Not to Play with Dead Things

From its Futurist and Dadaist outbursts in the 1910s and 1920s to Body art in the 1970s and the new theatrical forms of the 2000s, the history of performance art is seemingly built on the same set of elements – movements, speech, the body, transience, audience-orientated actions, etc.

These constituents often stand for a definition of a genre, which always refused to take on traditional aesthetic forms.

Nevertheless, through history, more than simple traces were left of this art: artists also produced real installations whose status is ambiguous once the action is over, as well as ‘performative objects’.

The exhibition and this catalogue question the nature and the relevance of these ‘objects’ in contemporary practices.

Gathering together various essays, the book documents works by numerous artists including Paul McCarthy, Mike Kelley, John Bock, Spartacus Chetwynd, Catherine Sullivan and Erwin Wurm.

English text

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