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On Edge
Performance at the End of the Twentieth Century
C. Carr




Wesleyan
2008 • 392 pp. 30 illus. 6 x 9"
Theater & Performing Arts / Dance / Performance Studies

$32.95 Paperback, 978-0-8195-6888-5
$25.99 Ebook, 978-0-8195-7242-4

Check your ebook retailer or local library for ebook availability.


Revised ed.

“Like a parade, a reunion, a wake, a summit, or a coming out party, C. Carr's On Edge is an occasion. The book brings together... [continued in Reviews below]”—Rebecca Schneider, TDR (The Drama Review)

The state of performance art in the 80s and 90s, documented by the form’s leading critic.

Through her engaged and articulate essays in the Village Voice, C. Carr has emerged as the cultural historian of the New York underground and the foremost critic of performance art. On Edge brings together her writings to offer a detailed and insightful history of this vibrant brand of theatre from the late 70s to today. It represents both Carr’s analysis as a critic and her testament as a witness to performances which, by their very nature, can never be repeated.

Carr has organized this collection both chronologically and thematically, ranging from the emphasis on bodily manipulation/endurance in the 70s to the underground club scene in New York to an insider’s analysis of the Tompkins Square Riot as a manifestation of the cultural and social conflicts that underlie much of performance art. She examines the transgressive and taboo-shattering work of Ethyl Eichelberger, Karen Finley, and Holly Hughes; documents specific performances by Annie Sprinkle and Lydia Lunch; and maps the development of such artists as Robbie McCauley, Blue Man Group, and John Jesurun. She also describes the “cross-over” phenomenon of the mid-80s and considers the far-right backlash against this mainstreaming as cultural reactionaries sought to curb the influence of these new artists.

CONTRIBUTORS: Linda Montano, Chris Burden, G.G Allin, Jean Baudrillard, Patty Hearts, Dan Quayle, Anne Magnouson, John Jesurun, John Kelly, Shu Lea Changvv, Diamanda Galas, Salley May, Rafael Mantanez Ortiz, Sherman Fleming, Kristine Stiles, Laurie Carlos, Jessica Hafedorn, Robbie McCormick, Karen Finley, Poopo Shiraishi, Donna Henes, Holey Hughe, Ela Troyano, Michael Smith, Harry Koipper, John Sex, Nina Jagen, Ethyl Eichelberge, Marina Abramovic, Ulay.

Click here for TABLE OF CONTENTS

Reviews / Endorsements

"Like a parade, a reunion, a wake, a summit, or a coming out party, C. Carr's On Edge is an occasion. The book brings together the best of those exquisite Carr essays that have salt and peppered the Village Voice for ten years, telling the 'Real Deal' on the ever-cutting edge of what we, the 'nth' generation, refuse to let ourselves continue to call the avantgarde."—Rebecca Schneider, TDR (The Drama Review)

On Edge is an elegy without sentimentality, dedicated to all the artists in New York’s East Village underground, a site of manic creativity and serious hijinks.”—Linda S. Kaufman, The Women’s Review of Books

“When it comes to performance at its extremities, or virtually in extremis, C. Carr is the major resource . . . She knows the traditions of the avante-garde, and is quite capable of following the lineage of a performance from Marinetti and Hugo Ball through Jack Smith to the Kipper Kids, from the Bauhaus to the Blue Man . . . What the book adds up to, for students of theater and performance art, is a vivacious record of inaccessible events”—Herbert Blau



C. CARR is a staff writer for The Village Voice. She also writes about performance art and culture for ArtForum, LA Weekly, Interview, and Mirabella.



Sat, 15 Apr 2017 15:50:56 -0500