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Naturally Hypernatural I: Concepts of Nature

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Edited By Suzanne Anker and Sabine Flach

Nature, a topic central to art history, is concurrently a dominant concept in contemporary art, art theory and its related disciplines such as cultural theory, philosophy, aesthetic theory and environmental studies. The project Naturally Hypernatural questions lines of tradition and predetermined categories that coexist with the topic of nature. Currently, nature in art surpasses the simple depiction of art as a material or object. To clarify and analyze the interrelations between nature and art is the aim of the project Naturally Hypernatural. Concepts of Nature – the first volume of this project – argues that contemporary art is predominantly concerned with concepts of nature regarding the depth of their implications in order to reveal and analyze their internal structure.

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Significant Other

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GARY SHERMAN

Significant Other was a semi-autobiographical performance that was conceived as a reflection on the nature/nurture continuum. The performance was divided into six, four-minute constituent parts or actions and was loosely structured as a wedding processional.

The first action involved staging. The auditorium at the Kunsthaus Graz was set with two groups of chairs on either side of a broad central aisle. The chairs faced the aisle so that members of the audience were obliged to confront the gaze of their counterparts across the way. Cards printed with oppositional terms that corresponded to the actions in the performance were located at the entrance of the auditorium.

The second action of the performance commenced casually with no activity, just silence to heighten the audience’s consciousness of being both viewer and viewed, both subject and object.

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