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"Presence" in absentia Performance Documentation as Experiencing Amelia Jones I was not yet three years old. when Carolee Schneemann performed Meat Joy at the Festival of Free Expression in Paris in 1964. video. perhaps not) laden with personal feelings and conflicts involving the artist as a friend (or not. 1976. in the words of the editor. Gina Pane cut her arm to make blood roses flow (Sentimental Action). I can write about her or his work in (I hope) revealing ways. Relation in Space. neither has a privileged relationship to the historical "truth" of the performance (more on this below). I was thirty years old-then I began to study performance or 1991-when body art1 from this explosive and important period." This agenda forces me to put it up front: not having been there. once I get to know someone. I approach body artworks through their photographic. 1). textual. fifteen (still in North Carolina. such relaif they are not positive-increase tionships-especially ART JOURNAL . I am in the slightly uncomfortable but also enviable position of having been generously included in this special issue. as a sort of oral history. ten when Valie Export rolled over glass in Eros/Ion in Frankfurt. completely unaware of any art world doings) when Marina Abramovic and Ulay collided against each other in Relation in Space at the Venice Biennale in 1976 (fig. three when Yoko Ono performed Cut Piece in Kyoto. That is. I have been accused on the one hand (by art historiof not caring enough about "the archive" and artistic ans) 11 FIG. that the problems raised by my absence (my not having been there) are largely logistical rather than ethical or hermeneutic. in Milan. entirely through its documentation. intentionality (why didn't I "get to know" Acconci before writing about his work so I could have a "privileged" access to his intentions) and on the other (by artists) of not placing their needs or perceived intentions above my own intuitions and responses. nine when Adrian Piper paraded through the streets of New York making herself repulsive in the Catalysis series. however. Once I know the artist well. the issue is based on the premise that one had to be there-in the flesh. 1 Marina Abramovic/Ulay. as it may have come to mean in its original and subsequent contexts). Furthermore. eight when Vito Acconci did his Push Ups in the sand at Jones Beach and Barbara T. to have any sense of clarity about her or his work historically speaking (that is. but ones that are (perhaps usefully. I would like to argue. and/or film traces. as noted. as the case may be). oral. I was asked to provide a counternarrative by writing about the "problematic of a person my age doing work on performances you have not seen [in person]. while the experience of viewing a photograph and reading a text is clearly different from that of sitting in a small room watching an artist perform. Smith began her exploration of bodily experiences with her Ritual Meal performance in Los Angeles. Performed at Venice Biennale. living in central North Carolina. as it were-to get the story right. twelve in 1973 when. At least for me personally I find it impossible. Presented.

speWINTER 1997 . While the live situation may enable the phenomenological relations of flesh-to.and what. throughthe memoryscreen. the audience may have a deep . All of tion . refusing the fetishizing process. subjectivities that are always already intersubwriting about the work without becoming entrappedin the jective as well as interobjective.firstperformedin 1975.2To the point..rative text to the audience. normative.body. and they quiet. As I know persistence of line moving into space. who experiencedthis Performingthe Subject(forthcoming Minnesota Press).The logistical problemsare many:obtainingthe doc. on a certain level she may look at yourfilms /. as it has been elsewhere. multiplied. which extends "exquisite too can look back and evaluate them with hindsight (the sensation in motion" and "originates with .sexism built into this fantasy. I argue this by reading her work7-how can I speak of its disruptionof thefetishizthis transfigured subjectivity throughthe worksthemselves ing effects of "static depiction"? I "know"this movement the works as documentary traces. I will argue here that this specificity should not be privileged over the specificity of knowledges that develop in relation to the docu. and this through the stutteredsequenceof pictures. become documentary in their own right).of paperfrom her vagina ("like a tickertape . "hasa value that static depiccussion of the ontology of performanceor body art. the fragile same might be said of the performerherself).ment of subjectivity (which coexistsuneasily with her simulformance or body art from a historical distance through a taneous situation as a picture of desire). colonialism. postwork. still and flesh"..pulling the sessesgenitals.. these often vagina as "a translucentchamber")with its mobileexterior. I will sketch out the problematicof experiencing per. Schneemannthenpulled a long. thin coil forming. in Thefemale subjectis not simplya "picture" Schneeperformances as enacting the dispersed. with