Chechnyanrefugees seekingasylum in Germany.In Germany it isillegal for immigrantsto be ;aid for work,consequently theirpresence could notbe announced by thegallery.Their lack ofstatus highlighted bytheir literalinvisibility beneaththe boxes. 46
  46. 46. “For art to be great art it has to be serious art” 47
  47. 47. Hayley NewmanConnotations-Performance Images 1994-98.“Proposing that the use of imagery ‘is antithetical to “real” ‘event’,Newman conceived a work that would subvert the processes bywhich performance works (often attended by very few people) aredistributed to the many through publications consisting ofdocumentary images and accompanying descriptive texts.”Aaron Williamson
  48. 48. ‘Tactical Frivolity’ 49 49
  49. 49. ‘Tactical Frivolity’ 49 49
  50. 50. •ARTIST EATS FOX 2004 • OCEAN WAVE II 2003/4•In a private at home performance, Mark ate • On December 28th 2003 Mark set outa fox which caused widespread controversy. from Peckham in South East London andHe said that he was trying to bring to the attempted to sail 400 miles to Glasgow inattention of people the plight of crackheads. Scotland in a shopping trolley, along theStating that a million people marched for way he collected gifts from Englishfoxes and a million people marched against people intending to hand them out to thefoxes, but what about the crackheads who people of Scotland as a reconciliation foris going to march for them the William Wallace thing. He failed in his attempt after 17 days and 65 miles, due to bad weather conditions and poor equipment.
  51. 51. •MONKEY NUT 2003•Mark pushed a monkey nut along • RUNNING TAP 2005the road for 7 miles with his nose,starting at Goldsmiths College in • In an extraordinary art performance, environmentally conscious artist Mark McGowanSouth London and ending at Number turned on a cold water tap in the House Gallery10 Downing Street where he handed in Camberwell, London and planned to leave it running for one year, wasting 15 million litres ofhis nut in, he was protesting against water. Due to the intervention of Thames Water,student fees. he had to turn it off again after one month. • McGowan said, • ‘Basically it was an art piece for people to come and look at and enjoy aesthetically, it was also a comment on a social and environment issue.
  52. 52. EARLESS 2005 McGowan TV Coverage Mark pulled a television along the road with his ear for six miles from Milan central train http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=0dOA_2T4wtE station to Silvio Burlesconis house, protesting against politicians control of the media.• AUTUMN LEAVES PROTEST 2005• Mark nailed his feet to the gallery wall protesting against leaves.
  53. 53. The Virtues of Being Stupid• The writer Dean Kenning in an article for Art Monthly argues that McGowan’s ‘idiotic’ performances are more ‘political’ and ‘critical’ than the Mark Wallinger’s exemplary ‘hands off’ ‘political work ‘ ‘State Britain’.• In contrast to Wallinger’s critically respectable, ‘serious’ ‘adult’ appropriation of Brain Haw’s protest, McGowan’s various unofficial interventions operate in a ‘childish’ manner which challenges not only the logic of the mass media (he can’t be easily catergorised) but also the critical sensibilities of the art world - primarily through his use of humour and vulgarity, and his inability to align himself successfully with ‘proper’ ‘critical’ art discourse. 53 53
  54. 54. •“But without any justification for why theseemingly stupid things he is doing should beworthy of the designation (as art by an artist) ,he simply takes this category of derision andbarely disguised resentment and flings it back inthe public’s face, but in a way that engagesdialogue literally at street level rather thanrequires the experts to be sent in. This is whyMcGowan is an embarrassment to the artworld:rather than clinging to official discourseas an amulet against presumed mass ignorance,he seems to confirm the common view that artis indulgent nonsense.”•Dean Kenning, Artmonthly 54
  55. 55. • ‘Deploying a politics of subversion, contemporary anarchist practices exercises a satirical pressure on the state in order to show that other forms of life are possible. Picking up on my thoughts about humour, it is the exposed, self-ridiculing and self undermining character of these forms that I find most compelling, as opposed to the pious humourlessness of most forms of vangurdist active nihilism and some forms of contemporary protest’• Simon Critchley, ‘Infinitely Demanding Ethics of Commitment Politics of Resistance 55
  56. 56. Tino Sehgal critique is a trap since it also affirms what it criticisesand does not propose a solution to the problem” 56
  57. 57. Marcus Coates 57
  58. 58. Spartacus Chetwynd • http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=sp4VR6bzNJk&feature=related 58
  59. 59. What fascinates Chetwynd is how she can amass groups of peopleinto acts of rational absurdity. This is not about humiliation, andChetwynd is always a participant in her productions, dressing up asa slovenly bikini-clad minx for her Evening with Jabba the Hutt (inwhich she had re-imagined the infamous slave trader of Star Warsas a pina colada-supping bon viveur), or prancing round as aeunuch in her homage to Meat Loaf. 59
