July 21, 2016

Summer Musing: The Fetish of Performance Art

I am thinking about my visit to the new wing of the Tate a few weeks ago. There was a space dedicated to Rebeca Horn’s performances. It showed accessories that were used during Horn's performances and it did so by putting them into display cases. My friend remarked it's interesting how performance items are often turned into fetish objects. I think he's right. There was something annoying about it - this emphasis on the material and the wish to turn every little thing into Art. Now I’m thinking it might have been better if they hadn’t used the display cases, which would have given those objects a more random look, as simple leftovers of what once was, something casual, like clothes lying on a chair. I’ve been reading a lot of Walter Benjamin lately and now I'm seeing the potential of revolutionary energy that appears in the “outmoded”, in that what is obsolete. 

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