breakingdown the distancing effect of modfrom the University of ernist practice. consequently. I insist that artists' usually fascinating but sometimes intellectually it is precisely the relationship of these bodies/subjects to and emotionally diversionaryideas about what the work is documentation (or. racism. become more meaningful when reappraisedin later years. representation won't carry". in grated the occluded interior of the female body (with the particular.as Schneemannargues. we cannot look at / the personal clutfind it more difficult to comprehend the histories/narra. retrospectively. I sit. getting photographsto study always already in relation to the world of other objects and and reproduce without blowing one's tiny bank account. through the tiny (specifically: goes even for those events I also experienced "in the fragment of performance on the videotape. and so forth. why she is per. how can I. and feel the movementpulse from picture to picture.12 the logistical difficulties of writing and publishing on the cific subjectivities of the late capitalist. she this material forms the backbone of my book Body Art/ has said. and heterorespectful of the specificity of knowledges gained frompar. to re-presentation) that most profoundlypoints to the dislocation of the fanta(or was) about. Part of this text read as follows: texts for a particular performance. she is concerned. Either way.including body art.In InteriorScroll. plumb line mance to mean." Schneemann intefrom my own experience of "the real" in general and. when she ty.3 unrolling it to read a nargrasp of the historical. classism. that sy of the fixed. Schneemann perflesh engagement. and they are nonmale.she "intends"this perfor. live performances in recent years. The performative series of case studies. he said live performancemay seem to have certain advantages in we arefond of you / you are charming/ but don't ask us / to understandingsuch a context. Coveringherface and body nothing at all about who the performeris.. social. which argues that body art instantiates workfirst through a series of black-and-whitephotographs the radical shift in subjectivity from a modernistto a post. subjects.centered modernistsubject and there is no possibility of an unmediatedrelationshipto any thus most dramaticallyprovides a radical challenge to the kind of cultural product.Case Interior Scroll. . Either way. It is my premise here.througha dissatisfyinglyshortclip in a video compilationof ism informed by phenomenology.the documentary exchange(viewer/reader formed herselfin an eroticallychargednarrativeof pleasure <->document) is equally intersubjective. AlthoughI am masculinism.in strokesof paint. more specifically. Making use of a feminist poststructural. I view these. the that works against the grain of the fetishistic and audience for the workmay know a great deal or practically scopophilic"malegaze" (fig.1975 Study1: CaroleeSchneemann's mentary traces of such an event.ter / the persistence of feelings / the hand-touch sensibilitives/processes she is experiencing until later.published in Schneemann's More Than Meat Joy. . While the viewer of a "I met a happy man.."4 Through this action. which will be interwovenwith a dis. I read body art along the slick surfaceof the magnetic tape..6And yet. ticipating in a live performancesituation.5 Movementsecures Schneemann'smomentaryattainpast togetherinto a manageablepicture. postcolonial.modern era: subjectivities that are acknowledged to exist umentation that is available. ... then modernist mode. 2). political. and personal con. / a structuralist filmmaker . the umbilicus and tongue").. We "invent"these patterns. which requires that the it is hard to identify the patterns of history while one is woman not expose thefact that she is not lacking but posembedded in them.

She is both signifier and that which is signified. InteriorScroll? Would have beenable to in I experience her sexed subjectivity more "truthfully"had I been there (to smell andfeel the heat of her body)? One of the major conceptual and theoretical issues highlighted by body art as performance(which in this way. Interior Scroll. Thus."1? I have already made clear that I specifically reject such conceptions of body art or performanceas delivering in an unmediatedfashion the body (and implicitly the self) of the artist to the viewer. Perhaps even more to the point than O'Dell'ssuggestive observations is Peggy Phelan'sinsistence on the way in which the body-in-performance puts forwardits own lack: Performance uses the performer'sbody to pose a question about the inability to securethe relation betweensubjectivity and the body per se. Performance is about the 'real-life' presence of the artist. fleshy whole that rests outside of the arena of the symbolic.The representationalaspects of this work-its "play within the arena of the symbolic" and. in a continually negotiated exchange of desire and identification.Body art. its dependence on documentation to attain symbolic status within the realm of culture-expose the impossibility of attaining full knowledge of the self 13 FIG. Schneemann plays out the ambivalence of gendered identity-the fluidity of the positions of "male"and 'female. but a deeply constituted (and neverfully coherent) subjectivity in the phenomenological sense." which is then presumably experienced directly by the audience. in the early 1970s." Most early accounts of these practices made heroic claims for the status of performance as the only art formto guaranteethe presence of the artist. information And. 1975. I would add. Was(or. dynamically articulated in relation to others(including me. or looking at a painting that was made as the result of such an action.. Catherine Elwes argued that performanceart "offers women a unique vehicle for making that direct unmediated access [to the audience]. 