erformance Art and Photography

Instructor:Jennifer Leigh Wright

www.jenniferleighwright.com

jwright01@mica.edu

Course: Performance Art and Photography

Classes meet at Rayko Photo Center in upstairs classroom

July 28th, Aug 4th, Aug 11th, Aug 18th, Aug 25th from 6:30pm-9:30pm

General Course Description: Throughout the course, Performance Art and Photography, students will learn about contemporary performance artists, performance art, and how photography is used to create a final art object. For example, artists Linda Montano and Tehching Hsieh created the yearlong performance piece “Rope Piece” from 1983 to 1984. While art enthusiasts can read interviews about Montano and Hsieh’s experiences, we still rely on photographic documentation to view “Rope Piece.” During Performance Art and Photography we will consider artists working from the 1960s to present day. We will discuss artists, such as Tehching Hsieh, Yoko Ono, Linda Montano, Carolee Schneemann, Ana Mendieta, Hannah Wilke, Coco Fusco, Chris Burden, Gina Pane, Hermann Nitsch, Orlan, Pyotr Pavlensky, and many others. Each class will consist of a lecture, a slide show, a class discussion, and a critique of student work. We will research up-and-coming artists. We will discuss endurance art, alter egos, site-specific performance art, and how photography is utilized during performance art. We will also talk about trends in performance art in america, pop-up galleries, performance art collectives, transgender performance artists, queer performance artists, and politics and performance art. Students will complete weekly visual art projects using photographic media. Students will also complete assigned readings and watch assigned films. Students should complete their assignments outside of class time.

Tehching Hsieh and Linda Montano- ‘Rope Piece’ “We, Linda Montano and Teaching Hsieh, plan to do a one year performance. We will stay together for one year and never be alone. We will be in the same room at the same time, when we are inside. We will be tied together at the waist with an 8 foot rope. We will never touch each other during the year. The performance will begin on July4, 1983 at 6 P.M. and continue until July 4, 1984 at 6 P.M.”

First Assignment: Create a site-specific performance. Document the site-specific performance using photographic media. (One week to complete. Class critique on August 4th)

Second Assignment: Create a visual response to the concept, alter ego. Document the “alter ego”using photographic media. If an “alter ego” doesn’t make sense to you or is too challenging, then you may create a visual response to a “secret side” of you. (One week to complete. Class critique on August 11th)

Third Assignment: Create an endurance art performance piece. Students will document their performances using photography. (One week to complete. Class critique on August 18th)

Final Project: A project of your choosing. The only parameters are that the project must relate to performance art and photography. You are required to write an artist statement about this work that is no longer than one page. Please present that statement with your art piece during the class critique. If you need helping thinking of a project, then I can give you an assignment, such as “create a performance piece that involves an interaction with a sculpture.” (Class critique on August 25th)

Please, let me know if you have any questions about the assignments: jwright01@mica.edu

Weekly Readings: In addition to weekly visual art projects, students will complete weekly readings that I assign and students will watch assigned films.

Required Reading: -These readings are subject to change:

  • Powers of Horror: An Essay on Abjection by Julia Kristeva
  • October Files: Cindy Sherman by Johanna Burton- I will select essays from this book.
  • De Lauretis, Teresa. “Snow on the Oedipal Stage.” Alice Doesn’t: Feminism, Semiotics, Cinema.

Films: these films are subject to change.

  • Klute
  • Orlando
  •  The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover.

Photographic media you can use to document your performances:

  • Black and White Film Photography
  • Color Photography (C Prints)
  • Digital Photography (Inkjet Prints)
  • Video
  • Alternative Processes in Photography (ex. Palladium Printing)

*If you are confused about whether a particular media is considered “photographic,” then talk to me about it.

Weekly Schedule:

Week 1:

-Lecture and Discussion: “The Body As Material” and “Site Specificity.” Questions to think about: Why create performance art? What is the difference between performing in a gallery vs performing outside the gallery? What is the “art establishment?” Is your artwork politically motivated? Artists to look at: Chris Burden, Tehching Hsieh, Ana Mendieta, Pyotr Pavlensky, - We will also look at some new Baltimore-based performance artists and performance art collectives.

Homework: Assignment #1 is due next week: (Create a site-specific performance. Document the site-specific performance using photographic media.)

Week 2:

-Critique assignment #1

-Lecture, slide show, and discussion- Alter Ego- Artist to look at for this assignment: Coco Fusco,Cindy Sherman

Homework: Assignment #2 is due next week: (Create a visual response to the concept, alter ego.

Document the “alter ego” using photographic media. If an “alter ego” doesn’t make sense to you or is too challenging, then you may create a visual response to a “secret side” of you.)

Week 3:

-Critique of assignment #2

-Lecture, slide show, and discussion- Endurance Art- Tehching Hsieh- The “Master of Performance Art.” Performance Art and Sculpture: Mika Rottenberg. Cyborgs: Orlan

Homework: Assignment #3 is due next week: (Create an endurance art performance piece. Students will document their performances using photography.)

Week 4:

-Critique of assignment #3

-Lecture, slide show, and discussion- Final Assignment Ideas, current trends in Performance Art in America, Pop Up Galleries, Performance Art Collectives, Transgender Performance Artists, Queer Performance Artists, Politics and Performance Art

Homework: Final Assignment (Final Project: A project of your choosing. The only parameters are that the project must relate to performance art and photography. You are required to write an artist statement that is no longer than one page.)

Week 5: Final Critique!

***** Note: the schedule is subject to change