2009 : chronologie performance

Publié le par Olivier Lussac IDEAT



- ARAHMAIANI, Breaking Words, Woodford Folk Festival, Brisbane, Australie.

- ARAHMAIANI, I Love You (After Joseph Beuys Social Sculpture), Esplanade, Singapore.

ARAKAWA Ei, Peaceboat Revisiting, 2009, MRTA (video).

- ASHERY Oreet, Hairoism, 27 June 2009, Tate Modern. Once more with Feeling. Reprise de The King d’Eleanore Antin.

— For Hairoism Oreet Ashery shaved her head and applied hair donated from the audience to her scalp and face to imitate the hair patterns of four male public figures : Moshe Dayan, Mousa Mohammed Abu Marzouk, Avigdor Liebermann and Yassar Arafat/Ringo Starr. The first figure has the least hair and the last has the most, allowing her to become hairier as the piece progressed. After the fourth figure’s hair pattern had been applied, her two assistants continued to glue hair to her face and body, with the goal of covering it entirely as time permitted.

Hairoism was inspired by Eleanore Antin’s The King, a silent, 52 minute, black  and white fil where Antin slowly applies hair to her face to become her male alter ego. In a recent interview, Antin states : « Role playing was about feeling that I didn’t have a self. And I didn’t miss it… I just borrowed other people’s, or made them up. And it’s something that continued when I started working with personas because it was a very good way of dealing with a lot of the political and social issues that were of interest to me. » Oreet Ashery shares Antin’s subjectivity expressed in those descriptions and in taking on various characters for her work she addresses socio-political backdrops and challenged a sense of authority over herself.

— As a reflection on Eleanor Antin’s silent movie The King from 1972, which shows the artist transforming herself into her male alter ego, Oreet Ashery had her head shaved in the performance Hairoism. Once she is bald, she takes hair donated to her by the audience and imitates the hairstyles for four famous men – the commander in chief of the Israel army in the 1950s, Moshe Dayan, The Hamas member Mousa Mohammed Abu Marzouk, the current Israel foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman, who is notorious for his extreme views, and Yasser Arafat/Ringo Starr. Throughout this process, the amount of hair on her head increases to fit the hair of the four protagonists, starting with the almost hairless Moshe Dayan and ending with the full beard and the full head of hair of Yasser Arafat/Ringo Starr. In the end, the two assistants taking part in the performance begin gluing more and more hair on Ashery’s body and head. The performance is documented in 5 Polaroid pictures taken during Ashery’s transformation into a hairy monster. The video consists of found footage of the four public figures.

- BANANA Anna, But, is it Art ?, 2009. 

an interactive performance reseach project, presented in Rome/Sala Uno, Carrara/Fine Arts Academy, Gent/CROXHAPOX VZW, Minden/Victoria Hotel, Berlin, Fachschule für Sozial Padagogik, Annaberg/Kunst Keller, Budapest/Art Pool, Bremen/Weserburg Museum and Aarlborg/Kunsten Museum. In each presentation, the question was spelled in the language of the country.

- BANANA Anna, But, is it Art ?, 2009.

a modified, outdoor version of the research project, celebrating 40 years of « Fooling Around with A. Banana » in Bastion Square, Victoria, BC, where Banana began her art practice in 1971.

- BEN-DAVID Anat & ALTENHAUS Adrienne, Tearing Off A Piece, 2009.

Anat Ben-David (1970, Israel, UK) was one of Israel’s few video pioneers and has been living in London as a video and performance artist since 1999. She continues to cooperate with the all-female electro-punk band Chicks on Speed since 2003. her art is based on the idea of a total artwork that focuses on the similarities in form and content between pop stars and fascist rulers, such as the methods they use to evoke a collectively effective ‘‘totalitarism atmosphere.’’ Her actions – which oscillate between live music acts and performance art – combine video projections, self-composed music, band performances and specific elements of pop culture, fashion and forms of staging power. She alters her own appearance to fit her vision by letting her private life disappear behind her pop star image.

Tearing Off A Piece is based on the S.C.U.M. manifesto, which was written and published by the American feminist and author Valerie Solanas (1936-1988), who became famous primarily for the attempted murder of Andy Warhol in 1968. S.C.U.M. stands for Society for Cutting Up Men. inspired by Solanas’s radical feminist position, this show-like performance by Anat Ben-David and the dramatist Adrienne Altenhaus highlights processes of society while exploring the art world, academia and social issues under the conditions of patriarchal capitalism in a humorous and provocative way.

- BING Han, Life Persists Even as it Disappears, 2009.

- BOLIVER Rocio (aka La Congelada de Uva), De Pelos, 2009, 24 août, Mapa Teatro, Mexico.

A ritual performed as a metaphor for vulvic circumcision. ‘‘The transmutation of the vulvabeast into an organic mechanical hybrid, towards a consciouness of salvational value through a converse baptism. Photo: Cristian Avila.

- BOLIVER Rocio (aka La Congelada de Uva), Welcome back to China, 2009, 10th Perf. Art Fest. Pekin.

- CHEN Ji, 10th Open International Performance Art Festival, 2009, Pékin.

- CHICKS ON SPEED, Performance, 2009 Bawag Contemporary Performance Vienna 7 May 2009

- CHICKS ON SPEED, The Making of Art Performance, 2009 Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt, 28 May 2009.

- CORPUS DELEICTI, Lavadero Publico, 2009.

Corpus Deleicti is a group of the Catalan women artists Patricia Fuentes, Desire Rodrigo and Judit Vidiella. All three studied in Barcelona: Fuentes theatre and dance, Rodrigo sociology, and Vidiella art and performance. Their investigations into gender issues focus on the connections between technology and economic interests (Genderlab-protopoesia-01, 2004). For their project Support Local Porn (2008), which is concerned with the economic rationale behind sex tourism, they designed a fictive budget travel agency called Porno Jet.

This video documents a workshop that ends with a performance. It shows Corpus Deleicti together with a grou of women from the Catalan town of Caldes de Montbul at a public laundrette, where women used to wash clothes and talk about personal and social issues. In the workshop’s three sessions, they wash a pile. of clothes by hand while rehearsing a choregraphed dance, which they finally publically perform as a video performance. The work belongs to the tradition of the American consciousness raising groups of the 1970s and thus aims at a conscious investigation of personal and workplace relationships. Performance: 12 September 2009, 2nd Muestra Internacional de Arte Urbano, Caldes de Montbui, duration: 19 hours.

