Sydney College of the Arts invites you to attend a talk by Dr Thomas J. Berghuis on Wednesday 8 May, 12 to 1pm.
Dr Thomas J. Berghuis is the future Robert H.N. Ho Family Foundation Curator of Chinese Art at the Guggenheim Museum in New York. Previously he worked as Lecturer in Asian Art at the University of Sydney, Australia. His writings have been published in prominent journals and art magazines, including positions and Third Text. Berghuis is the author of Performance Art in China (Hong Kong: Timezone 8, 2006).
In performance art, the artwork is the artist, whom viewers perceive both as the subject and the object of art and art making. Essentially performance art raises questions of representation, experience and the direct presentation of art - of art as practice and of practices in/of art. In Berghuis' study of performance art in China, he raises the question of the 'role of the mediated subject of the acting body in art,' meaning that the artist is always present and his/her presence is art, and thus constituting our awareness of 'performance as art and the art of performance art.'
In China, the body is traditionally seen as process, standing in direct contact with the environment - both physical and social; and political as well. In China, the body is a living presence; connecting the lived body in-and-off space and time to our existence on earth and in contact with the universe. With these thoughts in mind the lecture will examine important examples of performance art and the art of performance art in China; seen here as a critical art, that links art to its social and political value.