|Institution:||University of Hawaii – Manoa|
|Keywords:||body language; body politics|
|Full text PDF:||http://hdl.handle.net/10125/101021|
Ph.D. University of Hawaii at Manoa 2012. The triangulation of political and feminist theories, the arc of modern art history, and a post-Cartesian perspective on the relationship of mind and body creates a conceptual space within which to consider a particular genre of artmaking – performance art. This dissertation seeks to explore and elaborate that space through selected case studies of works by three artists engaged in performance: Carolee Schneemann, Ana Mendieta, and Marina Abramović. Acknowledging and exploring the relationship between art and politics is essential to this enterprise. Just as the engagement of political themes (e.g., critical analysis of structures of power, or making visible the assumptions underlying social status) may add an activist dimension to the content of art-making, so political discourse may be endowed with an aesthetic dimension, if that is understood as the just and purposeful shaping of assertions of visible presence and effective action in the world. Thus the larger intent of this project is not simply to engage in a hermeneutic approach to the works in question, but to consider how understanding performance in the context of art-making might open ways to an understanding of being and acting in a larger political arena.