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Joshua Sofaer: Performance | Objects | Participation

Published by Live Art Development Agency and Intellect Books, Spring 2020

Hardback, 250 x 200 mm,  288 pages with colour images throughout

Trade Orders: Intellect Books, see our Distribution page for more information

Joshua Sofaer: Performance | Objects | Participation is the seventh title in the Intellect Live series, and will be launched with a public event, Go By The Book, at Foyles book shop in Charing Cross Road (the former site of the Fine Art Studios at Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design) 107 Charing Cross Road, London, WC2H 0DT. Go By The Book  will take place on Tuesday 25 February at 7pm. Its free but please RSVP here.

With a mixture of intellect, humour, and striking design, Joshua Sofaer: Performance | Objects | Participation analyses the artist’s oeuvre in the contexts of liveness, visual art and participatory practices.

Joshua Sofaer works across boundaries, borders and disciplines to create artworks that engage with all levels of society. In cultural institutions or on the street, for art galleries or personal homes, staged as operas or cast as golden sculptures, Sofaer’s work weaves with and through social fabric to consider the ideas that hold us together.

Co-published with Intellect Books for Intellect Live, this lavishly illustrated volume is the first in-depth study of the artist’s work, featuring discussions with producers and participants, documentary images and a new photographic essay, interviews with the artist himself, and thirteen commissioned essays by scholars, curators and artists from the perspectives of performance studies, archaeology and opera criticism. It explores the binding aesthetics of his approach as a model for contemporary practice, and it considers the impact of his work on audiences, institutions and pedagogy, as well as on fine art and performance ecologies as a whole.

The book features specially commissioned photographs by Hugo Glendinning and contributions by Nadia Abdelaziz, Yuan-Liang An, Stuart Andrews, Maddy Costa, Robin Deacon, Konstantina Georgelou, Simon Gould, Sarah Harvey, Yu-Chin Hsiao, Lois Keidan, Yu-Ying Kung, Carl Lavery, Stacy Makishi, Roberta Mock, Mary Paterson, Sibylle Peters, Joanna Sofaer, and Daniel Somerville.

Joshua Sofaer is a deeply attentive artist. His multifaceted works are careful, smart, witty and generous. At their heart sits the encounter: with ideas, people, places and objects. I can’t presume to ‘know’ Sofaer, but this gorgeous, layered and richly detailed book – an exquisite collection of documents, discussions and reflections – allows me to encounter him and to relish the unfolding perspectives.
Dee Heddon, Professor of Contemporary Performance, University of Glasgow

About the Editors

Roberta Mock is Professor of Performance Studies and Director of the Doctoral College at the University of Plymouth. She is also Chair of the Theatre & Performance Research Association (TaPRA). Her research (which includes writing and performance practice) tends to focus on gender, sexuality, the performing body and Jewishness.

Mary Paterson is a writer, artist and producer who works in relation to the live. With Maddy Costa and Diana Damian Martin, she runs Something Other and The Department of Feminist Conversations – two interrelated projects that explore the performance of politics, and the politics of performance.

About Intellect Live

This publication is the seventh in the Intellect Live series.

Intellect Live is a collaboration between Intellect Books and the Live Art Development Agency on influential artists working at the edge of performance. The series is characterised by lavishly illustrated and beautifully designed books that are created through close collaborations between artists and writers, and that are the first substantial publication dedicated to the artists’ work.

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Joshua Sofaer operates in a predominantly relational field of artistic practice where the ‘artworks’ are so often site-specific, time- limited and ephemeral. This publication produces an analysis of practice that traverses art, society and theory. In doing so it offers an astute, polyphonic reading of a multi-layered practice. In the quality of its design, its rare combination of personal warmth and intellectual rigour, this book is truly greater than the sum of its parts. It is a waymaker, demonstrating how it is possible to reflect on and with an artist about their socially engaged and participatory practice in all of its artistic integrity and complex humanity.
Ailbhe Murphy, Director of Create Ireland

Banner image credit:

Joshua Sofaer: Performance | Objects | Participation, edited by Roberta Mock and Mary Paterson


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