2 Carolee Schneemann. By "speaking" her "spokenness" already and integrating the image of her body (as object) with the action of making itself. The art historian Kathy O'Dell has trenchantlyarguedthat. . in 1975 Ira Licht triumphantly proclaimed that bodyworksdo away with the "intermediary" mediums of painting and sculpture to "deliver . is closely linked to the contemporaneous movements of Minimalism and Conceptualism). while Cindy Nemser described the "primarygoal of body art"as "bring[ing]the subjective and objective self togetheras an integratedentity."8 Rosemary Mayerclaimed body art to be a direct reflection of the artist's life experiences. . Body art.is) there anything more "present"than Schneemann."" Having direct physical contact with an artist who pulls a scroll from her vaginal canal does not ensure "knowledge" of her subjectivity or intentionality any more than does looking at a film or picture of this activity. performanceuses the body toframe the lack of Being promised by and through the body-that ART JOURNAL . Schneemann plays out the oscillatory exchange between subject.in her seeminglyfully revealedsexual subjectivity.. directly throughtransformation. here and now in my chair). through bodily proximity. is that of the ontology of the art "object.surfaces the insufficiency and incoherence of the body-as-subject and its inability to deliver itself fully (whetherto the subject-in-performance her/himself or to the one who engages with this body).mann's scenario.and objectivity." subjectand objectas we live gender in post-Freudian culture. shows that the body can never "be known 'purely' as a totalizable. through its very performativity and its unveiling of the body of the artist. among others. precisely by using their bodies as primarymaterial. finally. betweenthe masculine position of speaking discourse and the feminine position of being spoken.for that matter. body or performanceartists highlight the "representational status" of such work ratherthan confirmingits ontological priority. Nothing stands between spectator and performer.9 More recently.

Within the modernist logic of formalism.) that would guaranteeits plenitude as an unmediated repositoryof selfhood. When understood in its full open-endedness. The "unique" body of the artist in the body artworkonly has meaning by virtue of its contextualization within the codes of identity that accrue to the artist's body and name. front and center. Seemingly acting as a "supplement"to the "actual" of the artist-in-performance. 3). film. in fact.''17 vis-a-vis Kusamaplays on her "doubledotherness"18 Americanculture:She is racially and sexually at odds with the normative conception of the artist as Euro-American (white) male. Kusamasticksout like a sore thumb:thereshe stands. both the visible of the self and its endless deferral. . (Intentionally? had I been therefor herpublic "perWouldI have "known" In a portraitof artistswho participated formances"of self?) in the 1965 Nul exhibitionat the StedelijkMuseum.and text documentingit for posterity-announces the necessity of "an infinitechain.. that body art practices are never unequivocally anti. 1960 Thereshe is. is a "terrifying menace" in its indicationof absence and lack but also "the firstand surestprotection. The supplementarity of the body corruptsthis logic. is thought to be instantiatedby the workof art and vice versa). its supplementarityhidden fromview. This is why it cannot be given up.. againstthat very menace.the video and other visuals within the piece. and the persona that cultivated/was cultivatedby them is what engendersthe usual terse assessment[in art discourse]of Kusama as 'problematic.Kusamaexacerbatedit. as fundamentally lacking in the self-sufficiency (claimed by Elwes et al.c. this body is not self-sufficient in its meaningfulnessbut relies not only on an authorial context of "signature" but on a receptive context in which the interpreteror viewer may interactwith this body. I argue in my book on body art. "proof' Jacques Derrida has provocativelyargued. The formalist insists upon the "disinterestedness"of his interpretations and such disinterestedness requires a pure relation between the art object and its supposedly inherent meaning (embedded in its "form. the photograph of the body body art event or performance could.however. live performance makes this contingency." the spoken narrative. the body must be seen as an unmediated reflection of the self whose presence guarantees the "redemptive" quality of art as activism.for the spectatorthe performance spectacleis