Body and Self: Performance Art in Australia 1969-92 charts the historical course
from the happenings of the 1960s, through body art in the 1970s, towards a more political
body in the 1980s. Body & Self considers works by Karen Finley, Lyndal Jones, Mike
Parr, Peter Kennedy, Bob Ramsay, Jim Cowley, Stuart Brisley, Vito Acconci, Hermann
Nitsch, Kevin Mortensen, Jill Orr, Arthur Wicks Jude Walton, Ken Unsworth and Jill Scott
among others. It maps the shifts and changes in critical theory and practice associated
with postmodernism, and focuses primarily on the artists’ representations of the individual
subject in the world. Marxism, feminism, structuralism, theories of the body and the
‘subject’, psychoanalysis and deconstruction are all considered in relation to an art practice
concerned with the body. The book reconstructs the performances for the reader and is
accompanied by over 150 images.
Picture on cover: Jill Orr, Pain Melts, 1979.
Photograph by Elizabeth Campbell.