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Performing Endurance
Art and Politics since 1960


  • Date Published: November 2020
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781108445160

£ 26.99

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About the Authors
  • In Performing Endurance, Lara Shalson offers a new way of understanding acts of endurance in art and political contexts. Examining a range of performances from the 1960s to the present, including influential performance art works by Marina Abramović, Chris Burden, Tehching Hsieh, Linda Montano, Yoko Ono, and others, as well as protest actions from the lunch counter sit-ins of the US civil rights movement to protest camps in the twenty-first century, this book provides a formal account of endurance and illuminates its ethical and political significance. Endurance, Shalson argues, raises vital questions about what it means to exist as a body that both acts and is acted upon, from ethical questions about how we respond to the bodies of others to political questions about how we live in relation to institutions that shape life in fundamental ways. In addition, Performing Endurance rethinks how performance itself endures over time.

    • Offers new interpretations of influential performance art works and important political protest actions
    • Argues for the ethics and politics of endurance as a form that engages with key questions of embodiment and relationality
    • Tracks major debates in performance studies, theatre studies, and art history and offers new directions
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Lara Shalson's Performing Endurance is an original, bold, and impeccably lucid encounter with endurance art. Shalson's writing carries a deep and abiding sympathy for what it means to endure, to survive the situation in which one finds oneself: say, in art, in life, in conflict, or in love. This book will make an urgent and compelling contribution to theatre and performance studies now, and to broader political considerations of how and with what means one may endure, together and apart, in difficult or uncertain times.' Dominic Johnson, Queen Mary, University of London

    'In this excellent, elegantly written, and tautly argued book, Lara Shalson offers nothing less than a profound rethinking of key works and concepts in performance art practice and theory … the distinctive contribution this book makes to performance art discourse will endure.' Heike Roms, Contemporary Theatre Review

    'Shalson's theorisation of endurance, and its delineation as performance structure, is taut and precise, enabling generative readings of performance events as ambivalent, discomforting and yet deeply ethical in the way that they force artists and spectators alike to negotiate interpersonal relations and politically charged power structures … her argument is elegant and far-reaching.' Roberta Mock, Times Higher Education

    'Performing Endurance is a valuable resource for scholars toiling to spotlight the rich and varied mechanisms at work in performance art. Shalson's study will undoubtedly serve as a springboard for researchers looking to extend discussions on crucial aesthetic investments in endurance and as a model for scholars invested in parsing the urgent affinities between performance structures and protest tactics.' Raegan Truax, Modern Drama

    'Through Performing Endurance, well-known works of art are returned to and seen in a rigorously new and resolutely political light … Shalson's book will sit alongside works by Peggy Phelan and Rebecca Schneider with Amelia Jones not too far away … Her writing equals publications by these thinkers in significance and rigor …' Nik Wakefield, The Drama Review

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    Product details

    • Date Published: November 2020
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781108445160
    • length: 220 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 151 x 12 mm
    • weight: 0.334kg
    • contains: 10 b/w illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    List of figures
    1. Enduring objecthood
    2. Enduring protests
    3. Enduring life
    4. Enduring documents

  • Author

    Lara Shalson, King's College London
    Lara Shalson is Lecturer in Theatre and Performance Studies at King's College London. She is the author of Theatre & Protest (2017).

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