[-empyre-] more and the question about performance

Alan Sondheim sondheim at panix.com
Sun Nov 16 02:38:36 EST 2014

Hi Erik,

I do want to reply, briefly, to you here.
You state (the quote didn't work):

a thing, to be art, must represent a thing by other means. so, the life in 
a flower (a feature of time) is re-presented in arrangement (a feature of 
space). [barba, dictionary of theatre anthropology]

- and it seems to me, that "to be art" - in order to be art - is 
problematic; certainly there has been a lot of writing on the iconic (in 
Peirce's sense) to claim otherwise - a thing can represent itself. This 
was fundamental to a lot of West Coast feminist art from the 60s and 70s - 
where sweeping a floor for example wasn't representing sweeping "by other 
means" but was exactly what it seemed - work. Chris Burden played off this 
a number of times as well.

So when you state

to represent killing by killing is anti-performance.

- for me it's performance, a horrifying one, but performance nonetheless.

(I'm always suspicious as well about anti-anything, such as "anti-poems," 
"anti-art" etc.; these exist within the same fold.)

Thanks, Alan

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