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Themesicon: navigation pathOverview of Media Articon: navigation pathPerformance
 
Following Piece (Acconci, Vito), 1969Corrections 199698 (Krastev, Rassim), 1996VB 50 (Beecroft, Vanessa), 2002
 
 
 

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the broadcast anticipated many aspects that would later be elaborately produced in the form of games[62] or «Big Brother»-like soap operas. Ono's authentic interference in an anonymous woman's private sphere went much further than a conceptual action like Vito Acconci's «Following Piece;» it touched upon real or imagined traumatic experiences, and even today leaves behind a claustrophobically realistic impression. The longer one watches the broadcast, the more unbearable the voyeuristic viewing of the obsessive, dialogical relationship between reality and its media recording becomes.

What Rassim Krastev documents on videotape in «Corrections 1996–98,» an action repeated by an eastern European artist as an ironical rejoinder to the western body cult, obeys the logic of merchandise and image value. The raw material of the artist, the intervention in his own body, ultimately remains the production of an image to capitalize in the art market. Similarly, the performances of Vanessa Beecroft (see «VB 50,» one of the most recent, which was delivered at the 2002 Sao Paulo Biennial and featured tableaux made up of nude, stylized women's bodies) are based on advertising images and the utopian visions of human

 

cloning. Due to the lack of occurrences, however, the act of exhibition and that of voyeuristic watching become ever more incidental in the course of the performance. The border between naked and clothed persons, between performers and viewers, becomes blurred. What remains is a situation not unlike the noise of a television running in the background: We occasionally glance at the screen to see what's showing, then return to our everyday activities. In an exhibition situation, we simply pick up the threads of a conversation we were having. Interestingly, Vanessa Beecroft repeats her performances on a different day exclusively for the purposes of electronic documentation: As if the audience were not part of the performance but only a performance framework that has to be allowed for. Although Vanessa Beecroft works with real bodies, the ultimate goal is the body image. Photographs—«stills»—are therefore the logical medium for exploiting her performances.[63] The exposure of one's own body is a paid job demanded only of others. At least we discover this much about the truth of the body, whatever that is: The body has yet again congealed into an image, even if these images are «live.»

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