The Explicit Body in Performance

What happens when a body is presented as a stage, and dramas unfold across it–is it Performance Art or pornography?The Explicit Bodyexamines the controversial and often shocking issues which surround the use of the female body in performance art. Since the early 1960s, women in performance art have worked to “liberate” the female body from the confines of patriarchal delimitation. By the late 1980s and early 1990s, the clash of the rubrics “porn” and “art”‘ manipulated by female artists worked to complicate the already embattled debates about the terms of that liberation. Schneider tackles topics which include the “post-porn modernist movement”, censorship by the New Right, primitivism, commodity fetishism, and the link between the modern prostitute and the postmodern performance artist. Among the many artists discussed are Karen Finley, Spiderwoman Theatre, Carolee Scheemann, and Annie Sprinkle. Theoretically sophisticated, trenchantly argued and elegantly written,The Explicit Bodywill be illuminating reading for students and teachers of performance studies, women’s studies and cultural studies as well as practitioners of performance art.

Text: Schneider Rebecca. cm 15,5×23,5; pp. 238; BW ills.; paperback. Publisher: Routledge, Andover, 1997.

ISBN: 9780415090261 | 0415090261

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What happens when a body is presented as a stage, and dramas unfold across it–is it Performance Art or pornography?The Explicit Bodyexamines the controversial and often shocking issues which surround the use of the female body in performance art. Since the early 1960s, women in performance art have worked to “liberate” the female body from the confines of patriarchal delimitation. By the late 1980s and early 1990s, the clash of the rubrics “porn” and “art”‘ manipulated by female artists worked to complicate the already embattled debates about the terms of that liberation. Schneider tackles topics which include the “post-porn modernist movement”, censorship by the New Right, primitivism, commodity fetishism, and the link between the modern prostitute and the postmodern performance artist. Among the many artists discussed are Karen Finley, Spiderwoman Theatre, Carolee Scheemann, and Annie Sprinkle. Theoretically sophisticated, trenchantly argued and elegantly written,The Explicit Bodywill be illuminating reading for students and teachers of performance studies, women’s studies and cultural studies as well as practitioners of performance art.