performance art

Polyclitus. Amazon in Combat (5th C. BC). Photo: Brooklyn Museum

Decadence was brought about by .  .  .  the surfeit of fine art and the love of the bizarre.                                                      Voltaire (1748)
Chris Burden died last month, close to Caitlyn Jenner’s birth on Wikipedia. Timing is everything. Burden gained world fame as a performance artist in the genre’s heyday. Self-wounding was integral to the act. Two years before Bruce Jenner won an Olympic Gold Medal, Burden starred in his own crucifixion. In 1976, he had himself nailed, Christ-like, to the back of a Volkswagon in a performance piece called Trans-Fixed. Continue Reading
Wally Wood. Disneyland Memorial Orgy (1967).

Children were lifting their tunics for each other before pants ever existed. You show me yours, and I’ll show you mine. It is an ancient dare, a forbidden game, played behind bushes, in stairwells, or in rumpus rooms with the door shut. In secret. But when a grown woman plays it by herself in the Musée d’Orsay, under lights, and in full view of other grownups, we know we are not in a playroom anymore. Not even one in Sin City. Continue Reading
One Artist in Search of a Theory

A reader sent me this listing posted yesterday on Craigslist. It came with the simple word “Yikes!” That is about as eloquent as you can get over a post that is almost too forlorn for words. The listing appeared, appropriately enough, all in lower case. Diminished punctuation suits the pathos of the quest:
performance artist looking for an art theorist to coach me on understanding and articulating the intellectual underpinnings of my work. i am looking for someone who follows current art world trends, ideas, themes and artists, especially the recent interest in performance art.
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