- CUENCA RASMUSSEN Lilibeth, Never Mind Pollock, Once More With Feeling - Tate Modern 27 June 2009.

- DAF/COLLAZOS Diana, La Media Santa, 2009.

- DAHL Thomas, Agent démocratique, Stockholm. 2009.

- DEIMLING BBB Johannes, Speechless (version #2), 2009.

Orange Festival, Orange L’événement d’art actuel/St. Hyacinthe, Canada/2009/4 hours

My entire body is completely covered with several kilograms of noodle-letters. Without moving, just like a sculpture, I am sitting on a pile of bibles. One of them is in my hands at the chapter of St. John’s gospel that starts with the sentence ‘‘at the beginning was the word and the word was: God’’. After four hours I rub the noodle-letters off my body and I leave. Photo: BBB. Archiv.

- DIAZ Maria Adela, Tz’Ikin, 2009. Photo. Nelson Lemus. (vidéo-performance)

Nahual ‘‘Personnal guardian spirit that resides in an animal’’. Tz’ikin ‘‘is the Totem bird for Shamans all over the world. It is the sign of completeness, wholeness representing the striving for perfection at all times on all levels.’’ This is a performance of spiritual renovation. I am connecting an communicating with my spirit in a solo action, by removing the black feather off my body I’m creating a connection between my roots and my alter ego.

- FACTORY OF FOUND CLOTHES. PERSHINA Natalia/EGOROVA Olga, Utopian Unemployment Union, 2009.

In 1995, Gluklya (Natalia Pershina, 1969, Russia) and Tsaplya (Olga Egorova, 1968, Russia) founded the artist duo Factory of Found Clothes in St.Petersburg. The team of artists is known for its performances and fashion happenings. They use their works as a means to artistically transform social problems. ‘‘Art is on the side of the weak,’’ says their manifesto, and ‘‘artists are not mentors but friends.’’ Gluklya and Tsaplya are also coordinators of the group of artists Chto delat (What’s to be done?).

This artistically ambitious utopia for the unemployed in Russia is based on ballerinas introducing boys to the art of ballet. In their first performance, entitled Utopian Unemployment Union, the roles are reversed and the boy dance the parts of the ballerinas. Exploring the potential for change in ossified structures is a typical characteristic of Factory of Found Clothes.

- FISCHERSPOONER, Between Worlds, 2009, MoMA.

- FOX Oriana, Cock and Cunt Play, 2009. Once More With Feeling. Tate Modern Gallery. 27 June 2009. Londres.

(Re-Enact Judy Chicago, 1970). 

Performed with Judy Batalion, Genevieve Maxwell, and Sharon Bennett. This piece is a contemporary of Judy Chicago’s Cock and Cunt Play (1971), a comedic skit about gender stereotypes and domestic violence. I twas first performed at Womanhouse (1972) by Faith Wilding and Janice Lester who wore black leotards and oversized vinyl genitalia and recited their lines with exaggereted voices. In the original play the cunt’s simple request for help washing the dishes ends in her own murder at the hands of the macho and chauvinistic Cock.

The new version is decidedly less violent and incorporates two addional characters : Cervix and Sperm. It begins with Cunt asking that Cock help her with the dishes, but when he quickly complies, Cunt gets aroused. The Cervix appears when Cock penetrates Cunt, but much to her chagrin, Sperm arrives shortly thereafter. The Cervix character takes inspiration from artist/sex-guru Annie Sprinkle who showed her cervix to live audiences as part of her solo Post Porn Modernist (1989)

- FOX Oriana, Tableaux vivants, 2009. Once More With Feeling. Tate Modern Gallery. 27 June 2009. Londres (Re-Enact Vanessa Beecroft). 

Oriana Fox: Once More With Feeling -Tate Modern 27 June 2009 22/02/11 13:07 

Performed with Sharon Bennett, Sarah Dadzie, Lucy Dear, Laura Eagland, Penelope Granycombe, Antje Hildebrand, Georgina Leahy, Carole Luby, Genevieve Maxwell, Kieghley Marsh and Lorraine Smith 

Tableaux Vivants is a constellation of imagery, poses and language taken from the history of feminist performance art. Beginning with an imitation of Vanessa Beecroft’s VB16 (1996), one of the models reaches down and pulls a scroll from her vagina evoking Schneemann’s seminal performance Interior Scroll (1975). This mashing up of old and new references continues throughout the piece as the models speak, gesture and dance for the audience. Carole Luby performs a Naked Action lecture again in homage to Schneemann and in doing so explains the history that the models are enacting. Her lecture quotes Hermine Freed’s film 

Art Herstory (1974): I can become this woman, but how can I relate my life to hers? How much does my time shape my life? Woman may be born free but she is forever tied to her time, place and circumstance…Was I not fulfilling my own fantasies in reliving these images? Roleplaying, time-travel, instant space travel, as well as the recreation of history… 

Choreography by Katherine Shirley Orange Flamenco Dress by Clare Amos Rehearsal photos by Manuel Vason 

Performance photos by Christa Holka



MODEL 1 (scroll-reader) – wears nothing but stilettos and a short Warhol-esque blonde wig 

MODEL 2-10 – dressed as Vanessa Beecroft models in VB16 (1996), e.g. skin-colour tights and 

underwear, blonde wig 

CAROLE(E) – played by Carole Luby, dressed as she would to deliver a lecture 

MODELS 1-10 strut into a grid-formation facing the audience. They stand (as motionless as possible) for at least 5-10 minutes, looking blankly at the audience, mimicking a Vanessa Beecroft performance. MODEL 1 reaches down and (seemingly) pulls a scroll of paper from her vagina and begins to read from it, this is a re-enactment of Carolee Schneemann’s Interior Scroll (1975). All MODELs must keep a serious expression throughout. All the MODELs read their first line by reaching down into their panties to read from their own scrolls. All quotes within the text are written in grey. 


My first sexual experience was at the time of my birth, passing through the vaginal canal. That red pulsing tunnel, that alley of love; the vagina … poonani, yayn, vag, pussy, vajayjay, muff, coochie, box, poon, beaver, cooner, twat, cunt.1 

MODELS 1-10 (in unison)


MODELS 6-10 begin walking to the back and grab Cheerleading costumes (top, skirt, shoes and pom poms) to distribute to MODELS 1-4. The costumes are modelled after The Cunt Cheerleaders (1971) created by students of Judy Chicago in The Feminist Art Program at Fresno State, CA. 


