Performance Art/Solo performance
Since the second half of the twentieth century artists from various backgrounds—theatre, painting, and journalism—have increasingly turned to solo performance, feeling that no other medium can express their aesthetic and political objectives. This course explores the artistic, political, and philosophical reasons why contemporary artists choose solo performance. We will focus on two types of solo performance: the first draws on the tradition of dramatic theatre, the second on painting and sculpture. The case studies include works by renowned performance artists, including Laurie Anderson (who will be performing at Meany Hall in October 2012), Anna Deavere Smith, Doug Wright, Mona Hatoum, and Bobby Baker, among others. Throughout the course, each student will create two short solo performances (one based on text, the other on a found object) and write two short critical papers (one a review of Laurie Anderson’s performance at Meany Hall, the other on an artist of the student’s choice).