This book explores the new performativity in art theory and practice, examining ways of rethinking interpretive processes in visual culture. Since the 1960s, visual art practices - from body art to minimalism - have taken contemporary art outside the museum and gallery; by embracing theatricality and performance and exploding the boundaries set by traditional art criticism. The contributors argue that interpretation needs to be recognised as much more dynamic and contingent. Offering its own performance script, and embracing both canonical fine artists such as Manet, De Kooning and Jasper Johns, and performance artists such as Vito Acconci and Gunter Brus, this book offers radical re-readings of art works and points confidently towards new models for understanding art.
'Among the other contributions are six or so outstanding essays. Best of these have to be Gavin Butt's piece on Larry Rivers' enactment of camp sensibility and Phelan's unveiling of Warhol's accumulated American deaths. Butt and Phelan go a long way to indicating what a genuinely new art history might feel like, performing their subject from the inside in a generous identification that nevertheless resists predictable positions.' - Mark Harris, Art Monthly
'I found ... the articles included in Performing the Body/Performing theText compelling.' - Jennie Klein, A Journal of Performance and Art