APH 340 - FALL 1994
Syracuse University: Dept. of Art Media Studies

Thursdays 10 am - 1 pm
Office: 215B Shaffer, 443-1859
Office Hours: Mon. 1-2, Tues. 1-2
Messages can also be left at 443-1033 (AMS) or in my mailbox in 102 Shaffer
“...Dada has affected (some would say afflicted) a vast amount of twentieth century art - from the most formally oriented products of Pollock’s adaptations of Dada-Surrealist automatism, to art-as-action or art-as-idea rather than art as objet d’art and commodity.” -Lucy Lippard, Dadas on Art, 1971
"I am for an art that is political-erotical-mystical, that does something other than sit on its ass in a museum...for an art that embroils itself with the everyday crap and still comes out on top. I am for an art that imitates the human, that is comic, if necessary, or violent...I am for the art of conversation between the sidewalk and a blind man's metal stick." - Claes Oldenburg, 1960
"Pollock, as I see him, left us at the point where we must become preoccupied with and even dazzled by the space and objects of our everyday life, either our bodies, clothes, rooms, or if need be, the vastness of Forty-second Street. Not satisfied with the suggestion through pain of our other senses, we shall utilize the specific substances of sight, sound, movements, people, odors, touch. Objects of every sort are materials for the new art: paint, chairs, food, electric and neon lights, smoke, water, old socks, a dog, movies, a thousand other things...An odor of crushed strawberries, a letter from a friend, or a billboard selling Drano; three taps on the front door, a scratch, a sigh, or a voice lecturing endlessly, a blinding staccato flash, a bowler hat--all will become materials for this new concrete art." --Allan Kaprow, "The Legacy of Jackson Pollock," 1958
“Performance for me, developed from the place where I had to extend the principles of painting and construction into real time, out of a pressure of imagery and didactic information that could only be vitalized in that way. Because the body, taking that energy into immediacy, has a value that static depiction won’t carry, representation won’t carry--it has to actually be in real time.” --Carolee Schneemann, Angry Women, 1991
This course will concern itself with art, artists, and issues that raise questions and challenge our modernist understanding of "Art." We will examine artists working with performance art, body art, happenings, actions, installations, conceptual art, video, film, "cabarets," living sculpture, and photo therapy (to name a few) who have for the most part existed outside the traditional art commodity system and art historical canon. By studying artists who constantly blur artistic boundaries and utilize their everyday experience as sources for their work, this class will examine the role of art and artists, the relationship between art and life, object and museum, action and object, and how art is made, presented, and received.
Texts read for the course will be varied and interdisciplinary, drawing on a broad range of authors and fields: art history, artists' manifestoes and writings, philosophy, cultural theory, feminist theory, 19th century science, literature, and psychoanalysis. Readings will trace 3 main areas:

1. ART AND EVERYDAY LIFE: The historical emergence and development of performance and conceptual art during the 20th century and its relationship to photography and the visual arts in the West including: Dada, happenings, Fluxus, Body Art, Feminism and Performance Art, Colonialism, Post-Colonialism

2. HISTORY OF THE BODY: Discourses around the human body concerned with sociology, medicine, religion, sexuality, and art

3. RECENT PRACTICE: Contemporary artists, photography, and performance

Class time will be divided between slide lectures, film/video screenings, and discussions of the readings. Students will be expected to come to class "discussion ready." Having read the assigned texts, students should have taken notes, marked points of interest, and formed questions. Students will be expected to research an idea/artist/artwork which is performative and intermedia in nature and write a term paper about it or construct a performance piece.
Henry Sayre. The Object of Performance: The American Avant-Garde Since 1970, University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 1989.
Michel Foucault. The History of Sexuality, Volume I: An Introduction, Vintage Books, New York, 1980.
Students will be expected to attend and participate in class discussions. Each week 2 students will lead a class discussion of the readings. Grading will be divided as follows:

Class participation / homework/ in-class quizzes 25%
Presentation 25%
Final Project or Paper 25% (Due Dec. 1)
Final Exam 25% (On Dec. 8)
Attendance will be regularly checked. Excessive absences and tardiness will result in the lowering of your grade by one full letter grade or more depending on the number of incidents. It is the student's responsibility to make up material missed during class due to absence or tardiness.
All assignments are due at the beginning of class on their scheduled due date. Work submitted any time after the beginning of the class period on the due date is late and will be graded down one letter grade.


