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ERIC Number: ED400567
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1996-Mar
Pages: 12
Abstractor: N/A
Performance Challenges Revisited: What Is Art?
Shaw, Charla L. Markham
Teachers, researchers, and performers in the field of Performance Studies often find themselves defining what it is that they do. Boundaries are often hard to draw, however. Is the work they are doing "art?" The distinction is important to funding agencies, tenure committees, and university administration. One definition of art attributed to Allan Sekula is "a mode of communication, as a discourse anchored in concrete social relations, rather than a mystified, vaporous, and ahistorical realm of purely affective expression and experience." Another, from Henry Sayre, states that "art is the act of making, not the thing made," indicating that power or authority rests with the artist rather than the object itself. Elizabeth Fine believes that once a performance is abstracted from its native setting and presented to outsiders, the message can no longer be expected to fit automatically the audience's capacity to decode it. Richard Bauman addresses differential identity in relation to folklore, labeling it "artistic verbal communication," with the focus on communicative interaction. According to Stephen Tyler, the meaning is not the exclusive right of the text or the author/artist, but, instead, the interaction of text-author-reader. Perhaps there is a middle or new ground of understanding that lies not with self and not with the other, but in an intersection between the two. (Contains 10 references.) (CR)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Information Analyses; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A