itself a projectionof the scenarioin which her own desiretakesplace. always already inscribed there the space of repetitionand the splittingof the self."14The sequence of supplements initiated by the body art project-the body "itself."'5 Derrida'sinsight explains the equivocal position of the body in modernist and postmodernist art discourse..13 Body art flaunts the body itself as loss or lack: that is. heavily made-up phallus-as-sign-of-male-privilege): in the style of the 1960s. highly pronounced and obvious since the body's actions can be interfered with and realigned according to spectatorialbodies/subjects on the register of the action itself. Ratherthan veil the 'fact" of her difference(s) confirmedby the visible evidencereg(seeminglyirrefutably isteredby her body). Asianfemale body. however.. this photograph "is only one of many that highlight [Kusama's]naked.which cannot appearwithouta supplement..16body art performancesexacerbate the body's supplementarityand the role of representationin momentarily securing its meanings throughvisible codes signaling gender. and the body-inperformance. of immediatepresence.the intersubjectivityof the interpretive exchange. Thus. documents of the body-inperformanceare just as clearly contingent. Am I an object?Am I a subject?Kusama continuesto perform these questions in the most disturbingly direct of ways.is fully dependent on the ways in which the image is contextualizedand interpreted.The supplement. long black hair.or postmodernistand certainly not guarantors presof ence. its delivery of the body/subject of the artist directly to the viewer. photograph. be said to as expose the body itself as supplementary.12 Body art can thus be said to dislocate the modernist assumptionof authorialplenitude (wherethe author." Derrida notes that "the indefinite process of supplementarity has always already infiltrated presence."to be excavated by the discerning interpreter).. the video. or originaryperception. which veils the body of the artist to occlude its supplementarity (such that its transcendence-its masculinity-seems obvious and natural). she sports high heels.. These photographs. Unlike formalist modernism. ineluctably multiplyingthe supplementarymediations that producethe sense of the very thing they defer:the mirageof the thing itself. and polka dots coveringher bareflesh (fig.whose body is veiled but nonetheless implicitly male. performance marksthe body itself as loss. almost all male Euro-Americans (dressedin suits)19 her tiny bodyswathed in a glowing white silk kimono.in that the meaning that accrues to this action. posing herselfin 1993.Amsterdam. the body of the WINT' 14 artist and of the interpreter-in its impurity-must be veiled. For the nascent postmodernistssuch as Nemser and Elwes who wish to privilege performanceor body art as antiformalistin its merging of art and life. dressedin polka-dottedfabric on a polka-dotted floor in front of a mirror reflecting a . enacting herselfas pinup on one of her vertiginous landscapes of phallic knobs (woman-as-phallusmeets naked. Immediacyis derived. The play of substitutionfills and marks a determined lack. As Kris Kuramitsu has argued. race. and other social markers..among a predictablybourgeoisgroup of white. . Case Study 2: Yayoi Kusama'sSelf-Portrait Photographs.

.as "proof' of the fact that a ity ("self-obliteration").confirming-even exacerbating-the supplementarity of Obliteration). . ..?. the body itself. the body-as-presence. The pictures of Performance.although many have relied on camouflageshifting her into the realm of potential invisibil. -.. Stiles. points ART JOURNAL . 1962.. her such a dependence is founded on belief systems similar to takes place as representation(pace Warhol.Now. who has done primaryresearch on the artist. Sayre opens his first chapter with the nowsuicidal self-mutiKusama are deeply embeddedin the discursivestructureof mythical tale of Rudolf Schwarzkogler's "20 lation of his penis in 1966. ."proof' in her critique of Henry Sayre'sbook The Objectof nance for women and people of color. Predictably. ..` it.in fact desires)or artist (masterof intentionality)..in particular..body art depends on documentation. a story founded on the ideas informingher workthat is her "author-function. Self-Portrait.- ~- ~ ~ ~ ~ - ~ ~ ~ r.the photograph. ?. polka-dottedwall (her installation MirrorRoom and Self.Kristine Stiles has brilliantly exposed the of the artist as belovedobjectof the art world'sdesires). her pose and garb removeherfrom us. 3 Yayoi Kusama.. ~~~~~~~... Either way. ~ 't 15 FIG. those underlying the belief in the "presence" of the body"'performance" she'son to the role of documentationin securingtheposition in-performance...she dangers of using the photographof a performativeevent as the of comprehends "rhetoric the pose" and its specificreso. circulation of a number of "documents" showing a male Rather than confirmingthe ontological coherence of torso with bandaged penis (a razor blade lying nearby). She still can't decide whether she specific action took place or as a marketable object to be wants to proclaimherselfas celebrityorpin-up (objectof our raised to the formalistheight of an "art"photograph.

