I went to a great lecture last night with a friend, whom I shall call Aphrodite (she once was called Katy Perry, but times have changed and there is a fuller and more matured sexuality at hand). It was titled The Female Body in Art: Adoration, Attraction and Horror from a psychoanalytic perspective. I couldn’t have been more excited to witness such an intersection of what I feel called to study. It merely whetted my appetite. There’s little way to be satisfied within 2 hours of lecturing, but nevertheless it was a fantastic intro and painful reminder of how much I miss taking art history and theory classes.
One image seized my attention and sent me into a refreshing direction with my performance art practices. Since teaching a performance art class to women over the last 3 weeks, I’ve been so elated to watch these women undergo works of art of which require vulnerability, receptivity to the moment and courage. It has required me to continue to learn about my craft and wonder what is this thing I love and why.
Performance art has many various forms, yet the prevailing fundamental is that the body is the new canvas for which art is created upon. It is the one genre in which you cannot possess it as a consumer, which is, in part, why it came into existence. It protests commodification and consumerism and rather invites a present and visceral experience between artist and viewer. You can either engage or forcefully disengage, but you cannot eat at your own pleasure or leisure. The experience is the gift of the work, regardless if you hated or loved it.
Away we must go,
into the darker and lighter places as we reside on this earth, not as consumers or self-indulgers, unless we choose to deaden what aches for life–but as makers and farmers who use our hands for beauty and hard work. Art tumbled into my world as my conduit for such ventures. What the hell is yours? Search until it’s found and keep finding it even if it’s lifeless in your hands, even if it’s slipping from your hands; remember what sent you on the hunt and reclaim it over and over. The earth’s seasons offer us the process for which we are to undergo as creatures who are all invited to create.
Here is the image that I hope to performatively recreate. My style of performance art would be categorized as “body as ritual” versus “body as form in space” or “body as living sculpture” or “body as autobiographical and introspective”. I want to synthesize ritual and living sculpture, which undoubtedly possesses some autobiographical marks, yet appeals to a greater context than merely my own. This might be the first one.
Giovanni Segantini, The Evil Mother