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Lecture 3

MPS 608 Lecture Notes - Lecture 3: Carrie Mae Weems, Eleanor Antin, Gregory Crewdson

5 pages59 viewsWinter 2016

Course Code
MPS 608
Sara Knelman

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Concepts and Theories II
Photography as Performance
Photography as Performance
Exhibition Proposal: Tentative title, list of artists, and brief description for week
after reading week
- appeared in an edition of Aperture magazine which was entirely dedicated to
performance in photography
- all photography can be performative
- are our characters and identities always constructed for the camera?
- Even candid photographs can be considered performances, insofar as we are
performers when we’re with other people
- Allows him to set propositions about the nature of photography in a mass-
culture medium – magazine
- If a photograph captures a performance, then even if the performance
continues, no other moment will be exactly like the first photographed
Ephemeral Events
- there is a new tendency to think about performance and the connection of
performance and photography
- The Tate has added a new space for performance and installation, so has the
- This new interest stems from a desire to connect with more people and a
desire to make the museum a more theatrical, dynamic, changing place, as
opposed to a boring, unchanging space
- Marcel Duchamp, Fountain
- Performance goes back to the time when people questioned what art was,
that art is an idea, rather than a visual
- The original Fountain of Duchamp’s was lost, and only the photograph of the
‘performance’ remains
- Richard Long, A Line Made by Walking
- It became clear soon that artists were creating performances and then
photographing them
- At this time, places that had otherwise ignored photography, began to be
interested in it as a keeper of ephemeral performance
- Yves Klein, Leap Into the Void
owanted to document himself leaping out of a window
opublished the image in a newspaper he made himself to make it seem
more realistic
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Concepts and Theories II
Photography as Performance
othe image was actually a montage of two, where the people who were
ready to catch him beneath were cut out
- Vito Accondi, Following Piece
oPhotographed an experiment whereby he followed people in New
York until the moment that person reached what he deemed a
“private space”
oThe events exist only as photographs and text
- Sophie Calle, The Hotel
oPerformed as a maid in order to gain access to hotel rooms
oRifled through people’s things and made images of their private lives
oWrote: “on Monday, Feb. 16, 1981, I was hired as the temporary
chamber maid three weeks in a hotel”
oCreated very composed and clean diptychs with the bed and a diary
entry she wrote about the place and beneath a grid of images from the
- Carolee Schmeemann, Interior Scroll
oUsed photography as a document of performance work which spoke
- Eleanor Antin, Starving
oStarved herself and photographed the results periodically
Performing Identity
- idea of the self as a construct
- Duchamp,
- Duchamp, Rose Selavy
- Alice Austin
oSmoking right next to each other and dressed in what would have
been shockingly short skirts at the time (smoking outside was illegal
for women at this time)
- People began using the camera to explore notions of multiple selves and
- Calhun
oOften cited as a big influence on Cindy Sherman
oQuestioned sexuality
- Cindy Sherman
oThinking about the way that images of women had become culturally
oWorking with generic ideas of femininity within cinema and mass-
- Marianna West, Let’s Take Back Our Space
oFemale and male body language as a result of patriarchal society
- Jo Spence, Beyond the Family Album
oDidn’t train as a photographer until she was over 40
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