one of the effects of Sprinkle'smerging of "sex work" relation.) Handing each spectatora Rosalind Krauss has recognized the philosophical flashlight to highlight the dark continentof thefemale sex." WINTER 1997 . film. The mutual supplementarity of the body and the subject (the cervix-viewing portion of Sprinkle'sperformance also. is the image of Sprinkleas acting the this piece. Sprinkle's performanceof self points to the always as with "artwork"is the collapsing of class distinctions(from already mediatednature of embodiedsubjectivity well as lower-classwhore/pornstar to the cultural cachet of artist). the sexual pleasurethat gives this subjectivity "life. to view Sprinlogical "anchor"of its indexicality.performed overthe last severalyears."25 the contingency of aesthetic codes.infact. is not even of She has also transformed pornographic her film career. in this particularscene distilled be through its documentation? (Note: I've also ingrained to the organs of her sex. both Looping back to Schneemann's self-exposure of the labor to "substitutethe registrationof sheer physical pres. into my memory by viewing subject.developedand structionof a wholly fictive space.female sex.26 she has performed in art venues as a whore/performer relationto us in such a way as to reclaimher own "look"(the still turnedart/performer. The most explosivemoment gency argumentthat the shift marked by performanceand body occurswhen Sprinkledisplays her cervix to audience memart is that of the "site of presence" from"art'sobject to art's bers:she opensher vaginal canal with a speculumand beckto audience.) having seen and spokento her than I would have beenotherphotographs. rather.she can situate herselfin at performance Franklin Furnace in New York.29 WhileSprinklecan't illustrateherselfas with her 1985 participation in Deep Inside Porn Stars.movof another artist (Heinz Cibul. Case Study3: AnnieSprinkle. with "clients"to seduce and plea. as material "object" in the world.her Post Post Porn Modernistperformance. this momentof display explodesthe conventionence for the more highly articulated language of aesthetic al voyeuristicrelation that informsthe aesthetic (wherethe And yet. one senses. She has beenprofessionally trainedto do so. seems to confirm LyndaNead's terms." It operatesas/through representancedfrom/seducedby its embodiedeffectsjust as I would tation. two as different kinds of indexicality. in the photograph." experienceher own self-display. in their failure to female body is represented "lacking"objectof male viewas conventions. Or does it "arouse"?Sprinklecertainly knowshow to event needs the photograph to confirm its having happened. Sprinkle'ssex looks back: the subjectof viewing is 1990-93 confrontedby the "eye"/"I"of thefemale sex. videotapes. including the paradoxically invisible. ") him to ignore what Stiles describes as "the contingency of most incendiaryperformativeact is part of Sprinkle's the documentnot only to a formeraction but also to the con. precisely its new destabilized siting in reception."even while he acknowledges photography and videotaping. both per.one who proffersher body regularly on the art and pornogvious "real" event (in Barthesian terms.the body/self is most directly "given"and thereof a particularsubject and a particularaction)22 leads yet neverreally "there. if only momentarily. thepiece includesseverthat Sayre's book attempts to address through his al differentnarrativesegments. Annie Sprinklemovedinto the art world wise: She (re)presents herselfto me as I sustain myself in a a function of desire.21 about mediation.female genitalia. (The body art and wholeness. Sprinkle'spresentation "moves its significance as "human").ing into the productionof self-help/"art"videoson female Schwarzkoglerbut. It is difficult. in other versions. The presentationof the self-in perfor.gaze of her cunt). dominating gaze of Post Post PornModernist. workis nothing if not ka) who posed for Schwarzkogler's entirely fabricatedritu. reciprocity of photographyand performance. I would stress.destroysthe containing mechanismsof the "presence" of the subject.) kle's cervix in an unequivocally self-empowering way (to pretend to possess an unmediated. in fact.ing desire)."23It is this very contin.situating the Sprinkleinteractswith them as theyfile by (fig. the having been raphy markets. welcoming Sayre'sfixationon "presence. from the voyeuristic sure. mance. (Perhapsthis is to be expectedfromsomeSayre'sdesire for this photographto entail some pre. in body.give pleasure to her audience/clientele. For Sprinkle's body. the subject gives the body the aesthetic: as obscenity.informshis unques.Not only is thefemale sex in a general sense dis"go beyond" formance and photographyannounce the supplementarity played-its "lack"refused.16 out that the photograph. desire)."24 ons audience members file by and take a look. 4).I am no closer to "knowing" "truth" Sprinkle of and by talking to the artist. or video-calls out the unlocatable G-spot(a primarysite offemale pleasure).27 Sprinkle's al castration.as well as of performanceor and arouses the viewerratherthan bringing about stillness "28 body art and the photographic document.also put on view are the internal of the index itself.theflesh" or "onthe page. (It is. A sex worker. Since then. afull subjectof pleasureand desire.and transsexualpleasure. As indexes. This "eye"/"I"isfully contingentwhetherI view it "in Here'sa performanceI have seen in the flesh.through such acts of techno-voyeurismthat Sprinkle can of tioning belief in the photograph performanceas "truth.slides. the photographneeds the body art event as an onto. Do I have some special access to its meaning or am I alternately dis. from the textual or plastic to the experiential.

