Edited by Cornelia Butler and David Platzker. With contributions by Diarmuid Costello, Jörg Heiser, Kobena Mercer, Nizan Shaked, Vid Simoniti, and Elvan Zabunyan
Adrian Piper’s artwork, over the course of her fifty-year career, has been critical in shaping how we think and talk about contemporary art and the role of the artist. Her best-known and most frequently discussed works—Food for the Spirit, of 1971; Funk Lessons, of 1983–84; Cornered, of 1988—have made the questions of how perception, racism, and human interaction may be approached through art, and what the effect of such art might be on viewers, infinitely deeper and more complex.
The essays in this volume broaden the thinking about her work, tracking her development from first-generation Conceptual art in the mid-1960s, through her early performance works of the 1970s, her participatory works of the 1980s, the provocative identity-based works of the 1990s, and finally to her recent lecture-based meta-performances. They place Piper’s multivalent work amidst current discourses in aesthetics, Kantian philosophy, critical race theory, and theories and histories of Conceptual art, and bring updated scholarship to a radical reconsideration of her work. 280 pp.; 127 illus.
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