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Lecture 3

MPS 608 Lecture 3: 3. Photography as Performance

5 Pages
67 Views
Winter 2016

Department
Photography
Course Code
MPS 608
Professor
Sara Knelman
Lecture
3

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Concepts and Theories II
Photography as Performance
1
Photography as Performance
Exhibition Proposal: Tentative title, list of artists, and brief description for week
after reading week
Reading
- 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
MOMA
- 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
MPS608
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find more resources at oneclass.com
Concepts and Theories II
Photography as Performance
2
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
room
- Carolee Schmeemann, Interior Scroll
oUsed photography as a document of performance work which spoke
politically
- 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
sexuality
- 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
mediated
oWorking with generic ideas of femininity within cinema and mass-
culture
- 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
MPS608
find more resources at oneclass.com
find more resources at oneclass.com

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Description
Concepts and Theories II Photography as Performance 1 Photography as Performance Exhibition Proposal: Tentative title, list of artists, and brief description for week after reading week Reading 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 were 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 MOMA 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 Duchamps 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 o wanted to document himself leaping out of a window o published the image in a newspaper he made himself to make it seem more realistic MPS608
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