Sprinkletakes on the archaic-goddesspersona of "Anya"to bring herself to a twenty-minute long spiritual/sexual orgasmon stage. and cyborg identity politics (an age presciently of essays on performancecalled The Theaterand Its Dou. precisely.of multinationalcapitalism. with its reliance on written texts and its Body and performance art expose. and play. the art historian) but on _ the very modes of its own (re)presentation. rather. to stress the point that such a desire for immediacy is. precisely. In this fin-de-millennium age In 1938 the Surrealist film actor. must draw on its own "concrete language" to nicative exchange (the audience. A directcommunication will be re-establishedbetweenthe spectatorand the from thefact spectacle. I would add. virtual realities. the contin"servitudeto psychology and 'humaninterest. In his manifesto "The Theater of Cruelty. 1990-93. "Whether Annie Sprinkle is acting (and/)or experiencingorgasms in her performancescannot be determinedby us"-and. As Chris Straayer puts it. he articulates a passionate critique of historically specific rather than epistemologically secure. In the final segment of Post Post Porn Modernist. radical in its own time. betweenthe actor and the spectator.acknowledged and in some ways propelled by the radical ble. "make space speak": ART JOURNAL ."published body artworksnoted here). Myfirst reactionon seeing this elaborately orchestrated performanceof jouissance was to assert to my that she wasfaking it.FIG. postcolonialwrightAntonin Artaudpublished his astoundingcollection ism. that the spectator. realist theater. which will becomethe theaterof the action. without partition or barrier of any kind. this is the case whether we view the performancelive or not." from Post Post Porn Modernist. 4 Annie Sprinkle. placed in the middle of the action is engulfed and physically affectedby it. a modernist (if in this case also clearly avant-garde)dream.'"31The the. such a dreammust be viewed as in this collection.30 Weabolish the stage and the auditoriumand replace them by a single site. director.32 I return in closing to Artaud'svibranttext. "The Public Cervix Announcement.gency of the body/self not only on the other of the commuater. My secondaryresponsewas to partner wonder why I needed to think that she was faking it.

and The Second Media Age (Cambridge:Polity Press. 1990). 1993). Vito Acconci. Ibid. InternationalContemporary Arts. trans. Long Island. and Sexuality (London: Routledge Press. she reworksthe dialectic between the self and otheroutlinedby her subjectivity. whether it be in a "performance"setting or in the relative privacy of the studio. 7 (February1994): 11. see especially xxviii. See Linda Williams's discussion of how Sprinkle maintains in her pornographicvideos (and. Texts. and Jane Weinstock (Berkeley: University of California Press.and ed. Part 2." 37. 32. 23. 1994). 1970-1980 (Los Angeles: Astro Artz. furthermore.Practice. exh. 1 (Spring 1989): 38-39. 19. 9. 7." TDR (The Drama Review) 33. 1977). 28. Stephen Heath (New York:Hill and Wang. the 6. "The Medusa Effect. It is Simonede Beauvoir. 44. Krauss. N.and The Sluts and GoddessesVideo Workshop. see Vivian Sobchack."2.Lynne Tillman. Carolee Schneemann. Scenes. 1994). See Roland Barthes. Lynda Nead. This reading of Schneemann's piece is modified from my essay "Postfeminism. Johns Hopkins UniversityPress. The Female Nude: Art. The other artists in the portrait include Jiro Yoshihara. n. 1992).Y.Pornography. "A Provoking Agent: The Pornography and PerformanceArt of Annie Sprinkle. 20. Sarah Kent and Jacqueline Moreau (London: Writersand Readers Publishing. Schneemanninformsme that all of the originalfootageof the earlier performancesis who will not relinquishit forpublicationor study." in The Four Fundamental Conceptsof Psycho-Analysis(New York:W. This paraphrases Jacques Lacan. Feminist Pleasures.. 2. 85." in Image-Music-Text. Pamela Church Gibson and Roma Gibson (London:British Film Institute. The video. 209. "Floating Femininity: A Look at Performance Art by Women. 26. Stiles. Kathy O'Dell. YayoiKusama:A Retrospective. the Specular Ruse. "Performanceand Its Objects. 1992). AlfredA. the clip shown here is fromthe 1995 versionof the performance. 