Body Art: Performing the Subject

Amelia Jones

Book




A rigorous analysis of 1970s and 1990s body art, self-conscious of the subjectivity of interpretation, and grounded in a feminist and phenomenological re-evaluation of modernist and postmodern criticism.

Dominic Johnson selected Body Art for his guest editorship, describing:

"a classic of performance art studies by (to my eyes) the most influential (and prolific) scholar in the field: Amelia Jones’ Body Art / Performing the Subject. It arguably kickstarted the reinvention of a field of study in the 1990s, brought a series of key artists to light – like Carolee Schneemann, Yayoi Kusama, Hannah Wilke, Vito Acconci, and Bob Flanagan and Sheree Rose – and introduced a series of key themes and ideas, including particularity and contingency in the construction of meaning. Body Art can be a demanding text, but a close, slow reading of it yields many insights that are politically tantalizing: especially Jones’s dethroning of critical distance, her refiguring of phenomenology as a tool for reading bodies, and her celebration of intersubjectivity as ‘chiasmic intertwining.’ It’s a thrilling, sometimes maddening ride – one that must be mastered in order to understand everything that came after it. If it holds back its lusciousness, it compensates with sheer force of thinking."

 

University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis, 1998, 350 pages, black and white photographs throughout, 25.6 cm x 17.9 cm.

ISBN 978-0816627738



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