The Artist's Body (Themes & Movements)

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9780714847016: The Artist's Body (Themes & Movements)
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Subject and object of artists' work, the artist's body represents the state of contemporary art and makes a wider comment on the human condition. Bound or beaten, naked or painted, still or spasmodic: the artist lives his or her art publicly in performance or privately in video and photography; these records form the Works section. Amelia Jones's survey examines the most significant works in the context of social history and Tracey Warr's selection of documents combines writings by artists, critics and philosophers.

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Body art, performance, "Aktionism", Happenings: these are all names for the many late 20th century art forms that have used the artist's own body as the subject and object of the artwork itself. Whether acting out the gestures of painting (Jackson Pollock, Yves Klein, the Gutai group); voguing for the camera (Hannah Wilke, Mariko Mori); subjecting oneself to acts of violence (Chris Burden, Gunter Brus, Gina Pane); displaying acts of athletic prowess and courage (Matthew Barney, Marina Abramovic); or even masturbating under the gallery floor (Vito Acconci), artists since the late 1950s have increasingly used their bodies to subvert, shock and politicise contemporary art. Images of these often extreme, highly unconventional artwork with commentary are accompanied by documents which chart the ideas, their critical reception and the broader philosophical and cultural context which framed them. The introductory survey, by noted expert Amelia Jones, examines chronologically the key artists and works within the social history of their times.

About the Author:

Amelia Jones is Head of Art History and Pilkington Chair at the University of Manchester. Among her numerous publications are Postmodernism and the En-Gendering of Marcel Duchamp (Cambridge University Press, 1994) and Body Art/Performing the Subject (University of Minnesota Press, 1998). As curator, Jones has organized exhibitions including 'Sexual Politics: Judy Chicago's Dinner Party in Feminist Art History' at the UCLA/ Armand Hammer Museum (1996). Amelia Jones is noted for her essays on many artists who centre their imagery on their own bodies, among them Vito Acconci, Chris Burden, Robert Morris and Cindy Sherman.Tracey Warr is an independent British curator and writer. She was previously Lecturer in Fine Art at Oxford Brookes University, Oxford and Researcher in Site-specific Art at the Surrey Institute of Art and Design, Farnham, Surrey (1997-99). A member of the Editorial Board of Performance Research Journal, her projects have included the Edge Biennales in Newcastle/Glasgow (1990) and London/Madrid (1992). She has curated work by artists such as Marina Abramovic, Stelarc and Helen Chadwick. Warr is currently Director of Arts and Cultural Management at Dartington College of Art, Totnes, Devon.

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