What is cunt? We have definitions of ourselves by men. 


Cunt is passive. Cunt is receptacle. Cunt is vessel. 


Cunt is giver of all rewards and blessings. 



CAROLE(E) enters. 


Cunt is evil, demonic, will swallow you up, blah, blah, blah. 

MODELS 1-4 dress with the help of another MODEL as quickly as possible, facing away from the audience. Once MODELS 1-4 are dressed, MODELS 5-10 stand at the back of stage area and standing in a row begin to ‘vogue’ (e.g. switching between frozen poses every 20-30 seconds). 


(speaking slowly to give MODELS 1-4 time to dress) 

Those are all projections, fantasy projections. But what we have to do is seize our own cunts! Grasp it firmly in our hands and proceed to announce what it is. Announce that it’s real. 

MODELS 1, 2, 3 and 4 jump and turn to face the audience, arms holding pom poms outstretched as they chant their next line in unision. Each chant should be accompanied by a cheerleading pose. 

MODEL1,2,3 and 4

It’s real! 


That it’s aggressive, that it’s outgoing. 

MODEL1,2,3 and 4

It’s aggressive, It’s outgoing! 


That it looks like this, that it needs this, that it has this kind of dimension. And what does that mean? That means to really take control of our own identity as women.2 

MODEL1,2,3 and 4 (rolling their pom poms and raising their voices)


CAROLE(E) moves to the side and MODELS 5-10 elegantly exit. MODELS 1-4 form a line and perform dance routine to “When I get you alone”, a song by Thicke. The routine combines moves from 90s popular dance with the 70s hustle. 

When the song ends, CAROLE(E) approaches a lectern (or music stand) and begins her lecture, as she does this she dresses and undresses. MODELS 1-4 strike poses much like Hannah Wilke in her ‘performalist self-portraits’ and her video Hannah Wilke Through the Large Glass (1976). They can also walk up and down as if on a catwalk, pivoting when they get near to the audience. 


You are witnessing a collage of moments from the history of feminist performance art. Vanessa Beecroft meets Carolee Schneemann with two lines by Karen Finley and a quote from Judy Chicago which became a chant by the Cunt Cheerleaders. Now they are vogue-ing for you as Hannah Wilke once did. And I dress and undress as I deliver this Naked Action Lecture again like Schneemann.3 

MODELS 1-4 have stopped vogue-ing. MODEL 2 and 3 hold up a curtain so that MODEL 1 can undress again and remove wig, putting a flower in her hair. MODEL 4, gets three chairs and drapes velvet over and puts pillows at one end and then gets mirror. MODEL 1 lies across the chairs with her back to the audience in a pose like Diego Velázquez’s Rokeby Venus (c. 1647–51) with MODEL 4 holding mirror so MODEL 1 can see the audience. MODEL 2 and 3 move to the back displaying the curtain behind the now complete tableaux vivant. 

CAROLE(E) Cont’d

Can a woman artist be a nude and an art historian? Can a woman painter be an art historian and a nude?4 

The depicted images did not necessarily happen in the same order in which the performances were originally created. Did the artists alter history to fit their own ideology? Have we or they reinterpreted the past in order to have it fit our own or their own model of the present? 

MODEL 2 and 3 move again to the front to provide cover while MODEL 1 turns around to pose as Manet’s Olympia (1863). MODEL 4 provides choker (and possibly a slipper and a little stuffed black cat). MODEL 4 poses with basket of flowers like the maid. MODEL 2 and 3 again move to the back displaying the curtain behind the now complete tableaux vivant. 

CAROLE(E) Cont’d

Is one of these women more real or more idealised to me? What did their images say once the immediacy of time is past? 


I can become Manet’s Olympia, or rather Schneemann as Olympia, but how can I relate my life to hers? How much does my time shape my life? 


Woman may be born free but she is forever tied to her time, place and circumstance…Was I not fulfilling my own fantasies in reliving these images? Role-playing, timetravel, instant space travel, as well as the recreation of history… 5 

MODEL 2 and 3 put curtain in front again so that MODEL 1 can quickly redress and rearrange chairs 

in line stage-front to stage-back (rather than left to right). CAROLE(E) will choose one a male from the audience and bring him behind the curtain to lie across the 3 chairs with his head close to the audience. Using a theatrical sword MODEL 1 and 4 will do a tableaux vivant of Artemisia Gentileschi’s Judith Slaying Holofernes (1614-20). MODEL 2 and 3 hold curtain behind scene. 

After around minutes have passed, MODEL 2 and 3 put curtain in front again. MODEL 1 and 2 instruct the volunteer to sit upright in the middle chair while they pose around him, again holding the sword to his neck, as in Douglas Huebler’s performative recreation of Judith Slaying Holofernes done in 1971 entitled 633/variable piece #70. After another few minutes of holding this pose the man can back to the audience. CAROLE(E) brings orange dress for MODEL 1 to change into and then exits along with MODEL 2 and 3. The song The Lady from Trinidad begins playing. MODEL 1 performs dance by Rita Hayworth in Affair in Trinidad (1952). 



1. Karen Finley, Constant State of Desire, originally performed at The Kitchen, NYC in 1988. 

2. These lines starting from « What is cunt? » are from a rant by Judy Chicago, a recording of which can be found in Laura Cottingham’s 1998 documentary Not For Sale. 

3 . Carolee Schneemann performed Naked Action Lecture in 1968 at the ICA in London. The artist has described the performance as such: I lectured from the stage of the ICA in London—on perception, the fractured planes of Cézanne landscape—while asking the audience, “Can a woman artist be a nude and an art historian? Can a woman painter be an art historian and a nude?” as I constantly dressed and undressed. I was naked under overalls filled with oranges, these I threw to the audience while dressing and undressing, projecting slides of my body art juxtaposed with Cézanne’s nudes. 

For the full interview, see http://www.brooklynrail.org/2005/04/art/carolee-schneemannwith-praxis-delia-baj 

4. These two questions come directly from the academic speech delivered by Schneemann in Naked Action Lecture (1968). 

5. Starting from the line “The depicted images...” is a quotation from the voiceover narration in Hermine Freed’s Art Herstory (1974). In Art Herstory Freed has inserted herself into paintings using blue-screen special effects. She animates the characters in paintings from the Renaissance to Impressionism with an explanatory voiceover running throughout. I have altered some of the words in order to refer to the history of performance, rather than painting. 

