Site-Specific Art: Performance, Place and Documentation
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Site-Specific Art charts the development of an experimental art form in an experimental way. Nick Kaye traces the fascinating historical antecedents of today's installation and performance art, while also assembling a unique documentation of contemporary practice around the world.
The book is divided into individual analyses of the themes of space, materials, site, and frames. These are interspersed by specially commissioned documentary artwork from some of the world's foremost practitioners and artists working today. This interweaving of critique and creativity has never been achieved on this scale before.
Site-Specific Art investigates the relationship of architectural theory to an understanding of contemporary site related art and performance, and rigorously questions how such works can be documented.
The artistic processes involved are demonstrated through entirely new primary articles from:
* Meredith Monk
* Station House Opera
* Brith Gof
* Forced Entertainment.
This volume is an astonishing contribution to debates around experimental cross-arts practice.
resolved. (Morris 1993c: 165) It follows that where, in the incursion of ‘real space’, the viewer’s experience of the work becomes inseparable from this acting out, so this encounter with ‘real space’ is inextricably linked to a duration measured only in the viewer’s reflection upon and awareness of her own activity. In his essay elaborating the phenomenological aspects of installation work, ‘The Present Tense of Space’ of 1978, Morris emphasised precisely this equation. Noting ‘the intimate
site-specific work tests the stability and limits of the very places it acts out, at once relying on the order of the sites it so frequently seeks to question or disrupt. In this sense, site-specific art is defined precisely in these ellipses, drifts, and leaks of meaning, through which the artwork and its place may be momentarily articulated one in the other. Michelangelo Pistoletto LE STANZE Ottobre 1975 Settembre 1976 Tau/ma 5 Michelangelo Pistoletto LE STANZE Ottobre 1975 – Settembre
emphasises, ‘To privilege “the site” as the context is to repress the other possible Site 97 contexts, is to become fixated on the presences of “the site,” is to believe that “the site” exists as a permanent knowable whole. Such a belief [he concludes] is untenable today’ (Eisenman 1986: 5). The Non-Site, in fact, marks this unavailability of site as ‘presence’ or ‘object’, prompting a rhythm of appearance and disappearance which challenges the concept of the site as a permanent knowable
geographies is stubbornly simultaneous, but language dictates a sequential succession, a linear flow of sentential statements bound by the most spatial of earthly constraints, the impossibility of two objects (words) occupying the same precise place (as on a page). (Soja 1989: 2) The Non-Site’s ‘mapping’ emerges, finally, in the restlessness of this relationship; in the possibility of the Non-Site’s convergence with the ‘Site’, in the implication of one in the other, and so in the ‘bipolar rhythm
Finally, I would like to acknowledge my considerable debt to Gabriella Giannachi, whose generous support throughout the duration of this project has extended from the translation of text and of interviews with Giovanni Anselmo, Giuseppe Penone and Gilberto Zorio, to many questions, conversations, as well as an unfailing encouragement, without which this book would certainly not have reached completion. Introduction: Site-specifics ‘site’: substantive. [. . .] local position [. . .] The place or