69. her "art"videos) the "intimate address" to the "client" characteristic of the whore's "performance. who encouraged me to revise my earlier. 22." in The Amazing Decade: Womenand PerformanceArt in America. 3. potentialityopen only to male subjects in patriarchy. Kris Kuramitsu. Rosemary Mayer. Lucio Fontana. [New York:Center for pendra Karia. (Amsterdam:Stedelijk Museum.trans. 1993). Chris Straayerstresses Sprinkle's links to 1970s feminist performance works by Schneemann and Linda Montano. I am interested in work that may or may not initially have taken place in front of an audience: in work-such as that by Ana Mendieta."ThatDangerousSupplement. 1992)." Afterimage 21. video. ed. 24. Bruce McPherson (New Paltz. On the rhetoric of the pose. "myworkhas to do with cuttingthrough idealized(mostself' or the 'inventedself'-i. changing my perceptions of the work. 157. 1992). The Objectof Performance. BarbaraKruger.The SecondSex (1949). in which her body is enacted as trace (gash wounding the surface of the earth). The term author-function is. "The Amazing Decade.. On the body/self as simultaneously subject and object. was produced by Schneemann and Maria Beatty in 1995-96. 96. "Notes on the Index. GayatriChakravorty Spivak (Baltimore: 15.. no."The Seduction of Boundaries.Action. work. or.founder of Gutai. no. of course. Imaging Her Erotics. 1985). made in collaboration with Albert Jaccoma and John or Armstrong."in Of Grammatology. 8. 1975)." Arts Magazine 47. Identity. Riverside/University of California. 31.and in 1995 inside a cave as InteriorScroll-the Cave (with six other women). trans. 157.Sexual Politics: Judy Chicago's Dinner Party in Feminist Art History (1996)." 174." in The Originality of the Avant-Gardeand OtherModernistMyths (Cambridge. made by Sprinkle and Maria Beatty. 195-205. 72. Peggy Phelan. 12. Straayer. Henry Sayre'sreading of Schwarzkogler's in The Object of Performance: The American Avant-Gardesince 1970 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press. 10. diss. ed. W. see Craig Owens.ed. ed. blunter readings of her work. Scott Bryson. Schneemann has performed Interior Scroll three times: in 1975 at Women Here and Now in East Hampton.and Arlene Raven (New York:HarperCollins. Kristine Stiles. in Language.film. 238. "Rhetoric of the Image. Her recent publications include the catalogue for her exhibition at UCLA.Mass. Riverside. I would add. 1995). My interest in this work is informed by an embodied. 1978). trans.. I use the term body art rather than performanceart for several reasons. published in German in Ethik der Asthetik. Dietmar Kamper. 1976). and Jean-PaulSartre(and moresubtlytransformed MauriceMerleau-Ponty by partner. AMELIA JONES teaches art history at University of Califor- nia.See Straayer. no. cat. 1965)."in Women's Images of Men. 1985).and Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht(Berlin: Akademie Verlag. How to Be a Sex Goddess in 101 Easy Steps (1992). More Than Meat Joy. [where ly male) mythologyof the 'abstracted in ed. Unmarked:The Politics of Performance (New York:Routledge. 113-38. 1989]). 191-200." manuscriptof an article forthcomingin Sobchack's Carnal Thoughts:Bodies. 30. See the labeled photographin Nul negentienhonderdviff en zestig. 234. n. Cassandra Langer. Here is an example of my susceptibility to personal contact:I have been swayed by her powerfulself-readings. Jacques Derrida. Schneemann. Antonin Artaud." in Dirty Looks: Women. 11. 234." unpublished papersubmittedforAmelia Jones and DonaldPreziosi'sEssentialismand Representation graduate seminar. Sprinkle's performance mentor. Norton and Co. 14. AngryWomen. 14. Jacques Lacan). Bodyworks. Ourselves: Representing Real Women in Video. Photographs). in the possession of the documenter. 1 (September-October 1971): 42..5 25. 