I intend to do so by exploring a fairly specific thesis. This thesis is less like a scientific observation and more like a hunch. It is the idea that we, artists and viewers alike, know that art is in many ways fundamentally reactionary and conservative, yet we still want to believe that art is radical and revolutionary, and within the space of this paradox there is room for a great deal to happen. That in forging an emotional or theoretical connection to a work of art, even though it’s status as art solidifies it as part of the status quo, the fact that it has affected us simultaneously keeps open the possibility that something might still change.
My intention is to develop this idea into a book entitled: Something Might Still Change. In my mind this book would – in a clear, pleasurable style – work to convince the reader that paradox can be an extremely useful lens through which to view the relationship between art and politics (and perhaps also the relationship between art, politics and contemporary life.) I would like the book to focus specifically on five or six works from different fields, moving gradually towards a conclusion in which I contrast various disciplinary approaches to specific questions surrounding the nature of participation in performance.
Some works I am currently thinking of examining:
Gentlemen & Arseholes by Lene Berg
Artificial Respiration by Ricardo Piglia