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The Object of Performance

The American Avant-Garde since 1970

Sayre defines for the first time the apparently diffuse avant-garde art of the past two decades in terms of its distinctly postmodern concerns. The range of arts discussed here encompasses contemporary dance, photography, oral poetics, performance art, and earthworks.

"Sayre has written one of the most intelligent, sensible, and readable accounts of the tenents of Postmodern artmaking published to date."—Jeff Abell, New Art Examiner

"No one can read The Object of Performance without gaining a far better idea than before of what has happened to art, and, in some measure, why. . . . I find this book consistently illuminating."—Arthur C. Danto

324 pages | 4 color plates, 91 halftones | 6-1/2 x 9-1/8 | © 1989

Art: American Art

Culture Studies

Literature and Literary Criticism: American and Canadian Literature

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Preface
Introduction: The Object of Performance
1. The Rhetoric of the Pose
Photography and the Portrait as Performance
2. A New Person(a)
Feminism and the Art of the Seventies
3. Tracing Dance
Collaboration and the New Gesamtkunstwerk
4. Three Performances
Laurie Anderson, Eleanor Antin, and Carolee Schneemann
5. "So Much to Tell"
Narrative and the Poetics of the Vernacular
6. Open Space
Landscape and the Postmodern Sublime
7. Critical Performance
The Example of Roland Barthes
Epilogue
Notes
Index

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