1 Sept. 1
Introduction to class, texts, materials to be covered.
2 Sept. 8
The Emergence of Performance Art / Dada / Happenings in the Visual Arts
Mel Gordon "Dada Performance: An Introduction," from Dada Performance, ed. by Mel Gordon, 1987
George Grosz &
Wieland Herzfelde
"Dadaism," 1946, reprinted in Dadas on Art, 1971, ed. by Lucy Lippard
Roselee Goldberg "Performance: A Hidden History," 1983, reprinted in The Art of Performance: A Critical Anthology, ed. by Battcock and Nickas, 1984.
Sept. 15
3 Sept. 22
John Cage and Fluxus
Films: Fluxus Films, Video: Nam June Paik's "Global Groove"
Henry Sayre Chap. 3: "Tracing Dance: Collaboration and the New Gesamtkunstwerk, " Parts I & II (pp.101-116)
Kristine Stiles "Between Water and Stone, Fluxus Performance," printed in In The Spirit of Fluxus, 1993, exhibition catalog, Walker Art Center.
Andreas Huyssen "Back to the Future: Fluxus in Context,"printed in In The Spirit of Fluxus, 1993, exhibition catalog, Walker Art Center.
4 Sept. 29
Happenings and Body Art
Allan Kaprow "The Legacy of Jackson Pollock," 1958
“Happenings are Dead, Long Live Happenings, 1965
reprinted in Essays on the Blurring of Art and Life, 1993
Jeffrey Rian "Reconnecting Art and Life," from Vito Acconci, exhibit at Museo D'Arte Contemporanea, Prato, 1992
Vito Acconci "Performance After the Fact," 1989
from Vito Acconci, exhibit at Museo D'Arte Contemporanea, Prato, 1992
Valie Export Interview, from Angry Women, 1991, ReSearch Publications
5 Oct. 6
Feminism and Performance Art- 1970s
Video: “Fuego y Tierra,” 1987, (about Ana Mendieta)
Lucy Lippard "The Pains and Pleasures of Rebirth: European and American Women's Body Art,"1976. Reprinted in From the Center: Feminist Essays on Women's Art, 1976
Lucy Lippard "Making Up: Role-Playing and Transformation in Women's Art," 1975. Reprinted in From the Center: Feminist Essays on Women's Art, 1976
Judy Chicago excerpts from Through the Flower, 1976
Faith Wilding text from the performance, "Waiting," 1972
Reprinted in Through the Flower, 1976, Judy Chicago.
Carolee Schneemann "Interior Scroll," 1975, reprinted in More Than Meat Joy: Complete Performance Works and Selected Writings, 1979.
Hannah Wilke "Intercourse with..." and "Visual Prejudice," from Hannah Wilke, by Joanna Frueh.
6 Oct. 13
Theorizing Feminist Performance Art
Video: “Sphinxes Without Secrets”
Judith Barry "Women, Representation, and Performance Art: Northern California," 1980. From Performance Anthology: Source Book for a Decade of California Performance Art, ed. by Loeffler, 1980.
Henry Sayre "A New Person(a): Feminism and the Art of the Seventies," from The Object of Performance, 1989
Craig Owens “Sex and Language: In Between,” from Laurie Anderson, Works 1969-1983, ed. by Janet Kardon, 1983
7 Oct. 20
19th Century Science and Body Taboos
Michel Foucault History of Sexuality, Parts 1 & 2
Lenora Champagne “Out From Under: Women on Sex and Death and Other Things,” from Out From Under: Texts by Women Performance Artists, ed. by Lenora Champagne, 1990
Karen Finley “The Constant State of Desire,” reprinted in Out From Under: Texts by Women Performance Artists, ed. by Lenora Champagne, 1990
8 Oct. 27
19th Century Science, Psychoanalysis, and Sexuality
Video: “I Need Your Full Cooperation,” Kathy High
Michel Foucault “The Deployment of Sexuality, Chapter 3, Domain,” from The History of Sexuality, Volume I: An Introduction, 1976
Elaine Showalter The Female Malady: Women, Madness, and English Culture, 1830-1980, 1985
Barbara Rose “Is It Art? Orlan and the Transgressive Act,” Art in America, February 1993
9 Nov. 3
MIDTERM QUIZ covering weeks 1-8
10 Nov. 10
Colonial and Post-Colonial Performance
Melissa Banta and
Curtis M. Hinsley
Excerpts from From Site to Sight: Anthropology, Photography, and the Power of Imagery, 1986:
“Nineteenth Century Visions of the Exotic: Travel and Expeditionary Photography”
“Social and Cultural Anthropology: Responses and Responsibility in the Photographic Encounter”
Coco Fusco
Guillermo Gomez-Pena
"Stalking the White Bear," notes on Intercultural Performance, 1992
Thomas McEvilley "The Selfhood of the Other," Art and Otherness: Crisis in Cultural Identity, 1992
11 Nov. 17
Meet at Bird Library, 6th floor, Special Collections, 10 am
We will view their collection of “Freak” photographs
Nov. 24
12 Dec. 1
13 Dec. 8
Connecting Performance and Photography, Review for Final
Henry Sayre "The Rhetoric of the Pose: Photography and the Portrait as Performance," from The Object of Performance, 1989
14 Dec. 15