Studying Disability Arts and Culture. Palgrave, hb/pb 2014. Review by Georgina Kleege, in Disability Studies Quarterly
Disability Culture and Community Performance: Find a Strange and Twisted Shape. Palgrave, 2011 (paperback 2013)
Somatic Engagement (ed). Chain Links Press, 2009.
Scar of Visibility: Medical Performances and Contemporary Art.
Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2007
Abstract: The Scar of Visibility: Medical Performances and Contemporary
Art grapples with the mysteries of human bodies in art and contemporary
Contemporary visual and performance artists have adopted modern medical
technologies such as MRIs and computer imaging-and the bodily access
they imply-to reveal their limitations. In doing so they emphasize the
unknowability of another's bodily experience, and the actual physical,
emotional, social effects of medical procedures.InThe Scar of Visibility,
Petra Kuppers mines the use of medical imagery practices in contemporary
art, as well as different arts of everyday life (self-help groups, community
events, internet sites), focusing on fantasies and "knowledge projects"
surrounding the human body. Among the works she investigates are the
controversial Body Worlds exhibition of plastinised corpses; video projects
by Shimon Attie on diabetes and Douglas Gordon on mental health and
war trauma; performance pieces by Angela Ellsworth, Bob Flanagan, and
Kira O'Reilly; films like David Cronenberg's Crash and Marina de Van's
In My Skin that fetishize body wounds; representations of the AIDS virus
in the National Museum of Health and on CSI: Crime Scene Investigations;
and in the paintings of outsider artist Martin Ramírez. At the
heart of this work is the scar-a place of production, of repetition
and difference, of multiple nerve sensations, fragile skins, outer sign
and bodily depth. Through the embodied sign of the scar, Kuppers articulates
connections between subjective experience, history, and personal politics.
Illustrated throughout, The Scar of Visibility broadens our understanding
of the significance of medical images in visual culture.
Online Reviews: Screening
the Past, Disability Studies Quarterly,
- Community Performance:
An Introduction. Routledge Press, 2007
Community Performance: An Introduction is a comprehensive
and accessible practice-based primer for students and practitioners
of community arts, dance and theatre. This book is both a classroom-friendly
textbook and a handbook for the practioner, perfectly answering the
needs of a field where teaching is orientated around practice. Offering
a toolkit for students interested in running community arts groups,
this book includes:
- international case-studies
and first person stories by practitioners and participants
- sample exercises, both
practical and reflective
- study questions
- excerpts of illustrative
material from theorists and practioners.
This book can be used as
a standalone text or together with its companion volume, Community
Performance: A Reader, to provide an excellent introduction
to the field of community arts practice. Petra Kuppers has drawn on
her vast personal experience and a wealth of inspiring case studies
to create a book that will engage and help to develop the reflective
community arts practitioner.
Online review at Community
Abstract: Disability and Contemporary Performance presents a remarkable
challenge to existing assumptions about disability and artistic practice.
In particular, it explores where cultural knowledge about disability leaves
off, and the lived experience of difference begins. Petra Kuppers, herself
an award-winning artist and theorist, investigates the ways in which disabled
performers challenge, change and work with current stereotypes through
their work. She explores freak show fantasies and 'medical theatre' as
well as live art, webwork, theatre, dance, photography and installations,
to cast an entirely new light on contemporary identity politics and aesthetics.
This is an outstanding exploration of some of the most pressing issues
in performance, cultural and disability studies today, written by a leading
practitioner and critic.
Poetics: A Love Story. A Collaboration with Neil Marcus. With photographs
by Lisa Steichmann. Homofactus Press, August 2008. Review.
- Community Performance. A Reader
(co-edited with Gwen Robertson). Routledge Press, 2007.
||Community Performance: A Reader brings together core writings and critical approaches to community performance work, presenting practices in the UK, US, Australia and beyond. This volume offers a complex and comprehensive anthology of key writings in the vibrant field of community performance, spanning dance, theatre and visual practices. The Reader uniquely combines classic writings from major theorists and practitioners such as Augusto Boal, Paolo Freire, Dwight Conquergood and Jan Cohen Cruz, with newly commissioned essays that bring the anthology right up to date with current practice. This book can be used as a standalone text or together with its companion volume, Community Performance: An Introduction, to offer an accessible and classroom-friendly introduction to the field of community performance.
and Performance. London and New York: Harwood Academic Press, Summer 2001.
Appeared as special double edition of the Contemporary Theatre Review.
Guest Editor of Disability
Studies Quarterly. Changing Images of Disability. 19.3 (1999)
Journal Links (older, list closed 2009)
darkness also/rich and beyond fear”: Community Performance, Somatic
Poetics and the Vessels of Self and Other', M/C Journal, Vol. 12, No.
5 (2009) - 'disclose'
Anarcha Anti-Archive, with Remembering
Anarcha: Objection in the Medical Archive, Liminalities, 4:2, 2008.
