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Alkazi Theatre Archives

A Bibliographic Listing from the Archive

Performing the Body/performing the Text

Book: Performing the Body/performing the Text
Edited by: Amelia Jones, Andrew Stephenson
Published by: Routledge, 2005

The book ‘Performing the Body/Performing the Text’ edited by Ameila Jones and Andrew Stephenson, is a collection of essays, offers a way to revise art critical and historical studies via the insights of philosophy, theatre and literary studies, cultural studies, and feminism as well as queer theory. The book delves into the realm of visual culture and how meaning is created within it. It explores how art critics and historians validate their interpretations and aims to present more self-reflective approaches to reading and understanding art.
Comprising eighteen essays by various scholars, the book explores diverse range of subjects and issues —from Kantian performativity in the history of art, performing modernity, performativity and the southern lynching, performing homosexual body, to performing vision in the theatre of the gaze and others. Lisa bloom in her chapter ‘body politics and feminist conceptual art’ emphasizes the importance of viewing visual culture as vital and living, while the essays by Karen Lang, Donald Perziosi and Amelia Jones address the ways in which art historical discourses and institutions have functioned as modernist machines for ensuring the smooth operation of this complex system by which the disciplines of art history and art criticism maintain their cultural authority. Essays by Reina Lewis, Michael Hatt, and Jennifer Devee Brody focus on the ways in which race and ethnicity, completely repressed in modernist art historical and critical discourses. Gavin Butt and Fiona Barber expand the conception of performativity engaging with the homosexuality and concept of disruptive body.

“Adopting a notion of performativity as a critical strategy within the study of visual culture thus enables a recognition of interpretation as a fragile, partial, and precarious affair and, ultimately, affords a critique of art criticism and art history as they have been traditionally practised (p.2).”

Performing the body