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Lecture | Amelia Jones "Performing Absence as Intervention: The Case of Lee Lozano"

Event in English  | ICI Berlin Institute for Cultural Inquiry Christinenstraße 18/19, Haus 8 10119 Berlin | 7 July 7.30 pm | Admission free | registration requested | Barrier-free access: lift available, please notify by e-mail if required

News from Jun 29, 2023

The artist has long been understood in conventional Western art history, art criticism, and curatorial practice as the site of active agency, the origin of the meaning and value of the work of art. By the later twentieth century, during a period of social crisis across Europe and North America, however, theorists such as Roland Barthes and Jacques Derrida put pressure on this model. At the same time artists began mobilizing their agency in radically different ways as part of a broad societal challenging of Western hegemony, patriarchal and white dominant models of subjectivity, and structures of power more generally. Jones examines one extreme example of such a mobilization from the 1960s New York art world — the case of American woman artist Lee Lozano, who ostentatiously proclaimed her plan to “drop out” and leave this vibrant scene at the height of her career — to explore how artistic authorship itself could be seen as a key site for the inter- rogation of power in the world. The case of Lozano allows to pose the question: is a performance of withdrawal from art institutions the ultimate intervention in a period of social crisis? Or was she effectively “copping out” just at the moment when many of her colleagues (for example, in New York, feminists such as her friend Lucy Lippard, and the anti-racist protestors participating in the 1970 Art Strike) were publicly agitating on the streets and in the museums for equity and inclusion?

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