Happenings And Shows - Live Art On Camera At SPACE, London

By Narelle Doe | 12 March 2008
A photograph of people climbing on ladder structures.

Ohtsuji Kiyoji, Gutai group. © the artist

Exhibition Preview: Live Art on Camera at SPACE, London, until April 19 2008.

Live Art on Camera brings together the work of photographers who recorded seminal performance art events throughout Europe, the United States and Japan from the 1950s to the present day.

These events, often only viewed live by a small number of people, can now be experienced by a wider audience, albeit in a different medium and through the eyes of the photographer.

Many of the photographers featured are well known in other contexts, from reportage, cinematography, architectural photography or simply as artists in their own right.

Among the latter is Ohtsuji Kiyoji, whose shots of the 1950s Gutai group accompany his surrealist photographs and writing. Menawhile, Peter Moore’s architectural photographs of Penn Station, documenting the station’s gradual destruction from 1962-1966, are seen in relation to examples from his extensive archive of USA performance photographs, including of Allan Kaprow’s and Wolf Vostell’s Happenings.

A photograph of two people sitting down with one in the nude.

© Ohtsuji Kiyoji.

Early works by Babette Mangolte - her film, The Camera: Je (1977), and A Photo Installation (1978) - examine the relationship between the ‘photographed’, the camera and viewer. She also extensively photographed performance works by Yvonne Rainer, Robert Whitman, Joan Jonas, Richard Foreman and Trisha Brown.

Conversely, many different photographers' depictions of performances by artist Carolee Schneemann are shown.

This exhibition reveals not only the diversity and creativity of the performance artists but the diversity and creativity of the photographers, each with a unique style compared and contextualised in relation to their career.

Curated by Alice Maude-Roxby, the exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue with essays from Kathy O’Dell, Carrie Lambert-Beatty, Barbara Clausen, Alice Maude-Roxby, Babette Mangolte, and interviews with the photographers.

This is an exhibition preview. If you’ve been to see the show, why not let us know?

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