- GALINDO Regina José, Autofobia, 2009.

Utilizo una Pistola 9 milimetros para dispararle a mi propria sombra.

(Santo Domingo, República Dominicana, 2009)

- GALINDO Regina José, Crisis Blood, 2009, photo: Jiri Thyn.

Vendo mi sangre a los interesados, a un precio similar al que tiene la sangre humana en el mercado.

(Karin Studios, Futura, República Checa, 2009)

- GALINDO Regina José, Crisis Dignity, 2009, photo: Francisco Toralia.

Pido limosna en la posición utilizada por los mendigos en en esa ciudad. Escondo la cara. 

(Praga, República Checa, 2009)

- GALINDO Regina José, Crisis Hair, 2009, photo: Thomas Souce.

Vendo mi cabello a los interesados, a un precio similar al que tiene el cabello humano en el mercado.

(Karlin Studios, Futura, República Checa, 2009)

- GALINDO Regina José, Crisis Cloth, 2009, photo: Wing Yin Yau.

Vendo toda la ropa que llevo puesta. Luego de pagar, los interesados deben quitarme ellos mismos las prendas.

(Comisionada y producida por Exit Art. Ciudad de Nueva York. Nueva York. Estados Unidos, 2009)

- GALINDO Regina José, Estrías, 2009, photo: Nada Zgank.

Un voluntario toma mi pierna y arrastra mi cuerpo por el suelo. Yo me aferro a la madera con las uñas para ir creando dibujos sonoros. A través de dos pequeños micrófonos en mis manos y bocinas en el espacio, el sonido es amplificado hacia el público.

(Comisionada y producida por City of Women, Llubliana, Eslovenia, 2009)

- GALINDO Regina José, Juegos de Poder, 2009.

Un hipnotizador me hace caer en un sueño hipnótico y me da una serie de órdenes a cumplir.

(Mac/Usp, São Paulo, Brasil, 2009)

- GALINDO Regina José, Libertad condicional, 2009.

Permanezco atada e inmovilizada, con siente cadenas y siete candados. Frente a mi un aro con 35 llaves distintas. Es el público quien decide intentar liberarme on no.

(Fortaleza Veccula, Livorno, Italia, 2009)

- GALINDO Regina José, No Fantasy: Princess, 2009.

Prostituta en la habitación azul del castillo de Trebesice.

(Trebesice, República Checa, 2009)

- GALINDO Regina José, Tumba, 2009.

Siete bultos llenos de arena de mar, con el peso y caracteristicas similares a las de un cuerpo humano, son lanzados al mar con la intención de desaparecerios.

(Performar, Santo Domingo, República Dominicana, 2009)

- GALINDO Regina José, Warm-up, 2009.

Acción que consistió en modificar la típica frialdad de los ingleses, a través de un ejercicio que elevó su temperatura corporal durante algunos minutos.

(Modern Art Oxford, Oxford, Reino Unido, 2009)

- HE Liping, Untitled, 2009.

- HILL Nate, Candy Crack Delivery Service. Third Free Public Service, 2009.

This is make-believe for adults prentending to be children pretending to be adults. Instead of cops and robbers, we play drug dealer and junkle. No one wants to get old, but no one wants to be a kid. With Candy Crack you can have it both ways. 

Call for the delivery of a 100% sugar crack rock (multi-colored and multi-flavored with snow cone syrup) to your Brooklyn house. Expect a 7-foot tall man in plush, blue fish mascot head, white gloves and a tuxedo to come knocking soon after. You can purchase a few rocks for $1 a pop in a dime bag: Can’t say too much here because y’know (?) it’s drug.

- HILL Nate, Death Bear: Fourth Free Public Service, 2009.

We all have someone or something we would rather just forget. Things fall apart. Love hurts. Dreams die. But when you summon Death Bear to your door, you can rest assured that help has come. At first you may be intimidated by his stature and color (7 feet tall with a hard, black bear head, black jumpsuit, and black boots), but absorbing the memories of others is a dark art, and Death Bear must present himself appropriately for this solemn duty. Death Bear will take things from you that trigger painful memories and stow them away in his cave where they will remain forever allowing you to move on with your life. Give him an ex’s clothes, old photos, mementos, letters, etc. Death Bear is here to assist you in your time of tragedy, heartbreak, and loss. Let Death Bear help you, and absorb your pain into his cave. »

- HILL Nate, Free Bouncy Rides. Second Free Public Service, 2009.

- INGRIDROBERTMWANGIHUTTER, Eastleigh Crossing, 2009.

After working and living together for a long time, Ingrid Mwangi and Robert Hutter (1975, Kenya, 1964, Germany) began signing their works together as a unit in 2005. Conceptually, their individual personalities dissolve into a miniature collective, in which the gender and origin of each is transferred to the other. Their works explore the role of skin colour and cultural origins, something also shaped by Mwangi’s experience of moving from Africa to germany as a teenager. Mwangi studied with Ulrike Rosenbach at the Hochschule Bildende Künste in Saar, where Hutter also studied and still teaches today.

The spontaneous performance Eastleigh Crossing shows a woman in casual dress on a street in Nairobi that is completely flooded after a pipe burst. The woman steps into the water. The people walking by are astonished and form a crowd around this apparently foreign and strange woman whose behaviour goes against all norms. Her actions remain mysterious: they are a seemingly ritualistic choreography in water, the medium of cleansing and defilement.

- KO Siu Lan, Wait Time, 2009. Paris.

- KOH Terence, Whaling, 2009, performance-installation.

- KOVYLINA Elena, J’adore, 9 novembre 2009, Analix Forever Gallery, Genève.

- LA POCHA NOSTRA, 10 acciones psicomagicas contra la violencia, 2009, Bogota.

VII encuentro of the Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics. Bogota, 2009. The performance was part of a double-bill: Album Doble: Dos Performances simultaneos

a) Sin titulo (Bogota, 2009), Tania Bruguera

b) 10 Acciones Psicomagicas contra la Violencia, Gomez-Pena & Dani d’Emilia. 

Photo. Marlère Ramirez-Cancio/Cristhian Avila/Julio Pantoja

(Guillermo GÓMEZ-PEÑA - Entretien avec Gabriela Salgado, 14 mars 2012. The Forbidden Body: Notes on the Latin American Live Art Scene/Art Practical)


Consulté le 02/09/2014.

