Conversations on Art and Performance

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In this fascinating collection of more than three-dozen conversations on contemporary art and ideas, Bonnie Marranca and Gautam Dasgupta bring together influential performers, video artists, playwrights, filmmakers, composers, and critics to talk about the artistic process, the perception of artworks by audiences, and the complex aesthetic, social, and political interrelationships that artworks reflect in the life of a culture. At the center of inquiry are issues that have preoccupied arts discussion in the last ...

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Overview

In this fascinating collection of more than three-dozen conversations on contemporary art and ideas, Bonnie Marranca and Gautam Dasgupta bring together influential performers, video artists, playwrights, filmmakers, composers, and critics to talk about the artistic process, the perception of artworks by audiences, and the complex aesthetic, social, and political interrelationships that artworks reflect in the life of a culture. At the center of inquiry are issues that have preoccupied arts discussion in the last quarter of the century, addressed here by the very artists and thinkers responsible for extending the boundaries of their chosen fields in their search for new artistic and critical languages.

Conversations takes up a broad range of key questions. What is the nature of presence? How does one see? Where does meaning reside? Topics include the creative process, the impact of criticism and historical legacies, arts funding and education, the modernism/postmodernism debates, and the special tensions between private and public spheres and between personal statement and the need for communication.

This lively reader includes introductions, by the founders of PAJ, to each of the conversations, highlighting their original context and important themes. Organized into three sections -- "Art and Its Audience," "Writers and Composers," and "Bodies of Work" -- this volume includes more than fifty individual contributors in what amounts to a panoramic and polyvocal view of the American experimental arts scene. Contributors include John Cage, Gary Hill, Laurie Anderson, Edward Said, Susan Sontag, Umberto Eco, John Ashbery, Robert Jay Lifton, Philip Glass, StanleyKauffmann, Edwin Denby, Mac Wellman, Maria Irene Fornes, Trisha Brown, Carolee Schneemann, Robert Wilson, Richard Foreman, Herbert Blau, John Guare, Judith Malina, Elizabeth LeCompte, Wallace Shawn. In touchstones that are surprisingly similar, what emerge from these conversations are the high standards and intellectual rigor these artists bring to their work, commitment to artistic ideals, and the demands placed on the artists as well as the public.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Contains selections of interviews which originally appeared either in the pages of or magazine (later called ), published by PAJ, which together serve as a history of the "downtown" arts scene in New York from the mid-1970s to the present. Divided into sections on art and its audience; writers and composers; and bodies of work, each conversation is prefaced by a brief summary of the artist or critic interviewed. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknew.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780801859250
  • Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
  • Publication date: 1/28/1999
  • Series: PAJ Books Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 520
  • Product dimensions: 5.89 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.22 (d)

Meet the Author

Bonnie Marranca is co-editor of "Performing Arts Journal", as well as the author of "Ecologies of Theater" and "Theatrewritings", which received the George Jean Nathan Award; the editor of "American Dreams: The Imagination of Samp Shepard" and "The Theatre of Images".

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Table of Contents

Preface: Aural History
Art and Its Audience
Art and Consciousness 2
Art and the Imagery of Extinction 10
Theatre in America 26
The Play of Thought 44
The Politics of Reception 76
Radicalizing the Classics 102
Art in the Culture 114
The Modernism/Postmodernism Debate 128
Criticism, Culture, and Performance 148
Interpretation and the Work of Art 170
Writers and Composers
The Theatre of History 182
Composing for the Opera 194
Figure of Speech 206
Poet in the Theatre 216
The American Playwright 230
Playwrights Making Movies 248
Music and Theatre 274
The Playwright as Director 288
Theatre and the Ridiculous 296
Bodies of Work
The Politics of Representation 310
Performance and the Body 330
Personal History 338
Making Dances 344
The Mind of Dance 352
Liminal Performance 360
Environmental Theatre 384
Acting and Nonacting 394
Reminiscences of a Dance Critic 410
A Lifetime of Dance 420
La MaMa and the American Theatre 432
The Search for a Universal Grammar 442
Interculturalism and Performance 452
Working with Puppets 460
United States 472
Performance Strategies 480
The Real Charles Atlas 492
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