Tentatively, Convenience's Reviews > Performance by Artists

Performance by Artists by A.A. Bronson
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it was amazing
bookshelves: art

Having material in here from Vito Acconci, Daniel Buren, COUM Transmissions, & General Idea might be enuf to make this of substantial interest to myself. The COUM article is entitled "Annihilating Reality" & is written by Genesis P. Orridge & Peter Christopherson. An excerpt:

"We found the artworld on every level less satisfying than real life. For every interesting performance artist there was a psychopath, fetishist or intense street individual who crated more powerful and socially direct imagery."

There was a time when I agreed w/ this probably more than not. There was also a time when I valued Malcolm X over Martin Luther King b/c X was more of a criminal - wch I cd relate to more - & b/c King was a Christian - wch I can't much relate to at all. In retrospect, though, I think King accomplished alot more that I value. The point is, the most interesting 'performer' for me is the psychopath who's more in control of themselves than the "psychopath, fetishist or intense street individual" generally seem to be. In other words, what I call the "psychopathfinder".

There's great info in this. There's also the misleading fotos of actions that look much better in bks than they probably were in 'real' life. Ulay & Marina Abramovic exemplify this for me. They have a piece represented called "Imponderabilia" in wch they face each other nude in a hallway that visitors to the space pass thru. The visitors are videoed choosing wch nude body they face as they squeeze thru sideways. Ok, I like this piece - but, for me, it doesn't necessarily stand up to the 'test of time'.

At any rate, I saw them perform at UMBC 25 or so yrs ago & they sat fairly immobile at either end of a table for an hr & a half. That was it. It might've seemed really interesting in a bk w/ 1 foto & a paragraph explanation but it seemed really stupid live. I talked to them afterwards & told them that I worked as an artist's model. They replied that I must, consequently, understand how hard what they did was. But did I tell them that I'd held a pose for as long as 3 hrs & 40 minutes w/o taking a break? Over twice as long as their performance? I wasn't impressed.

This bk, having been published in 1979, represents a very specific era - the era before 'performance art' started to become de rigeur for art students & the like to show off how 'cutting edge' they were. Things were still very fresh & transgressive then. I have a bookmark at pp 256-257. Circled on 256 is a pargaraph about Orlan's performance selling her kisses:

"Jacques Jeannet, the inventor of "Artists' currency" buys 10 kisses from me and pays for them with a piece of paper signed with his name."

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Reading Progress

June 25, 2008 – Shelved
Started Reading
June 28, 2008 – Shelved as: art
June 28, 2008 – Finished Reading

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