Part chronicle, part conversation, this hybrid text is part of an ongoing dialogue between long-time friends and collaborators, the Mexican performance artist Guillermo Gómez-Peña and the Argentine curator Gabriela Salgado. An earlier version of this text was published in the program for the 2012 New Territories International Festival of Live Art, February 27 to March 24, 2012.

« Postcards from the south

The indigenous performance artist Amapola Prada walks nude along one of Lima’s busiest avenues. She is menstruating. With her blood dripping down her legs, she leaves tiny printfoots. People are transfixed by her dreamlike image. No one dares to touch her or offend her. The magic of performance protects her.

Far away to the north, in Mexico City, another young female performance artist carries out a similar ritual action: to express her support for a student insurrection, Ema Villanueva walks nude the 46-kilometer-long avenue of Insurgentes. She asks the passersby to write their opinions about the student revolt with felt pens on her body. No one touches her inappropriately. By the time she finishes her walk, her body is a billboard of citizen opinion.

In the southern part of the continent, Julia Antivilo hitchhikes with truckers from Santiago de Chile to Buenos Aires. She is protected by her artwork: an elaborate chastity belt, an electrified bustier, and a hidden blade and video camera. Her goal is the prove that women are in the most danger in domestic realms and not in public spaces.

These powerful women have created a different kind of live art, defying the dangers and dilemnas that women experience in their respective countries. And none of these brave performance journeys were funded. While these artists performed discreet and fierce projects in Latin America, their peers in the United States were busy writing grants and rehearsing. »

Mapping Some Differences Between North and South

Gabriela Salgado : Which are some of the most obvious differences you encounter when working in Latin America versus the U.S.?

Guillermo Gómez-Peña : U.S. performance is more carefully packaged for artistic consumption. Artists are more self-conscious of being current and accepted. The field is much more professionalized and Darwinian. If you don’t constantly produce brand-new original projects, you are immediately exiled to oblivion. Performance art in Latin America is more about a lifetime process and less about currency and production values. In our (Latin American) countries, there is a lot of improvisation, trading of favors, and self-production. Artists must be extremely resourceful to make up for the lack of ongoing institutional and infrastructure support. And you: what differences have perceived on your trips?

GS : I think that, in wider terms, in Latin America there still reigns a certain precariousness in the so-called cultural industries, whereby the work of museum curators, musicians, visual and performance artists, dancers, and others is almost seen as philanthropic in virtue of their symbolic contribution to society. It is as if we should not demand to be paid for our work but be responsable for sustaining the whole system with sacrifices. On the other hand, in Europe the concept of cultural industries that was developed in the last decade promoted the professionalization of the sector to the extent that it created too many managerial jobs that have nothing to do with creativity and take away a large part of the allocated budgets. This funding structure has allowed politics to be interwined more effectively with the field through managerial control, in a parasitical and self-destructive manner. However, that model of investment in art has just been ressessed, and the implemented cuts are justified with arguments that reflects a mentality typical of the far right. In Holland, for instance, some of the discourses that have recently emerged in relation to arts funding evoke toxic notions such as the alliance of artists and intellectuals with the political left and their responsibility in relation to the ‘‘problem’’ of immigration.

With funding cuts spreading across the northern hemisphere, putting educational, social and cultural structures at risk for the first time in decades, the fear of (economic) uncertainty rises among artists and intellectuals whose livehoods depend largely on the grant system.

Here in the (southern hemisphere), our training – to (withstand) the irregularities of improvised policies, the corruption inherited from colonization, and the uncertainty of chaos always lying in wait around the corner – has provided each citizen with a thick skin that in times of uncertainty becomes extremely useful. Resourcefulness and courage make artists, intellectuals, and the population at large more resistant to the challenges of history.

GG-P : True. When my U.S. colleagues ask me if I am afraid on the financial crisis facing the art world, I tend to answer, ‘‘It’s never been different for Chicanos and Latin Americans. In fact, we were born and raised under crises. It’s no big deal.’’  The funds that Latin artists use to create their performance projects often come from complementary jobs, odd jobs. It’s called double- or triple-production. The performance artist Cesar Martinez teaches conceptual art, writes, and is studying to become a chef. Fernando Llanos runs a bar, writes books, and curates video festivals. He is currently making a feature-length movie. In the U.S., things have been quite different. There, my artist colleagues survive largely from grants, commissions, and past-time academia. And, with a few exceptions, this makes for a much slicker yet tamer type of work… but things may change soon. The collapse of the economy will inevitably level the working conditions in the immediate future.

GS : What about the legal constraints you experience working on both sides of the border?

GG-P : At the risk of generalizing, Latin American performance artists are not as constrained by law and prohibitions. It’s a visceral anti-colonial and anti-authoritarian attitude. We profundly distruct government institutions and legal structures. We hate the police and the army. We have no heroic narratives of law enforcement like in the U.S. In my experience, live artists preparing risky actions rarely ask for permission from the fire or public health inspectors, much less from the police. We just do it; and when we go to the streets, we do it at our own risk.  Despite the fact that the Latin American streets are much more dangerous, people in the streets tend to be more open and accepting of deviant behavior than, say, people in the highly policed streets of the U.S. or Western Europe. I’ve seen some of the wildest voluntary and involuntary performance art pieces in the streets of Mexico City. An indigenous activist group, La Coordinadora de los 400 Pueblos, often stages nude protests in Mexico City. To suddenly encounter hundreds of nude indigenous bodies, from all ages, walking in silence across the city or standing nude on pedestals as human sculptures around the zocalo (the central plaza) is a very intense experience. This is not your typical avant-garde action. Their frail indigenous bodies are covered with colonial scars.

GS : In the U.K. for instance, legal prohibitions are generally tied to the obsession with conditions of health and safety in the public space. I have a direct experience of this through my work with artists as Cildo Meireles, whose installations provoke a strong physical interaction with materials that can sometimes be dangerous to the public, like broken glass or vast amounts of thread on the ground. The emotional and intellectual tensions that Meireles produces with these associations of body and matter are comparable to what live artists do in their work. This, in my view, is indirect censorship: by being subject to the regulations dictated by health and safety officers in museums, the work risks to losing its impact. It is fenced; its wings are cut down to avoid danger. All this is product of a culture that fears legal action, a very U.S. obsession. In Latin America, I have seen callousness in dealing with materials and dangerous substances in museums, which has in turn produced a freedom of action for artists to experiment.

