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Title: The use of the performative to disrupt form in the work of artists since 1960
Author: White, Timothy Edward John
ISNI:       0000 0001 3567 1400
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 1994
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I intend to examine the work of five practitioners who, in embracing the possibilities arising from a disruption of form, operate on the cusp between the modern and the postmodern. They generate work that must be understood, and can most usefully be experienced, as performative. The unitary form and anti form objects of sculptor Robert Morris are considered as differing ways of projecting object hood, provoking the beholder to address the total situation of the art work, including their participation, rather than the formal properties of the object. Allan Kaprow's progression from Assemblage through Environments to Happenings and beyond is regarded as an evolving process in which an antagonistic attitude toward the limitations of form is tempered by the emergence of performative circumstances that obviate the need to continually challenge the role of the object. The third section passes through the complex phenomenon of Joseph Beuys, identifying a practice that is performative, both because and in spite of the tension between the conception of art advocated by the artist and that within which he operates. Performance, in the interventions of Body Artist Chris Burden, is that which simultaneously allows for, being the justification for his presence amidst that of another individual, and is, the disruption of the normalising tendency of form. Finally, the 'operas' of Robert Wilson suggest ways in which work that is overtly theatrical in form can avail itself of the disruptive tendencies arising from fine art's adoption of a theatrical sensibility. In conclusion, it is argued that the performative work is inevitably formally diverse because its form arises from the encounter between thee beholder and the provocations of the artist, rather than being lodged within an immutable object.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: British Academy
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: NX Arts in general