Practice, Crip Bodies and the Poetry of Collaboration.A
Meditation hosted by Petra Kuppers with Aimee Meredith Cox, Jim Ferris, Alison
Kafer, Neil Marcus, Nora Simonhjell, Lisa Steichmann, and Sadie Wilcox.About
Performance: No 8, 2008, 67-89.
or ‘The Blind Man’s Pencil’: Notes on the Making of a
Poem' co-written with Stephen Kuusisto, Journal of Literary Disability,
Disability Culture Nature Poetry’ Journal of Literary Disability.
Culture Poetry: The Sound of the Bones. A Literary Essay’ Disability
Studies Quarterly, 26: 4 (2006), E-journal.
- 'Community Arts Practices:
Improvising Being-Together'. Culture
Machine: 8, 2006
Rules: Techno-Nomad Theatre' Body Space and Technology (2004).
of Screen-based Reading. A Jumping Point'. EnterText.
1:2 (2001) refereed e-journal
Contemporary Cyborgs and the Mediation of Embodiment.' Body,
Space and Technology.
1:1 (2000) (refereed e-journal)
in the Cityscape: Performance and the Embodied Experience of the Flaneur.'
New Theatre Quarterly. Winter (1999): 308-317.
of a Performance' poem/theory/sound, Ed. Alaric Sumner. Riding the
Meridian 2 (1999)
'Writing from the Personal
to the Communal: Community Poetry Exercises.'in:
Best of the Pedagogy Papers 2007, AWP. http://www.awpwriter.org/conference/exemplarypapers_07.pdf
'The Poetry Slam'. Disability
Pride Parade Chicago Website, History Section.http://www.disabilityprideparade.com/history/Parade06/petraspoetryslam.php
various articles on
for instance, Canoes
in New Zealand: Coastal Mappings.
Performance Technology, Community Dance, and Disability Embodiment'.
Congress for Dance Research, 2005.
Access, the Public and the Community' Effecting Change Proceedings,
Our (Disabled) Selves: Everyday Practices, Map-Making and Embodied Syntax',
Congress in Dance Research Proceedings, November 2001.
1998 as Artistic Director of The Olimpias
- Journey to the Holocaust Memorial
(participatory event series), 2008/9
(collaborative performance project), 2006/7
Possible Project (sound art/installation), 2006
Mapping. Large-Scale Community Performance. Dunedin, Otago, New Zealand,
Tissue: A Body of Work (performance workshop, communal video poem, installation,
- A Bare Bone Tune.
devised with Kanta Kochhar-Lindgren, Women's Performance Art Festival, Chicago,
October 2004 (also performed as outdoor park performance for students and
faculty of the UIC disability studies graduate program, October 2004)
- Siren. Site-specific
Dance Performance as part of the Newport Sculpture Festival, Easton Beach,
Year-long disability culture workshop series, utilizing dance, photography,
Devised Performance created with the NYU Center for Advanced Technologies,
the SMARTlab and North West Disability Arts Forum, Liverpool Institute of
Performing Arts, 2003
Provisional. Performance devised with Sophia Lycouris. Perishable Theatre,
Providence and Arthur's Dress Shop, New York City, 2002.
the Earth with Stories (storytelling/drama work) Site-specific work in
Wales, UK, 2001/2002.
(performance/installation/research residency) Chisenhale Dance Space,
Spaces (3 performance installations, community residency with young disabled
people) Contact Theatre, Manchester Royal Infirmary Outpatients Lounge,
Contact Car Park, Manchester, 2000, a Digital Summer Commission.
[Body Spaces] New installation as part of
Arts and Culture, Brown University, April 2001.
(community devised performance based on local myths) Chapter Arts Centre,
Fire (community choreography) Pontardarwe Arts Centre, 2000
- Dickie and Di
(performative installation) Leicester, 2000
- Encounter with
Language (solo performance) Drillhall, Aberwystwyth, 1998
(community dance) Builth Wells Community Hall, 1998
(workshop project with students) Swansea Institute, 1995
(multimedia theatre) Warwick University, 1992
(multimedia theatre) Disused Chapel, Cologne, 1991
Material (theatre) Studiobuhne Studio, Cologne 1991
(physical theatre) Studiobuhne Main Stage, Cologne, 1991
Project (physical theatre) Studiobuhne Studio, Cologne, 1990
(in original German, as symphony) Warwick University, 1989
- water burns
sun Videopoem, 2009
Videopoem (co-directed with Sadie Wilcox) , 2007
Tissue: A Body of Work. Communal Video Poem, 2005.
(dancevideo, co-production with Sophia Lycouris/kunstwerk-blend, January 2003)
Giants (videopoem and CD ROM production), NESTA in collaboration with
Swansea University Continuing Education Department, Ystradgynlais Welfare
Hall and Ystradgynlais Mental Health Self-Help Group (January - September
(video of vision and touch, with Raphaella Hill), August 2001. MOMA Oxford/Oxford
Film and Video Makers.
Stories (videopoem) Mind production,
(You Tube link)
- From Point to
Point (performance video,
Sophia Lycouris/kunstwerk-blend) Chisenhale, London, presented at Ledled Festival,
Cardiff, March 2001.
(You Tube link)
(movement director for gallery installation video) Toynbee Studios, London,
1999 and Diorama, London, 2001
of Michigan, performance studies/disability studies
College, Low Residency MFA in