> Performing the Political Body. February 22, 2011
Queer Conversations on Culture and the Arts presents:
Three of the Bay Area’s most outrageous and influential queer performance artists take the stage at California College of the Arts’ Timken Hall on February 22nd, 2011.
Cecilio Cooper, Keith Hennessy, and Tina Takemoto showcase three exciting perspectives on performance art as it is being defined in the Bay Area—one of the most vibrant scenes in contemporary queer art.
Moderated by Mel Corn (aka Jake Danger), the artists will perform and discuss their work as part of an ongoing series of Queer Conversations on Culture and the Arts (QCCA) organized by the Queer Cultural Center and the California College of the Arts.
About Queer Performance Art
Performance art has become an important site for the articulation of theoretical questions and issues in late twentieth and early twenty-first century culture. Ephemeral in nature, performance art has been embraced by queer artists as a means of challenging the very idea of “traditional” in the arts and in the greater social and political sphere.
With an emphasis on action and time over object production, performance art is an enigmatic and controversial art form. Rather than producing an object, the artist generates an event that may last anywhere from mere seconds to many years. This temporality is a radical challenge to traditional conceptions of painting and sculpture, which are generally created with permanence in mind.
Unlike conventional drama, performance art does not usually employ plot development nor does it require suspension of disbelief. The artifice of theater is deconstructed as the emphasis is placed on the here and now.
Many performance artists have also been drawn to philosophical questions regarding aesthetic experiences versus ordinary life experiences. What is it exactly that makes something art rather than just a regular thing?
Many performance artists have explored the capacity of ritual and meditative attentiveness to transform the ordinary or simply appreciate the everyday in an art-like way. In some cases, the artist is the art; body and life are at once the subject and object of the art, both canvas and content.
As queer artists have embraced the means to communicate to a wider audience, they have also critiqued the power structure maintained by the media. The use of parody, drag and camp are often used to interrogate issues of race, class, and gender in the context of queerness.
The ability to be both familiar and foreign is what makes performance art such a powerful tool particularly well suited to the queer community. Performance art is a practice as all encompassing as the community itself.
(from Performance Art, GLBTQ: an encyclopedia of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer culture.)
About Queer Conversations on Culture and the Arts
Queer Conversations on Culture and the Arts brings together locally and nationally renowned artists, writers, filmmakers, and scholars for a series of conversations to discuss a broad range of LGBTQI topics in the humanities and the arts. QCCA is an on-going collaboration between the Queer Cultural Center and California College of the Arts.
QCCA is co-sponsored by Critical Studies, Visual Studies, Graduate Program in Fine Arts, and The Graduate Program in Visual & Critical Studies at the California College of the Arts, Queer Conversations on Culture and the Arts and The Queer Cultural Center. This program is also supported in part by the Community Arts & Education Program of the San Francisco Arts Commission