Performance on Paper
“We always project into the future or reflect in the past, but we are so little in the present.“
This statement by performance artist Marina Abramovic arguably reflects best what performance art is all about: celebrating the here and now by inspiring the audience to focus on the sole moment of experience. Thus, the one characteristic found in the manifold styles and techniques of performance art is transitoriness. Once the performance is over, the direct encounter with the artwork is gone. What nevertheless endures is the memory of its experience. The following two publications respectively devote themselves to making the works of two inspiring performance artists somewhat timeless – at least on paper.
Whispers: Ulay on Ulay, Valiz
Uwe Frank Laysiepen, better known by his artist name Ulay, is maybe one of the most well-known figures in performance art of the 1970s and 80s. Famous for his body-related work he created with his celebrated partner Marina Abramovic, Ulay talks about his personal life, philosophies, ethics and secrets in a very open and intimate way. His work that in fact precedes the medium of performance and also includes Polaroid photography is still today considered as radically innovative. With multiple images and texts, Whispers gives a comprehensive insight into the artist’s turbulent journey of the past decades.
Public Relations / Öffentlichkeitsarbeit by Liz Magic Laser, Sternberg Press
Public Relations / Öffentlichkeitsarbeit focuses on performance artist Liz Magic Laser’s recent work, in which she studies the way news are produced and how politicians gesticulate and interact with each other. Laser is known for interventions in the semipublic sphere that are engaging, provocative, yet always carefully planned and scripted. The New York based artist is especially interested in revealing mechanisms that are embedded in the process of transmitting current information and uses them to create a theatrical dialogue. The book, published on the occasion of her exhibition at the Westfälischer Kunstverein/ Münster, is designed by Benedikt Reichenbach and includes various images as well as video scripts.