GG-P : Complicated issue, qué no? In the U.S., political correctness in indirect collaboration with the puritan culture of fear imposed by the far right has created a rarified context for performance artists, who are constantly tiptoeing around issues of gender, race, and power – constantly self-censoring themselves. Artist s are always in fear of losing a grant or not getting invited back (to an arts institution). Since September 11, North American cultural institutions have become strangely fearful and quiet. The most transgressive work that my troupe has created in the past eight years can only performed in Latin America or Europe. Mapa/Corpo was banned in the U.S. for four years, and our new performance, Psycho-Magic Actions for a World Gone Wrong, still hasn’t been performed in the U.S.. It’s quite a dilemna for us.

GS : As a curator, I also feel prey to that dilemna. I sense that there is more space for radical thinking in South America at the moment, although accompanied by a still insufficient funding structure to support advances in the field. There is only room for hope that the situation will change. 

The ‘‘Other’’ Live Art Worlds

GG-P : The evolution of performance art or live art (as it’s known in the U.K.) in Latin and indigenous America has responded to dramatically different art historical and sociopolitical factors. With the exception of a handful of names that have been singled out by the members of the exclusive club of the self-proclaimed international art world – mostly privileged artists in ongoing dialogue with their European and New York peers – the majority of Latin American practitioners remain a mystery to European and U.S. artists and art audiences. Why?

GS : The question of unwritten history is central to this invisibility. The history of art written by Northern historians for universal comsumption is incomplete, biased, Eurocentric, largely white, and highly prejudiced. Moreover, the notion of international art and its assumption of sameness are both rooted in outdated notions. As Walter Mignolo proposes, ‘‘The defense of the human sameness above human differences is always a claim made from the privileged position of identity politics in power.’’ He also argues the whiteness is presented alongside political theory as transparent, neutral, and objective, while color/blackness plus political theory becomes essentialist and fundamentlist* (*Walter Mignolo, I am here I Think: Globalization, Epistemic Disobedience And The De-Colonial Option, Durham, NC: Duke University Presse). Such identification with the white/Western cultural paradigms of modernity oblitaries most initiatives tending to underscore the multiplicity of Latin American societies and their complex relationship with other colonized cultures. In this sense, live art and other conceptual and activist practices with an impact on the social sphere are sites of resistance, as they are interwoven with political and sexual dynamite. In addition, there is also the question of consumption and parasitism that your work explores so often. The inclusion of the parallel developments of art – including performance, video, conceptual practices, music, litterature, and other manifestation of artistic activity outside the Europe/U.S. axis -– depends, as you have repeatedly pointed out, on trends. The latest fascination with post-Soviet Eastern European or Middle Eastern.

GS (cont.) : art scenes will soon be replaced by the next geographical chic.

Another layer of misunderstanding is added by the fact that as the history of those contemporary expressions is unknown, everything seems to float in a vacuum, propitiating the validation of the aesthetically or conceptually familiar, to the detriment of the specificity of those practices.

GG-P : There are other political factors that contribute to this invisibility. With the events of September 11, Latin America disappeared overnight from the map (of Western culture). The U.S. and Canada closed their borders to their continental neighbors and engaged in a policy driven by paranoid nationalism, cultural isolationism, and xenophobia. Their panic-stricken policies were easily justified by the narrative of an endless war on terror. While this was taking place, with the exception of Colombia and Mexico, Latin America moved to the left and stopped thinking of the U.S. as a major cultural reference and developed many strong voices and places in the live arts. In the past ten years, an exciting live art movement has emerged out of Mexico City, Oaxaca, Lima, Bogota, Cali, Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, Buenos Aires, Cordoba, and Santiago, to name a few places. Most of these rebel milieus are led against all odds and with very little funding by women and gay artists.

GS : But there is a serious communication problem between these milieus.

GG-P : Partly due to Western ethnocentrism and partly due to the fact that there are no formalized communication channels, networks, or magazine between North and South America, these multiple live art works remain invisible and indifferent to one another. And when Latin American artists convene, the meetings are always brokered by the North. Northern impresarios, curators, and theorists often perform the role of ventriloquists and interpreters of difference. Paradoxically, because of this lack of direct communication between countries in the Americas, many of these live artists still don’t know one another in person. I have attended myriad gatherings in Los Angeles, New York, Quebec, London, Paris, and Berlin where I get to hang out with artists from my own continental neighborhood for the first time. It’s bizarre. Even the Latin American biennials devote very little space to performance. The only active network coordinated and theorized by Latin Americans and located throughout the continent is the Instituto Hemisférico de Performance y Politica.

GS : The prominent academic Néstor Garcia-Canclini proposed in a recent public discussion during the Mercosur Biennale (in Porto Alegre, Brazil) that events such as biennials of the South should invite Northern platforms to contemplate us, to summon the North Americans in order to invert the (role of) accessory historically allocated by them to us, whereby we were always invited to their parties. To invert the map, taking as inspiration the prescient Joaquin Torres Garcia’s drawing from 1936, to make our North the South --– that is the question.

GG-P : True. As diasporic Latinos operating from North America, our task is to occupy an alternative and more inclusive cartography, to occupy a fictional center, and to push the dominant North to the margins, treating it as exotic and unfamiliar. Fortunately there are enough border artists and intellectual coyotes (smugglers) with a bifocal understanding of these inter- and transcultural relations. These practitioners who are constantly migrating on their own volition, both within their own countries and outside, perform the role of informal diplomats and translators. And there is a lot to translate besides the language difference. The politics of the human body also needs to be translated.

The Terminological Wars

GG-P : You are opening Pandora’s box. The term performance is quite controversial in Latin America. Many artists consider it a cultural imposition and propose other terms such as arte accíon. Others prefer to reappropriate (and Spanishize) the term, calling it performa (Felipe Ehrenberg) or performancia. Rocio Boliver (a.k.a. La Congelada de Uva) prefers to call it performear(se), alluding to the act of pissing on your audience; the Mexican artist Maris Bustamante uses the word performantli, connecting the practice to its indigenous traditions; whereas César Martinez chooses to call himself artisto inter-indisciplinado, a hard-to-translate term that evokes both interdiscipline and untamable. Lately my troupe prefers to call what we do acciones psicomágicas, inspired by Alejandro Jodorowski.

The fact that the word performance does not quite match the multiple live art practices of our countries reveals the inherent cultural differences in live art production between North and South America.

