In an age when scientists say they can no longer specify the exact difference between human and animal, living and dead, many contemporary artists have chosen to use animals in their work -- as the ultimate "other," as metaphor, as reflection. The attempt to discover what is animal, not surprisingly, leads to a greater understanding of what it means to be human. In Becoming Animal, 12 internationally known artists investigate the shifting boundaries between animal and human.
Art made to attach to buildings or to be given away? Wearable art for street demonstrations or art that sets up a booth at a trade show? This is the art of the interventionists, who trespass into the everyday world to raise our awareness of injustice and other social problems. These artists don't preach or proselytize; they give us the tools to form our own opinions and create our own political actions. The Interventionists, which accompanies an exhibit at MASS MoCA, serves as a handbook to this new and varied work.
Carolee Schneemann is one of the pioneers of performance, installation, and video art. Although other visual artists, such as Salvador Dali and Yves Klein, had used live self-portraiture and performance as a vehicle for public provocation, Schneemann was among the first to use her body to animate the relationship between the world of lived experience and the imagination, as well as issues of the erotic, the sacred, and the taboo.
Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven (1874–1927) is considered by many to be the first American dadaist as well as the mother of dada. An innovator in poetic form and an early creator of junk sculpture, "the Baroness" was best known for her sexually charged, often controversial performances. Some thought her merely crazed, others thought her a genius.
The work of artist Mike Kelley (b. 1954) embraces performance, installation, drawing, painting, video, and sculpture. Drawing distinctively on high art and vernacular traditions, including historical research, popular culture, and psychology, Kelley came to prominence in the 1980s with a series of sculptures composed of craft materials. His recent work offers dialogues with architecture and with repressed memory syndrome, and a sustained inquiry into his own aesthetic and social history. The subjects on which Kelley has written are as varied as his artistic media.
From the moment art historian Leo Steinberg championed his work in opposition to Clement Greenberg's rigid formalism, Robert Rauschenberg has played a pivotal role in the development and understanding of postmodern art. Challenging nearly all the prevailing assumptions about the visual arts of his time, he pioneered the postwar revival of collage, photography, silkscreen, technology, and performance.This book focuses on Rauschenberg's work during the critical period of the 1950s and 1960s.
The artist William Pope.L, who teaches at Bates College in Lewiston, Maine, has been producing some of the most original visual and performing art in America for many years. But it was not until the Acting Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts overturned the recommendations of the NEA's own advisory panel to support this publication and the exhibition it accompanies that Pope.L became the subject of feature articles in the nation's major newspapers. Pope.L became a cause celebre as a result of the scandal, but he deserved to be known long before that.
Art making and criticism have focused mainly on the visual media. This book, which originally appeared as a special issue of TDR/The Drama Review, explores the myriad aesthetic, cultural, and experimental possibilities of radiophony and sound art. Taking the approach that there is no single entity that constitutes "radio," but rather a multitude of radios, the essays explore various aspects of its apparatus, practice, forms, and utopias. The approaches include historical, political, popular cultural, archeological, semiotic, and feminist.
Puppets and masks are central to some of the oldest worldwide forms of art making and performance, as well as some of the newest. In the twentieth century, French symbolists, Russian futurists and constructivists, Prague School semioticians, and avant-garde artists around the world have all explored the experimental, social, and political value of performing objects.
This multivoiced collection of essays and images presents the perspectives of activists, scholars, artists, and curators from a broad range of constituencies. Challenging traditional disciplinary and cultural boundaries, the book moves beyond any unified feminist historical narrative to present a "relational" feminism of diverse communities, affiliations, and practices. The texts/images partake of many genres: reflective essay, testimonial dialogue, performance piece, digital collage, prose poem, and photomontage.