Monday, October 27, 2008

(Mainly) Performance Art & Photography

The Sacred and Profane - Joel-Peter Witkin. Mother of the Future (2004). -Seeks to redefine beauty -- seeking unity in the grotesque. -Makes the impossible, possible. Attempting to communicate what is incommunicable. Robert Mapplethorpe Photos - Erotic type photos with a message. Andres Serrano - Piss Christ, 1989. A controversial photo he took, submerged in his own urine. -Many people accusing him of being anti-Christian, where that was not his intent here. "You can't have the sacred without the profane" he says. He wouldn't spend time with christianity if he had no feeling for it. PERFORMANCE, INSTALLATION AND VIDEO in Contemporary Art produce alternative forms of expression and communication, manifesting often in hybrid artistic practices. Artists and viewers become linked to real-time experiences through art. Performance Art, Body Art, Happening, Event:
Live art activity that encompasses elements of theatre and visual art. Origins in the Fluxus Movement of the 1960s and the work of Allan Kaprow. Expanding the boundaries of space and time. Blurring the line between art & life, between reality and fiction.

May have (but not always):

-audience (happening: audience is performer)
-use of body as medium.

Performance/Body Art: Five Day Locker Piece. Chris Burden.
-Artist locked himself in a locker for five days.

“I was locked in locker No.5 for five consecutive days and did not leave the locker during this time. The locker measurements were two feet high, two feet wide, three feet deep. I stopped eating several days prior to entry, thereby eliminating the problem of solid waste. The locker directly above me contained five gallons of bottled water; the locker below me contained an empty five-gallon bottle.” Chris Burden

-In a way shows a way of life, in that we can survive off of minimal needs -- or brings out the things many of us shower ourselves with for comfort in our everyday lives.
-Or simply just pushes the body to extremes.

Chris Burden - Transfixed. 1974.
"In 1974 Burden performed Transfixed in which his body was stretched along the roof of a Volkswagen Bug while a friend drove spikes through his hands nailing him to the car. The vehicle was then driven out into the street where it obstructed traffic. Aside from the strange religious connotations of this piece, the point of Transfixed might have been merely to shock and disturb."

Touch & Tap Cinema, 1968. Still photo documentation.
"Valie EXPORT’s early guerilla performances have attained an iconic status in feminist art history. Tapp- und Tast-Kino ("Tap and Touch Cinema") was performed in ten European cities in 1968-1971. In this avowedly revolutionary work, Valie Export wore a tiny "movie theater" around her naked upper body, so that her body could not be seen but could be touched by anyone reaching through the curtained front of the "theater." She then went into the street and invited men, women, and children to come and touch her."
-She is trying to subvert visual communication by doing this as well, since "seeing the cinema" in this case was done only by touch.
Did work in trying to create and portray woman as the subject rather than the object. She is free to expose her breasts and is no longer confined by social ideas of a woman and of what's right or wrong. Many people though don't believe she was successful in how she tried to portray the message, yet others did - and said she was still in control of her sexuality, even though she was letting many people feel her. She is still the one in control of it.
Joseph Beuys - I Like America and America Likes Me, 1974.

-In this performance and ritual piece he bridges the duality between coyote and shepherd -- shepherd usually drives coyotes away from the domestic animal. In this he attempts to make friends with the coyote rather than drive it away. Spent a week in a room with the coyote. CAROLEE SCHNEEMANN - Up to and Including Her Limits. Uses her body and bodily fluids in her art. Idea of liberating the feminine. Releasing the female body from male attitudes. 1973-76. Performance, live video relay.
-Transforming male desire into feminine experience."I am suspended in a tree surgeon's harness on a three-quarter-inch manila rope, a rope which I can raise or lower manually to sustain an entranced period of drawing– my extended arm holds crayons which stroke the surrounding walls, accumulating a web of colored marks. My entire body becomes the agency of visual traces, vestige of the body's energy in motion."
-Role of the body and the mind in executing these concepts.
-She talks about emancipating herself from male-centric subject matter.

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