Presence and Resistance: Postmodernism and Cultural Politics in Contemporary American Performance

Presence and Resistance: Postmodernism and Cultural Politics in Contemporary American Performance

by Philip Auslander
     
 

ISBN-10: 0472102990

ISBN-13: 9780472102990

Pub. Date: 03/01/1993

Publisher: University of Michigan Press

The experimental theater and performance art of the last decade have been frequently decried as apolitical by critics whose model was the radical theater of the Vietnam era. Unlike for their predecessors in the 1960s, it has not been possible for contemporary performance artists such as Spalding Gray, Laurie Anderson, Andy Kaufman, and Sandra Bernhard, in their…  See more details below

Overview

The experimental theater and performance art of the last decade have been frequently decried as apolitical by critics whose model was the radical theater of the Vietnam era. Unlike for their predecessors in the 1960s, it has not been possible for contemporary performance artists such as Spalding Gray, Laurie Anderson, Andy Kaufman, and Sandra Bernhard, in their critiques of postmodern culture, to represent themselves as somehow outside of the culture they are critiquing. Postmodern culture is so thoroughly saturated by media images and information that contemporary political art has had to find ways of mounting a critique while acknowledging its position within the culture. In this study, Philip Auslander sheds light on the political nature of postmodern pertormance, the understandings of postmodern culture that underpin it, and the particular strategies it employs. The first three chapters are devoted to a discussion of postmodern culture, which Auslander sees as mediatized culture, borrowing Baudrillard's term, and the general positioning of political art and performance within it. The five subsequent chapters are devoted to comparative discussions of issues raised by this positioning and by the critical strategies within specific pertormance practices drawn from both the avant-garde and popular performance, with emphasis on resistant representations of race and gender and on performance's engagement with an information-saturated culture. Presence and Resistance will interest readers in theater, drama, and performance studies and those concerned with issues in postmodern theory, cultural theory, feminism, popular culture, and media theory.

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780472102990
Publisher:
University of Michigan Press
Publication date:
03/01/1993
Series:
Theater: Theory/Text/Performance Series
Pages:
216
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction1
Pt. 1Postmodernism, Cultural Politics, Performance5
Ch. 1Postmodern Culture as Mediatized Culture9
Ch. 2Postmodernism and Cultural Politics21
Ch. 3From the Politics of Ecstasy to the Ecstasy of Communication35
Pt. 2Going with the Flow: Performance in a Mediatized Culture53
Ch. 4Performance Art and Television Culture57
Ch. 5L.S.D. from The Crucible: The Wooster Group83
Ch. 6Intellectual Property Meets the Cyborg: Technology and Textual Ownership in Postmodernist Performance105
Ch. 7"Comedy about the Failure of Comedy": Stand-up Comedy and Postmodernism125
Ch. 8Comedy, Mediatization, Resistance: Andy Kaufman and Sandra Bernhard139
Conclusion169
Notes175
Index199

Read More

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >