London — A Short History of Performance – Part II at Whitechapel

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Date/Time: 18/11/2003 12:00 am

A Short History of Performance – Part II
17 – 23 November 2003
Following the huge success of A Short History of Performance – Part I, the Whitechapel presents the second short but explosive season dedicated to performance art works.
A Short History of Performance – Part II is a week-long season of live performances, including re-enactments of key works, specially commissioned new works and the presentation of seminal performance documentation. Exploring words and ideas as raw materials, the programme showcases artists who use and abuse the lecture format – questioning ideas of knowledge and of truth, and encompassing history, politics, feminism and art itself.
Featuring British and international artists who have been working over the past 40 years, the following artists are participating in A Short History of Performance – Part II;
The Atlas Group (Lebanese) – Walid Raad’s fictitious group explore and document Lebanese history using installations and lecture-performances.
Mark Dion (US) – Often donning the coat of scientist, explorer, naturalist and ecologist to examine understandings of knowledge and accepted fact, Dion is developing a new performance for the season, Dystopian Alphabet.
Andrea Fraser (US) – Emerging during the 1980s, Fraser reveals the politically sensitive aspects of museums’ institutional histories via tours and gallery audioguides.
Inventory (UK) – The London-based collective who produce studio work and organise performance events present a radio broadcast Endless Sonic Mania within the gallery.
Robert Morris (US) – Seminal sculptor and central figure in bringing together Avant Garde art, music, theatre and dance during the 1960s will introduce his 1964 performance 21.3.
Martha Rosler (US) – Famous for her highly polemical, feminist work, Rosler re-stages her famous video performance Semiotics of the Kitchen for a live audience.
Carey Young (UK/US) – London-based artist working mainly in video, photography and performance, Young negotiates aesthetic, political and corporate languages in this new commission.
A Short History of Performance – Part II also pays homage to Joseph Beuys (Germany) and Robert Smithson (US) – two artists who have helped define the role of art in the physical and social world. A rare screening of Smithson’s recorded lecture Hotel Palenque, 1969, will explore his ideas about memory, history and the environment, while a 1-day installation on Sunday 23 November will bring together blackboards created by Beuys during his Lecture-Actions of the 1970s, as well as films documenting these actions.
A Short History of Performance – Part II is part of an ongoing programme strand at the Whitechapel, which focuses on movements that changed the modern art canon. Previous shows have included Inside the Visible (1996), Live in Your Head (2000) and A Short History of Performance – Part I (2002).
Notes for Editors
… Performance art originated in the live actions of the Futurists, Dadaists and the Bauhaus, re-emerging in the 1950s when the body was increasingly used as both material and site for art. Pioneering figures included Yves Klein, Piero Manzoni and Joseph Beuys. Performances, actions and happenings are staged in real time, engage in a direct relationship with the audience and may be staged in a gallery or on the street. Artists may enact rituals, undergo tests of endurance or perform gestures to use the body as a way of exploring art and ideas – cultural, political and social.
… Publications documenting performance art currently available include The Artist’s Body (Phaidon Press, 2000), Out Of Actions (Thames & Hudson, 1998) and Performance – Live Art Since the 60s (Thames & Hudson, 1998). Recent exhibitions include LA Museum of Contemporary Art’s Out of Actions and the Tate Modern’s Performing Bodies.
… A Short History of Performance II is organised by the Whitechapel and curated by Andrea Tarsia.
… A small brochure will accompany A Short History of Performance – Part II.
Visitor Information
A Short History of Performance – Part II is a season of ticketed performances.
Tuesday 18 – Saturday 22 November, doors open 6.30pm and performances start at 7pm. Sunday 23 November, 11am – 6pm.
To book tickets or for further information call +44 (0)20 7522 7888, email Tickets@whitechapel.org or visit www.whitechapel.org