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Performativity in the Gallery

Staging Interactive Encounters


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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1. Lies, Lies, It’s All Lies I Tell You!


← 10 | 11 →MARY OLIVER

I    Lies, Lies, It’s All Lies I Tell You!

For long periods of the day I sit and I type and I write and I read and I search, and I remember the ‘stuff’ that I used to hold in my hands; graphite, paint, mud, canvas, my body, other people’s bodies. I have started to crave the feelings from my old life, the pre-Cartesian one. I remember the feel of my sister’s arm as I pinched the skin, my daughter’s body as she allowed; needed me, to cradle her. I started to wonder when did it all change, when did it all become so cerebral and why are there not enough hours in the day to read and answer all my emails?

It was 1979 or was it 1980? I was in Essex, I had just broken up with … my hair was … I read Yvonne Rainer’s … and Simone Forte had just … I lost my va … oh! It was in 1979 that I began to see life differently. There was never going to be ‘a job’ – the thing I did from ‘9 till 5’, my parents were never going to understand me and I was always going to fall in love with weird men. To help me contextualize this epiphany for you, I need to jump forward to 1980 when Ingrid Sischy, editor of Artforum, wrote

I believe now it is necessary to face up to the complex and...

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