Performance and Identity in Adrian Piper’s Work

Posted in Articles, Communications/Media Studies, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, United States on 2022-04-01 03:02Z by Steven

Performance and Identity in Adrian Piper’s Work

InMedia: The French Journal of Media Studies
Volume 8, Number 2 (2020)
DOI: 10.4000/inmedia.2754
17 pages

Antonia Rigaud, Associate Professor of American Studies
Sorbonne Nouvelle University, Paris France

Lorna Simpson
Head On Ice #3
Ink and screenprint on gessoed fiberglass
67 x 50 x 1 3/8 in (170.2 x 127 x 3.5 cm)
©Lorna Simpson
Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth
Photo: James Wang

Adrian Piper’s career which spans close to 60 years illustrates the passage in American art from conceptualism to performance art at the turn of the 1970s. She uses the language of conceptualism to interrogate, through performance, the notion of identity in American culture. Confronting her viewers with racial stereotypes, or presenting strategies of retreat, her performances suggest that identity is a fluctuating notion, one which can only exist in dialogue between artist and audience. Her critique of essentialism is at the heart of artworks which are to be construed as social contracts binding artist and audiences together in the definition of the self.


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