“The book by the author Amelia Jones is one of the first thorough studies of the body art and performance phenomena, which have experienced an unbelievable swing at the end of the century, after their pioneer period in the 60s and 70s. Body art and performance have become the most exposed art forms of the last decade, and the interest wasn’t only limited to the artistic public, but also to a wider humanistic public. The main topic of sociological and humanistic studies in the last decade is the status of the body in different sociological, psychological, capitalist and media dimensions. Body art and performance have exposed the problems of the contaminated body, the ill body, the body of diverse sexual practices, the tortured body, artificial bodies, prefabricated bodies, bodies of the beauty industry … The author Amelia Jones produces an important distinction between body art and performance: ‘Some contemporary writers called the works, created from the 60s to the middle 70s, ‘body art’ or ‘body works’, in order to separate them from the notion of ‘the art of performance’, that was simultaneously more ample (in that it was reaching back to dadaism and comprised the theatricalised performances of all sorts, made by fine arts people) and narrower (in that it implicated that a performance must actually be performed in front of the audience, in most cases on a explicitly theatrical scene, based on the proscenium). I am interested in works that were either played in front of the audience or not; works…, that unwind with the actualization of the artist’s body, whether there is a ‘performance’ scene or a relative privacy of a studio; that is documented, so that the event can be subsequently experienced through photography, film, video and/or text.”
Bojana Kunst, Ph.D., Faculty of Letters
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