GS : How appropriate to evoke Jodorowski in this moment of deep social and historical illness! Acciones  psicomágicas are highly desirable in the current situation; much healing and inspiration are needed to challenge the established politics of greed and destruction. Students in Santiago de Chile, workers and the unemployed in New York, and those in Greek and Spanish towns are developing their actions in the streets. It is only natural that artists join them with the weapons of their imagination.

The Border Zone, a Territory of Ongoing Misunderstanding

GG-P : Since the ‘80s, the theories of cultural relativism generated by radical anthropologists and so-called multicultural theorists have informed academic discourse but not always art discourse. Despite the collapse of the Global Project in early 2000, the much-touted international art world still thrives on the mythology that the artistic cartography is borderless, and we often have to remind the Northern art curators and impresarios that intellectual discourse is simply not, and has never been, universal or international. Postmodern, feminist, queer and postcolonial discourses have had very different evolutions and dynamics in Latin America and are often connected to local civic and activist movements that emerge out of (each) country’s historical specificities. Now, given the profound ignorance of the North, what can Latin American performance artists do when crossing a cultural border into the so-called First World? This is the ultimate challenge for us: to relay in a symbolic body language capable of holding up the semiotic breakdown, or at least of putting it in evidence. If we don’t embrace this challenge, we are risk of being exoticized and misunderstood.

GS : I remember when your company, La Pocha Nostra, performed in London’s Tate Modern during the week of Iraq Invasion (March 2003). The atmosphere was very changed. A few moments of that emsemble of dioramas remained in my memory as crucial expressions of how an image performed by an artist with his or her body can unleash suppressed feelings and give voice to deeply seated fears and desires in the audience. I remember in particular a middle-aged Arab lady who came to the gallery holding a U.S. flag, with the initial intention of setting it on fire. After consulting with you, she considered that not only being in a public museum presented a liability for such an act but also, as an Arab woman, she would become prey to the antagonism that the politics of paranoia had perpetrated at that time. After a long discussion with you, she opted for something more poetic: she laid the flag on the ground and performed a ritual dance by stepping on it repeatedly, with both grace and anger.

GG-P : I remember. That was a dangerous ‘‘border moment.’’ And we were lucky to be able to solve it. But sometimes we fail and are misunderstood. I remember when La Congelada de Uva was invited for the first time to a Hemispheric Institute gathering in New York, she presented her amazing piece, Close your legs!, in which, dressed as a nun, she inserted a baby Jesus into her vagina, sewing her lips with thread. She outraged the New York intelligentsia, who failed to understand the weight that Catholicism has had on Mexico’s perception of women. Often humor is a formidable border. When the mexican artist César Martinez spent four years in Madrid, the Spaniards had a love/hate relationship with his performance work. They loved his wild aesthetics but hated his sense of humor. They failed to understand that you can be both highly conceptual and extremely funny. It’s a Mexican thing. I myself have had an ongoing debate with Boris Nieslony from Black Market International, who perceives my symbolic and highly stylized acts of violence at face value, regarding them as authoritarian, and my kitsch aesthetics as inauthentic. i have had to remind him that artifice and style are important for a culture (Chicano) that is under siege on a daily basis. We need to engage in a serious debate about these cultural misunderstandings. Which other issues regarding the North/South interface in live art do you feel need to be addressed?

GS : I would like to address this very crucial problem of translation. My question would be: how effective is it in the cultural field? Can we consider the border between different approaches to humor without affecting the impact of the message? But humor is of course not the only barrier; prejudice is even more difficult to cross. I remember the ideological borders you came into contact with Argentina, when performaing The Couple in the Cage with Coco Fusco in 1992. She wrote about the Argentine art milieu being very insensitive to your representation of indigenous people, as they saw themselves free from the concern of colonization. This was such a cynical pretense! After five hundred years, the country is still bloody with the multiple genocides of indigenous people since the arrival of the conquistadores, and to this day their human rights to land, language,, and a dignified life are not granted.

GG-P : What kind of work interests you lately, in the terrain of live art?

GS : The interface between the field of live art and activist performative actions is something that I recall us discussing for a long while. Once, tou mentioned a very moving civic action that took place in Mexico’s Zocalo Square. The image has remained in my mind all these years. You said that thousands of indigenous Mexicans (congregated) in the square, drank lots of water, and silently urinated at the same time, as an act of protest. How powerful that must have been!

GG-P : That was La Coordinatora de los 400 Pueblos! What about the current international occupation movement inspired by the Arab Spring and the Spanish Indignados?

GS : What I  see is that – with the current confusion in relation to what seems to be a global political shift – social movements, indigenous activists, and the unemployed are deploying strategies of intervention that on a few occasions make use of aesthetic and poetic signs normally associated with art.

 GG-P : With the severity of the current crisis and citizens occupying the streets of hundreds of cities worldwide, museums and major cultural institutions seem to be completely out of touch. This context offers us the possibility to begin new critical conversations regarding the multiple existing gaps not just between the North and South American live art milieus but also between the new streets and the future cultural organizations that have to catch up. Everyone I know is currently embarked on a radical process of soul-searching and reinvention. »

- LA POCHA NOSTRA, Corpo Illicito, 2009, Halles de Shaerbeek, Bruxelle/Maison Folie, Mons, Belgique.

Perfomed by Dani d’Emilia, Guillermo Gomez-Pena, Violeta Luna and Pierre Megos in collaboration with local artists and workshop participants. Photos: André Delvigne/audience submissions.


Performance @ La Calera. Oaxaca. Co-produced by La Perrera, Taller Espacio Alternativo, La Telaraña, Museo del Ferrocarril, La Calera & La Pocha Nostra.

Mexico, 31 Aug. 2012.

Jam Session/public performance at the end of the 12-day laboratory.

Performance, installation, video, electronics and more.

Led by troupe members Guillermo Gómez-Peña, Dani d’Emilia (Brasil), Erica Mott (USA) Saul Garcia Lopez (Canada) and Emma Thamposch of La Pocha Nostra and involving 24 participants from Mexico, Chile, Colombia, USA, Poland, Canada and New Zealand.

Photos: Tanai Bohórquez, Luis Enrique García, Eva Verardo, Berenice Guraieb, Roberto Olivares.

- LA RIBOT, Laughing Hole, 1999, photo. Bertrand Prévost.

- LANG Alice, Comforter, 2009.

Comforter is made from a second hand bed spread that has been cut, sewn, and stuffed using a technique derived from cutwork embroidery. The final sculpture was used as a performative object in my solo exhibition ‘‘Remains’’ which was held at Accidentally Annie Street Space in Brisbane in 2009. The performance consisted of a person sleeping underneath the sculpture for the duration of the exhibition opening.

