Rituals of Rented Island


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This important volume explores three unique performance art practices of the 1970s and early 1980s: “object theater” (in which artists engage directly with the objects in the world around them); “loft performance” (where artists performed in lofts, storefronts and the alternative spaces of New York’s SoHo); and “new psychodrama” (in which artists drew on formal performance modes to explore everyday experience). By tracing the paths of such artists as Stuart Sherman, Julia Heyward, Jared Bark and Jill Kroesen, this catalogue makes newly visible a critical period in the development of performance art.

Rituals of Rented Island examines the disparate yet related practices of the artists mentioned above alongside those of the notorious Kipper Kids; composer-musician John Zorn; and legendary playwright and filmmaker Jack Smith; among others. With an array of previously unpublished images, including installation photographs, posters and other ephemera, drawn from the artists’ own archives, this volume illuminates the eccentric singularities of the performance art of this era and its relevance today.

Rituals of Rented Island includes: Vito Acconci, Laurie Anderson, Jared Bark, Ericka Beckman, Ralston Farina, Richard Foreman/Ontological-Hysteric Theater, Julia Heyward, Ken Jacobs Apparition Theater of New York, Mike Kelley, Kipper Kids, Jill Kroesen, Sylvia Palacios Whitman, Yvonne Rainer and Babette Mangolte, Stuart Sherman, Theodora Skipitares, Jack Smith, Michael Smith, Squat Theatre, Robert Wilson/Byrd Hoffman School of Byrds, and John Zorn/Theatre of Musical Optics.

Yale University Press, 2013. 144 pages, 16.5 x 24cm

ISBN 9780300195866

Additional information

Weight 560.0 kg