  60. 60. Andrea Fraser In an inversion of her familiar role as museum guide, the short and sweet Little Frank and His Carp, seen at Friedrich Petzel Gallery, finds Fraser in the unaccustomed position of happy museum visitor. Surreptitiously shot at the Guggenheim Bilbao, it depicts an unannounced performance for which Fraser cheerfully strolls through the atrium of Frank Gehry’s building led by the ubiquitous educational tool of the 21st-century museum, the audio guide. Fraser uses the disembodied voice - by turns ingratiatingly celebratory, condescending, sycophantic and authoritative - as a ready-made, a fetish object akin to the TV remote control. Dutifully responding to its emotional cues and manipulative subtexts, Fraser admiringly approaches the abstracted fish-shaped tower at the centre of the hall (which, we are reminded, is a signature of the Gehry mythology). Heeding the blandly eroticized invitation to caress the tower’s walls (’run your hand over them ... feel how smooth it is’), at the video’s climax Fraser yields to what becomes a comically masturbatory performance, stroking the leading edge of little Frank’s over-sized ‘carp’ as well as her own flanks. Much to the surprised amusement of a nearby clutch of art tourists, Fraser renders unto the museum what its audio guide implicitly demands of the ideal cultural consumer: the unquestioned union of the institution and its public.Andrea Fraser Little Frank and His Carp 2001 James Trainor, Frieze issue 66 60
  61. 61. Klara Linden 22
  62. 62. Klara Linden 22
  63. 63. Self Reflexive Role Playing for Everyone!“think about the word parenting for God’s sake -try to imagine your grandfather saying it.” “as soon as our children were old enough to understand any of this, we began to include them. We did it automatically. We let them know that we were making choices. We invited them to share in our self consciousness about our roles in innumerable implicit and explicit ways, some light and humourous, some more serious. And that inevitably meant we invited them to be self conscious about themselves and their roles, as well. “ Mediated, Thomas De Zengotita. 62
  64. 64. Top Marks for Realness 63
  65. 65. “Savoir Etre has replaced savoir faire”“all these people are enticed, nudged orforced to promote an attractive anddesirable commodity, and so to try ashard as they can, and using the bestmeans at their disposal, to enhance themarket value of the goods they sell. Andthe commodity they are prompted to puton the market, promote and sell arethemselves. [..] The test they need to passin order to be admitted to the socialprizes they covet demands them to recastthemselves as commodities: that is, asproducts capable of catching theattention and attracting demand andcustomers.”Zygmunt Bauman, Consuming LIfe, pg. 6 64
  66. 66. Branding the Self 65
  67. 67. Does it matter what we call it? Or where we see it? 66
  68. 68. “to be forever free in the power, glory, spirituality and romance, liberated in the mainstream, critically gone.”Jeff Koons, Artforum, 1987 67 67
  69. 69. You’re having a laugh - Leigh Boweryhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SBc7DPu2O5cLeigh Bowery (Sunshine,Australia, 1961 – London,1994)Leigh Bowery - performanceartist, alternative model,fashion designer, make upartist, contemporary dancer,TV commercial star, artistmuse, club promoter, bandmember, singer, musician,video star and living artinstallation
  70. 70. • Ursula Martinez• She sets fire to her tits, interrogates her parents, re- defines class, blurs fiction with reality, cures homosexuals, gives birth to penises, tells autobiographical stories, deconstructs performance and sings South London suburban flamenco - from high brow to low brow, from spectacle to confessional, from live art to light entertainment, Ursula Martinez produces solo and collaborative performance for theatre, site-specific, installation, cabaret, night club, film, television…… birthdays, weddings and Barmitzvahs! 69 69
  71. 71. 70
  72. 72. 70
  73. 73. Fabienne Audéoud & John Russell: The withdrawal from conversation/the return of the Oceanic: the weight of the breast6|9|20027.30pm • The withdrawal from conversation/the return of the Oceanic: the weight of the breast was one of the most successful live art events ever staged at the South London Gallery. More than 250 people packed the gallery to see the performance in which twenty women, each playing a full professional drum kit and performing topless sustained the performance for 45 minutes. The performers were recruited through live art websites and The Stage magazine on a first come first served basis. 71 71
  74. 74. Some key aspects of Performance• The corrupting force of the irrationality of the bodies drives (desire, sex) as a counter and pollutant of western modernist rationalism. As with much avant gardist work this was an attempt to dissolve the boundary between art and life. To puncture the notion of art as a transcendental separate realm of human experience.• Crucial in this respect was the work of a generation of women artists who both undermined and attacked the power, authority and control of western representations the female body, offering instead their own self created images of the female form.• A switch of emphasis away from the object to the maker. An interest in the process of making work as opposed to the finished object. Part of the broader rejection of making objects - a further instance of the dematerialisation of art. Temporal, ephemeral art that exists only as documentation. Again a move away from the discredited ‘traditional and now ideological tainted forms of painting and sculpture. Performance art was also frequently collaborative; again a further rejection of the classic model of the lone heroic (male) author. 72
  75. 75. • An attempt to rethink the relationship between artists, artwork and viewer. Specifically, as with conceptualism, a desire to invite a far more active and engaged reading and engagement with art. As with minimalism the hope was to create in the viewer a far more self -conscious state where they were aware of the act of looking and interpretation. Unlike minimalism this was predicated on the use of the human form.• As an extension of this, an often overly theatrical use of highly ritualistic, often violent, deliberately transgressive forms, designed to shake the audience out of their perceived apathy and alienation. . As Hermann Nitsch remarked this art as trying to “reach an anaesthetized society”• The importance of photography and video in documenting, recording and distributing the work. 73

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