Claire Bishop on Visual Art and Contemporary Performance

Ideally, the dialectic of de- and re-skilling should allow artists, directors, and choreographers to creatively rethink their output, and in ways that go beyond a mere swapping of context. As viewers too, we need to re-skill, learning to read the ways in which the black box might offer its own critique of spectacle and theatricality. Maybe then, eventually, the discursive fixities of art and theater can become more adventurous in their unraveling, encouraging theater to engage more deeply with concept, context, and audience, while encouraging visual art performance to rethink the duration it currently allocates to its ideas, countenance some rehearsals, and get over its life-long attachment to the reality effect.

Claire Bishop has written a fantastic essay on the whole contemporary performance/visual art scenario. It is available at the Brooklyn Rail.

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