- LOCKE Jennifer, Black White (glue), 2009.

- LOCKE Jennifer, Black White (ink), 2009.

- MARS Tania, Untitled, 2009, photo. Jonas Stampe.

- MIAO Jiaxin, Vagina Scanner, 2009.

- MIGONE Christof, Hit Parade, 2009. Québec. Montréal.

- O’BRIEN Kate & KING Sinnead, Fake FHM Girls, 2009.

- ROSSA Boryana & MAVROMATTI Oleg, Blood Certified, 2009.

Performed at: performance in Crisis, Exit Art, NYC. We print $1, 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 notes using stencils and our blood as ink and sell them to the audience for the price indicated on the note. The audience spontaneously begins bidding, and the performance turns into a real auction. This performance was made in conjunction with the program Performance In Crisis, at Exit Art, NYC.

- SIERRA Santiago, Tentative de construire quatre cubes de sable mesurant 100 x 100 cm, Playa America, Pontevedra, Espagne, avril 2009.

Deux nomades tchèques qui vivaient sur la plage furent engagés pour construire quatre cubes de sable mesurant cent centimètres de côté. Quand la moitié du premier cube fut réalisée et après avoir compris le caractère impossible de leur construction, ils abandonnèrent leur travail. La moitié du paiement prévu leur fut donnée.

- STAMPE Joakim, Only for the dead, 2009.

- SURYODARMO Melati, Cyclus-X, 2009.

I was interested to observe the mmeaning of urban movement, migration and being homeless. Clothes have the practical function but also represent the personality and become the symbol of status. I was interested to all the female workers whose life devoted to become a maid in foreign country like Taiwan. This is a social issue in my country, and in fact a very sad issue.

This performance was the beginning of my direct perception of a place and a site specific oriented.

Materials: ca. 100 pieces of clothes, ropes, knife.

Duration: 3 hours

Performed at Artrend-performance art meeting, Taipei, Taiwan, 2009.

- SURYODARMO Melati, I Put a Spell on You, 2009. Photo. Boris Nieslony.

Performed at the river in Hildesheim, 2009.

‘‘I put a spell on you’’ is a duration work where I laid down on sand bank in the middle of the river in Hildesheim. I stuffed long black rubber bands in during the performance. This work was inspired by the concept of freedom of speech related to the new change in the European politics. 

Duration: 3 hours.

Performed ‘‘Art of the Encountering’’, Hildesheim, Germany, 2009.

- TANIUCHI Tsuneko, Micro-événement n°9/Six personnages de femmes, 2009.

La Force de l’art 02, Les Virtuels, invité par Synesthésie, Grand Palais, Paris, 2009.

Ce micro-événement se crée sur les notions de déplacement du corps et de communication interpersonnelles, dans l’espace virtuel (le jeu en ligne) et l’espace réel. Ce travail offre des potentialités de rencontres et d’échanges dans ces deux espaces et deux temps. Dans ma performance, j’incarne six personnages de femmes avec qui vous pouvez jouer virtuellement (vidéo game du Micro-événement n°13/Six personnages de femmes). L’interaction avec le public qui en résulte et la fiction qui se déroule à partir d’un scénario sont des éléments prépondérants de mon travail. Ces personnages de femmes, sortent de l’espace virtuel pour défiler tour à tour devant vos yeux. (photos. Ulrike Uhlig)

- TANIUCHI Tsuneko, Micro-événement n° 36/Ice Vitrine, 2009, photo: Elin Lundgren.

Lilith Performance Studio, Malmø, Suède, 2009 ; Becoming Intense, Becoming Animal, Becoming…, organisé par l’Université de Heidelberg, Palais Prince Carl, Heidelberg, Allemagne, 2009.

Pendant 4 heures, je suis restée enfermée dans une vitrine construite avec douze blocs de glace de 25 cm d’épaisseur. C’était une performance dévelopée sur place pendant cind semaines, en collaboration avec Lilith Performance Studio, en Suède.

J’ai invité huit hommes à participer à ma performance. Par groupe de dix personnes, les spectateurs entrent dans une salle bien éclairée par des lumières blanches.

Trois minutes après que le public soit entré, le premier homme arrive et se place contre le mur face à moi. Le deuxième homme se positionne aux côtés du premier homme, ceci continue jusqu’à ce que les huit hommes soient tous entrés pour se ranger contre le mur. Le seul bruit est celui de la glace qui grince de temps à autre. j’impose comme conditions au public de ne pas se parler et de garder le silence. J’ai choisi de m’objectiver en me mettant nue dans une vitrine de glace, au milieu de la salle. Ainsi je crée un ensemble de situations incongrues (mises en scène) dans lesquelles l’artiste, le public et les hommes se trouvent confrontés aux limites de leurs propres perceptions vis-à-vis des structures de pouvoir et des norms sociales et culturelles.

La lumière s’éteint au bout de 15 minutes et la performance s’achève. Les spectateurs sortent de la salle. La performance recommence, de nouveaux groupes de dix personnes se succèdent.

Participants à Malmø en Suède : Klas Bergman, Tom Olsen, Armando Baeza Soto, Björn Axelsson, Jonas Ermegørd, Per Andersson, Fred Riessen, Pether Lindgren.

Participants à Heidelberg en Allemagne : HardChor (chorale d’hommes)

- THANE Lucy, 7000 Year Old Woman, 2009.

- TREMBLAY Julie, Everything That Happens. 2009.

Preparatory work for the first production of the performance ‘‘Everything That Happens’’ in copenhaguen, summer of 2009.

- VERHAEGHE Valentine, Kunos, 2009, 2nd Biennale Performance Festival, Thessalonique.

- WEN Lee, Dog Man Domesticate, 2009. Göteborg.

- WILDING Faith, Waiting-With, 2009, reprise de la performance de 1972. photo : Jan Stradtmann.

Waiting-With is Faith Witlding’s reinterpretation of her iconic performance Waiting from the 1970s. She rewrote the origianl performance in 2007 and had since staged it several times. In Wilding’s words, ‘‘The prospect of redoing Waiting as a live performance after than 30 years was both provocative and frightening, but I decided that this was an opportunity to revisit and comment on an early work, which had become iconic and frozen in time.’’ Instead of simply redoing the performance, Wilding undoes the piece to rearticulate Waiting

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