Cutting Performances: Collage Events, Feminist Artists, and by James M. Harding

By James M. Harding

"A considerate and interesting contribution to the sphere that might have a sustained and lasting impression at the means feminist functionality is outlined and understood, in addition to on how feminist histories and historiographies proceed to problem and remodel the bigger box of performance."
---Charlotte Canning, The college of Texas at Austin

"Harding forcefully demanding situations and destabilizes the male-centered Eurocentric family tree of the avant-garde, which he claims is an uncontested, linear, positivistic background, unproblematized by way of thought. Then he argues that this gendered biased model of the ecu avant-garde is carried over into American historiography . . . A forceful case for a revisionist history."
---Daniel Gerould, town college of latest York Graduate Center

Cutting Performances demanding situations 4 a long time' worthy of scholarship at the American avant-garde through providing a provocative reconceptualization of the heritage of avant-garde functionality alongside feminist strains. targeting 5 girls artists (Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven, Gertrude Stein, Yoko Ono, Carolee Schneemann, and Valerie Solanas) whose functionality aesthetics made sought after use of university options, James M. Harding sheds mild at the cultural historical past of the avant-garde and the function that experimental girls artists performed in that heritage. He investigates the well-liked place that university process occupied in the artists' functionality aesthetic, and the decisively feminist inflection that their paintings offers to college as a method of avant-garde expression. the novel juxtapositions of their works produce the strong results of constructing the usual unusual and setting up contexts from which new understandings may well emerge.

Harding examines the performative dimensions of university in experimental, feminist redefinitions of the literary, picture, and theatrical arts, filling a void in a scholarly discourse that, whereas ostensibly concerning the forefront, has lagged good in the back of different major theoretical and historiographical currents. Cutting Performances not just demanding situations assumptions that experience ruled scholarship at the American avant-garde but in addition establishes a context to reconsider the historical past of yank avant-garde functionality alongside feminist traces. it's going to entice audiences drawn to theater heritage and function stories in addition to these drawn to the cultural heritage of the avant-garde and the function that feminist experimental artists have performed in it.

James M. Harding is Professor of English on the collage of Mary Washington. His different books contain Not the opposite Avant-Garde: Transnational Foundations of Avant-Garde Performance (with John Rouse); Restaging the Sixties: Radical Theaters and Their Legacies (with Cindy Rosenthal); and Contours of the Theatrical Avant-Garde: functionality and Textuality.

Illustration: Carolee Schneemann in Eye Body-36 Transformative Actions (1963) motion for digital camera (Photograph through Erró). Reproduced by way of permission of Carolee Schneemann.

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Additional info for Cutting Performances: Collage Events, Feminist Artists, and the American Avant-Garde

Example text

47 Feminist Historiographies and Collage Aesthetics A feminist historiography of avant-garde performance thus requires a skillful negotiation. While it needs to focus on the work of experimental women artists, it cannot compartmentalize their work, partitioning it off from their male counterparts. In short, it needs to consider the work of experimental women artists not in a vacuum but as a vanguard that engages and challenges the world around it—a world largely dominated by a climate of male social, cultural, and aesthetic privilege.

8 At the most practical level, the call in Barnes’s obituary for an adequate appreciation of the Baroness’s work is complicated ‹rst of all by the fact that the scope of her artistic endeavors included the literary, plastic, and performing arts and second by the fact that in all of these areas von Freytag-Loringhoven’s work transgressed the boundaries separating the individual arts. Yet whether one attempts a piecemeal assessment of the Baroness’s work along disciplinary lines or a collective interdisciplinary assessment, the one area where her contributions have never received the critical appreciation they deserve is within the realm of performance, and while an assessment of her experimental performance practices would stand on its own, such an assessment is doubly merited because the performance aesthetic governing those practices not only ‹gured as a driving force in all of her work but in her practice of everyday life as well.

But the more important argument is that the appropriation of collage aesthetics for feminist performance only answers Case and Forte’s call in its modi‹ed adaptations of collage, that is, in its enactment of an immanent critique of collage aesthetics. For if collage challenges systems of representation, so too does it—particularly in the spheres of performance—rely on problematic notions like that of found objects for much of its substance. While at one level those found objects bridge the experimental and the everyday, the work of artists like von Freytag-Loringhoven, Ono, and Schneemann repeatedly demonstrates that such objects tend to be shaded with repressive gendered sensibilities rather than being bathed in the light of neutrality or immediacy.

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