By James M. Harding
"A considerate and interesting contribution to the sphere that would have a sustained and lasting effect at the means feminist functionality is outlined and understood, in addition to on how feminist histories and historiographies proceed to problem and remodel the bigger box of performance."
---Charlotte Canning, The collage of Texas at Austin
"Harding forcefully demanding situations and destabilizes the male-centered Eurocentric family tree of the avant-garde, which he claims is an uncontested, linear, positivistic background, unproblematized through conception. Then he argues that this gendered biased model of the ecu avant-garde is carried over into American historiography . . . A forceful case for a revisionist history."
---Daniel Gerould, the town college of recent York Graduate Center
Cutting Performances demanding situations 4 many years' worthy of scholarship at the American avant-garde through supplying a provocative reconceptualization of the heritage of avant-garde functionality alongside feminist traces. concentrating on 5 girls artists (Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven, Gertrude Stein, Yoko Ono, Carolee Schneemann, and Valerie Solanas) whose functionality aesthetics made well known use of college recommendations, James M. Harding sheds mild at the cultural background of the avant-garde and the position that experimental girls artists performed in that heritage. He investigates the in demand place that university strategy occupied in the artists' functionality aesthetic, and the decisively feminist inflection that their paintings offers to college as a style of avant-garde expression. the unconventional juxtapositions of their works produce the robust results of creating the frequent unusual and constructing contexts from which new understandings may well emerge.
Harding examines the performative dimensions of college in experimental, feminist redefinitions of the literary, photo, and theatrical arts, filling a void in a scholarly discourse that, whereas ostensibly in regards to the leading edge, has lagged good in the back of different major theoretical and historiographical currents. Cutting Performances not just demanding situations assumptions that experience ruled scholarship at the American avant-garde but in addition establishes a context to reconsider the background of yank avant-garde functionality alongside feminist traces. it is going to attract audiences attracted to theater background and function stories in addition to these drawn to the cultural heritage of the avant-garde and the position that feminist experimental artists have performed in it.
James M. Harding is Professor of English on the collage of Mary Washington. His different books comprise Not the opposite Avant-Garde: Transnational Foundations of Avant-Garde Performance (with John Rouse); Restaging the Sixties: Radical Theaters and Their Legacies (with Cindy Rosenthal); and Contours of the Theatrical Avant-Garde: functionality and Textuality.
Illustration: Carolee Schneemann in Eye Body-36 Transformative Actions (1963) motion for digital camera (Photograph by means of Erró). Reproduced by way of permission of Carolee Schneemann.
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Additional info for Cutting Performances: Collage Events, Feminist Artists, and the American Avant-Garde
While that orientation certainly points toward an historical terrain of avant-garde performance that has remained too little surveyed for too long, what I hope for with this book is that in its own small way it disrupts the possibility of business as usual in subsequent studies of avant-garde performance. This issue here is not merely that of positioning gender as an established category within the basic de‹nitions of the avant-garde. Rather it is that of repeatedly exploring how issues of gender radically alter the way scholars conceptualize the avant-garde as such.
44 And here one begins to move into territory beyond those same traditional points of reference that historians of the avant-garde have taken for granted for the last forty years. ”45 Of equal importance to that ‹rst question concerning how we “think about” or “produce history” is the second question concerning whose history one ultimately produces or reproduces. This is the question of whose work scholars ultimately discuss, to what end, and in whose interest? While a full-scale feminist critique of the accepted canon of avant-garde theater and performance would certainly yield important results—and is a project that has not yet been undertaken in a systematic way—a feminist historiography of avant-garde performance necessitates a radical shift in focus from a male-dominated canon to the experimental work of women artists if it is to excavate a set of norms and values that does not serve patriarchal interests.
It is the one category that does not supplant one theory of the avant-garde with another but rather that ultimately situates multiple theories of the avant-garde in the tense dialectic of radical juxtaposition. It is the one category that moves us from a his- 34 | CUTTING PERFORMANCES tory of the avant-garde into a serious consideration of the messy, frequently irreconcilable, but rich and concurrent histories of American avant-garde performance. There is no pretense here about the exhaustiveness of the precepts I have proposed.