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Distributed for Dartmouth College Press

No Innocent Bystanders

Performance Art and Audience

At a moment when performance art and performance generally are at the center of the international art world, Frazer Ward offers us insightful readings of major performance pieces by the likes of Acconci, Burden, Abramovic, and Hsieh, and confronts the twisting and troubled relationship that performance art has had with the spectator and the public sphere. Ward contends that the ethical challenges with which performance art confronts its viewers speak to the reimagining of the audience, in terms that suggest the collapse of notions like “public” and “community.” A thoughtful, even urgent discussion of the relationship between art and the audience that will appeal to a broad range of art historians, artists, and others interested in constructions of the public sphere.

224 pages | 6 x 9

Art: Art--General Studies

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Reimagining the Audience • Performance after Minimalism: Fantasies of Public and Private • Acconci: “Public space is wishful thinking.” • Burden: “I’d set it up by telling a bunch of people, and that would make it happen.” • Abramovic: “You can stop. You don’t have to do this.” • Hsieh: “For me, the audience is secondary. However, without them my performances couldn’t exist.” • Notes • Bibliography • Index

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