The Work of Art in the Age of Half-Hearted Reproducibility
Art, Affective Labor, and Performance in the 1970s
“Performance” has long been cast as a strict departure from the conventions of dramatic representation, said to have eliminated all traces of narrative, script, character, acting, theatricality, and pretend. This book flips that assumption on its head, offering the first history of performance's formation––in discourses both artistic and academic, in the 1970s––and in so doing, radically revising our understanding of the form. Performance, for many artists, was a means to cannily manipulate anxieties about authenticity and originality, long the purview of modernist art history: from the photograph to the readymade.
Julia Heyward, Untitled, 1971