Posts Tagged ‘1970s’

Rituals of Rented Island at the Whitney Museum of American Art

Julia Heyward, God Heads, performance part of “Performances: Four Evenings, Four Days” at the Whitney Museum of American Art, February 28, 1976. Courtesy the artist

Peggy Phelan said it best: “Performance’s only life is in the present.”[1] Slippery in designation and impermanent by nature, a performance is not the same as the video of a performance. The viewer must be present for not only the sights and sounds of the performer, but also the smell, the temperature, the crowd, the fidgeting in a folding chair, or standing on a concrete[…..]

Blast from the Past?

"It’s fun to break up the glass. We’re doing our thing for ecology and the Boy Scouts will give us a badge for working here." From the “Suburbia” series, 1971. Gelatin silver print. 14 x 11 inches. Courtesy of the San Jose Museum of Art.

Flipping through Suburbia, Bill Owens’s now seminal examination of suburban life in 1970s California, I find my initial responses closely resemble the way I recall feeling as I watched “Leave it To Beaver” or “I Love Lucy” as a child: amusement, plus a sense of distance from my own way of life.  After scanning the book, I pass it over to my father. A grin[…..]

Women: Before and After

Lynn Hershman Leeson is historic.  Some of the most exciting moments of her recent documentary on feminist art, !W.A.R., or !Women Art Revolution, 2010, were shot on her own living room couch.  She and her alter-ego, Roberta Breitmore, are synonymous with an era of women’s art to which all artists (especially—but not exclusively—women) owe a great debt. But we are no longer in the seventies. […..]