los-angeles

“Action/Performance And The Photograph”

Jan Turner and Turner

From the late ’50s to the present, performance-oriented body art has radically displayed and enacted the artist in/as the work itself. This excellent exhibition, organized by Craig Krull, explored the photographic documents that memorialize these performative acts. The hundred or so images ranged from the modest (Vito Acconci’s tiny vintage prints of himself rubbing his body against a sooty wall), to the pretentious (Hermann Nitsch’s gory color photographs of naked men covered with animal blood and hoisted up on crucifixes), to the understated sublime (Carolee Schneemann’s elegant grid of uncanny, erotic photographs of bodily orifices and protrusions).

The wide range of photographic images of body and performance art raised central questions. Who authors these images? Are the images spontaneous or staged? Are they “art objects” or “documents” or both? What is the role of photography in art

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