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Performing criticism Essay Example

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Performing criticism

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They then removed the rock from the pontiff’. Another report, this time in an Arts journal goes on that they ‘sawed off the legs of the sculpture’. (Levine 2007: 66) So say they who reported that attack. I know this even though I did not see it. I saw this through the words of someone who did not see it, who in turn took it from someone who did not see it. But we have all seen it. All experienced the cutting and this very direct and wordless act of criticism.By attacking the work, the critic in question, at least in part, was able to express his analysis of the object in the most direct way. And in recounting the act of the attack, Levine and Scheer participate in this act again. By incorporating it into my response to the work, I revive the attack for a second time. Although not quite what Austin may have intended in his performative sentence, it nevertheless conveys to me, so I can convey to you and so on, the performed act of criticism. Perhaps if the Polish men had shouted ‘be free’ as they lifted the rock from the Pope, they would have made a performative utterance. As there is no report of what the men said, we will never know. However, their act of criticism inevitable impacts on Levine’s, Scheer’s and my interpretation even though our subjective conclusions may be different. However, why would our interpretations of this same act be different? What allows a multiplicity of reactions to this event? To confront these questions it is therefore worth exploring the subjective perspectives which have reacted to this art work in such a way. Let us turn to Miller and move forward in our multiple selves. Let us explore the personal as positional.Levine is a critic who masks her identity behind a third person narrative and denys her angle, her purpose, her act of propaganda even, within the cover of an academic text. However in spite of this it is clear that Cattelan is being used, perhaps even appropriated, for another purpose. We need to investigate where this description is located. Flicking through I find it on Page 66. Of a book entitled Provoking Democracy, Why we need the Arts. This is, therefore, an attempt to include Cattelan’s ‘The Ninth Hour’ within an argumentation which states that such works are necessary for the health of democracy. They keep freedom of speech alive and constantly challenge our established order and our

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Works cited

Primary Sources

La Nona Ora (The Ninth Hour), Maurizio Cattelan

Secondary Sources

Arie, Sophie, ‘I don’t do anything. I just eat images: An Interview with Maurizio Cattelan’, Guardian, 23 June 2004, 26

Austin, J. L. (1962) How To Do Things With Words. London: Clarendon Press

Barthes, Roland (1994) Roland Barthes. Trans. Howard, Richard. California: University of California Press

Larsen, Ernest (2000) ‘Ordinary gestures of Resistance’, in Space, Site, Intervention: Situating Installation Art. Minnesota: University of Minnesota Press

Levine, Caroline (2007) Provoking Democracy: Why we need the Arts. Oxford: Blackwell

Lomax, Yves (2000) Writing the Image: An Adventure with Art and Theory. London: I.B. Tauris

Miller, Nancy (1994) French Dressing: Women, Men and Fiction in the Ancien Regime. London: Routledge

Phelan, Peggy (1997) Mourning Sex: Performing Public Memories. London: Routledge

Rivkin, Julie & Ryan, Micheal, Eds. (2004) Literary Theory: An Anthology. Oxford: Blackwell

Scheer, Apollinaire ‘A Fallen Pope Provokes a Sensation in Poland’, New York Times, 13 May 2001, 46

Seth, John (2005) ‘Itinerant Improvisations: From ‘My Favourite Things’ to an ‘agency of night’, in After Criticism. Ed. Butt, Gavin, Oxford: Blackwell Publishing

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preview essay on Performing criticism
  • Pages: 12 (3000 words)
  • Document Type: Essay
  • Subject: Unsorted
  • Level: Ph.D.
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