The Explicit Body in Performance

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 1997-01-24
  • Publisher: Routledge
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What happens when a body is presented as a stage, and dramas unfold across it--is it Performance Art or pornography?The Explicit Bodyexamines the controversial and often shocking issues which surround the use of the female body in performance art. Since the early 1960s, women in performance art have worked to "liberate" the female body from the confines of patriarchal delimitation. By the late 1980s and early 1990s, the clash of the rubrics "porn" and "art"' manipulated by female artists worked to complicate the already embattled debates about the terms of that liberation. Schneider tackles topics which include the "post-porn modernist movement", censorship by the New Right, primitivism, commodity fetishism, and the link between the modern prostitute and the postmodern performance artist. Among the many artists discussed are Karen Finley, Spiderwoman Theatre, Carolee Scheemann, and Annie Sprinkle. Theoretically sophisticated, trenchantly argued and elegantly written,The Explicit Bodywill be illuminating reading for students and teachers of performance studies, women's studies and cultural studies as well as practitioners of performance art.

Table of Contents

List of plates
Introductionp. 1
Binary terror and the body made explicitp. 12
Re-vamping the ghosts of modernismp. 21
Beside herself: postmodern artists and modern whoresp. 28
Eye/Body: Carolee Schneemann beside herselfp. 32
Logic of the twister, eye of the stormp. 43
Impasse: unnatural actsp. 46
Twister: looking into looking outp. 52
Permission to seep. 66
Gender in perspective: have we really gone beyond?p. 67
Refusal to vanishp. 71
Castration anxiety in perspectivep. 77
Ghostly horrors: looking at the past, seeing through the bodyp. 83
The secret's eyep. 88
No accident: commodity bodiesp. 92
Embodying disembodimentp. 97
Radical sex activism, satiability, and the commodityp. 104
Two-way streetwalkersp. 107
Explosive literalityp. 114
Literal shrouds and dreamscape re-intermentsp. 117
After us the savage goddessp. 126
Seeing back throughp. 126
Primitive techniquesp. 130
Dark continence: reading the thrall and the threatp. 134
Dark incontinence: Ubu Roi and savage primitivismp. 138
Dada's big drum: primitivism and the performativep. 141
Hard primitivism, base matter, and the blindspotp. 145
Literal primitivesp. 149
Seeing the big showp. 153
First, a story about doubt that includes a reverberationp. 153
White nostalgia, authenticity, and the split subjectp. 159
Spiderwoman: the early daysp. 163
Vigilant repetitions, the comic turn, and counter-mimicryp. 168
The irruption of "real stuff" and the politic of sacralityp. 172
The irruption of grandmothers and the reality of dreamsp. 173
Epilog: returning from the deadp. 176
Notesp. 185
Works citedp. 213
Indexp. 225
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

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