1983). The SecondSex. I should note here too that it was the large numberof photographssuch as these published as advertisementsin magazineslike fromthe mid-1960s onwardthat initially sparked my interest in body art. exh. MarkPoster discusses the multiplicity of the subject in the age of multinationalism and cyborg identity politics in The Mode of Information:Poststructuralism and Social Context (Cambridge: Polity Press and Chicago: University of Chicago Press. or Hannah Wilke-that took place through an enactment of the artist'sbody. M. "Towarda Theory of Performance Art: An Investigation of Its Sites" (Ph. Obscenity.The termtranslucentchamberappears in MoreThan Meat Joy. Donald Bouchard and Sherry Simon (Ithaca: Cornell University Press. that was then documented such that it could subsequently be experienced throughphotography.The only audience for the "original" lic figure:they are performative performancewould have been the camerapersonand whoeverelse was in the room.. I am indebted to Kuramitsufor introducingme to this aspect of Kusama'soeuvre and for leading me to the best sources on the artist(see also Bhuexh. University of California. 154. 30-32. 1991)." ArtsMagazine 46.p. and Embodied Theories of Art. Ira Licht. Yves Klein. rather than her background as a sex worker. 5." Arts Magazine 65. ed. WINTER 1997 . Her films include Linda/Lesand Annie-the First Female to Male Transsexual Love Story (1990). and/or text. This marking of the body as absence is also exemplified in the photographic documents of Ana Mendieta'slater Silueta series works. Ibid. "Performanceand Its Objects. cat.Power. Parshley(NewYork: 17. See also AlexandraJuhasz's discussion of Sprinkle's extended performanceof orgasm in her essay "Our AutoBodies. cat."YayoiKusama. no. and Culture.: Documentext. 2." in Beyond Recognition: Representation. derived from Michel Foucault's "What Is an Author?" (1969). 1. More Than Meat Joy: CompletePerformance Works and Selected Writings. in 1977 at the Telluride Film Festival in Colorado. The audience for its original performance was almost all female. deel 2fotos (Nul 1965.BeauvoirrereadsSartre's the subject has the capacityto projecthimself into transcendence(the pour-soi)out of the fundamental immanence of the en-soi. phenomenological model of intersubjectivity.e. trans. I Artforum am especially interestedin the role these images play in enacting the artistas a pubdocuments.: MIT Press. 3 (December 1972-January 1973): 33-36. Joanna Frueh. ed. The Theater and Its Double. The first poetic descriptions in this sentence are from a letter sent to me by Schneemann (dated November 22. the male artist]retain[s]powerand distancingover the situation". Counter-Memory. Nemser. no.with an awarenessof the mappingof powerthroughgender in patrithat existentialistargument Being and Nothingness) (in archy. Vale (San Francisco: Re/Search Publications. 90. 18. and Giinther Uecker. Kuramitsu discusses this photographof Kusamaat some length. "Stagingthe Obscene Body. Christoph Wulf. who writes of the subject "sustaining himself in a function of desire" in "Anamorphosis. "Subject-Object Body Art. 21. City University of New York. Power. 3 work can be found (November 1990): 35. 163. who in links the dreamof "transcendence" Westernaesthetics and philosophyto masculine Here.. and Screens (Berkeley: University of California Press). 151-52."The Seduction of Boundaries: Feminist Fluidity in Annie Sprinkle's Art/Education/Sex. 27. 16. Andrea Juno and V. Kuramitsu. arguing that the pour-soi is a privileged Beauvoir. 4.18 Notes 1. H. see Moira Roth."Williams. Sayre. 43-44. her book Body Art/Performing the Subject isforthcomingfrom University of Minnesota Press. 2.p. 1992). Carolee Schneemann.. See Elinor Fuchs. "Performanceand Experience. 181."YayoiKusama:Exotic Bodies in the Avant-Garde. 13. Knopf." in Dirty Looks." in New Feminist Criticism:Art. 1979). 29. Los Angeles. (Chicago: Museum of ContemporaryArt. 165. 1977). Mary Caroline Richards (New York:Grove Weidenfeld. ed. Catherine Elwes. 1958). Schneemannstates. "The Passion of the Material: Prolegomena to a Phenomenology of Interobjectivity.1970).in her monumental1949 book. Hans Haacke. the work that emerged during the period of the 1960s to the mid-1970s (before performancebecame theatricalized and moved to the large stage) was labeled "body art" or "bodyworks"by several contemporaneous writers who wished to differentiate it from a conception of "performanceart" that was at once broader (in that it reached back to Dada and encompassed any kind of theatricalized productionon the part of a visual artist) and narrower(in that it implied that a performance must actually take place in front of an audience).D. spring 1996.

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