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Performativity in the Gallery

Staging Interactive Encounters

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Edited By Outi Remes, Laura MacCulloch and Marika Leino

This book coincides with an increase in the programming of live art elements in many galleries and museums. Traditional art history has, however, been wary of live art’s interdisciplinarity and its tendency to encourage increased formal and conceptual risk taking. Time-based performances have challenged the conventions of documentation and the viewer’s access to the art experience. This book questions the canon of art history by exploring participation, liveness, interactivity, digital and process-based performative practices and performance for the camera, as presented in gallery spaces.
The essays present both academic research as well as case studies of curatorial projects that have pushed the boundaries of the art historical practice. The authors come from a wide range of backgrounds, ranging from curators and art producers to academics and practising artists. They ask what it means to present, curate and create interdisciplinary performative work for gallery spaces and offer cutting-edge research that explores the intricate relationship between art history, live and performing arts, and museum and gallery space.
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Introduction

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This book explores participation, liveness, interactivity, process-based performative practices and performance for the camera and online in interdisciplinary practices in a curated gallery space. Live art and work that combines visual arts with performing arts such as dance and physical theatre have a complicated relationship with the canon of art history. Traditional art history has been wary of live art’s tendency to encourage increased formal and conceptual risk taking and is cautious about its interdisciplinary nature. Time-based performances have also challenged the conventions of documentation and the viewer’s continued access to the art experience.

The book has developed from an academic session organized by the Museums & Exhibitions Members’ Group Committee of the Association of Art Historians (AAH) at the 38th Annual AAH Conference (Open University, Milton Keynes, 2012).1 The group represents the interests of AAH members working in museums and galleries in the United Kingdom and internationally. The group offers funding, advice, news, a network for professionals, and academic and professional practice sessions, often with the aim of fostering collaboration between university academics and museum professionals. The group represents a wide range of practitioners, including art historians, curators, art producers and artists. This richness of art practices and the spirit of interdisciplinary collaboration are reflected in the wide knowledge base of the authors represented in this collection of fourteen essays. The book brings together authors with a wide range of backgrounds, ranging from curators and art producers to academics and practising artists and includes...

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