Catalogue


Being watched : Yvonne Rainer and the 1960s /
Carrie Lambert-Beatty.
imprint
Cambridge : MIT Press, c2008.
description
xviii, 362 p.
ISBN
0262123010 (hardcover : alk. paper), 9780262123013 (hardcover : alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
series title
imprint
Cambridge : MIT Press, c2008.
isbn
0262123010 (hardcover : alk. paper)
9780262123013 (hardcover : alk. paper)
catalogue key
6601094
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
Awards
This item was nominated for the following awards:
PSP Prose Awards, USA, 2008 : Nominated
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2009-03-01:
For many dancers, the 1960s meant dancing in T-shirts and not putting on a leotard for days at a time. In short, the period was one of rapid change for dance. Rainer was at the forefront of this revolution. On a rooftop, in a gym, outdoors at an antiwar rally, and definitely on film, she delivered her idea of the body as offered to the eye. As an art historian who has researched performance and video art since 1960, Lambert-Beatty (Harvard) brings depth to this book. Writing that "Rainer's art is structured by a peculiar tension between the body and its display," the author looks at how Rainer's work with Steve Paxton and others at New York's Judson Memorial Church began a movement that changed the look of dance forever. She describes how Rainer presented the body as it had never before been shown in Western dance--unadorned--and discusses how Rainer's work manifested her interest in activism and in the relationship between gesture and time, mediality and performativity. The photos bring this all to life and help carry the reader on a journey through a turbulent time in US history--and a time of glorious exploration in the arts. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Graduate students, researchers, and performers. L. K. Rosenberg Miami University
Reviews
Review Quotes
"The book is a fantastic read and an exemplary text... a highly original analysis, this study is sure to become a classic." MJ Thompson TDR: The Drama Review
"A brilliantly vivid description of Rainer, Judson, and art making in the 1960s, Being Watched sets a new scholarly standard for dance and performance studies. Combining impeccable archival work, a nuanced understanding of the drama of vision, and a lyrical sensitivity to movement, Being Watched is an absolute pleasure to read. In these pages, Rainer emerges as a muscular thinker, a complicated personality, and one of the most influential choreographers of our time. Great artists need great commentators and here we are fortunate to see a truly compelling duet." - Peggy Phelan , The Ann O'Day Maples Chair in the Arts, and Professor of Drama and English, Stanford University
"A brilliantly vivid description of Rainer, Judson, and art making in the 1960s, Being Watched sets a new scholarly standard for dance and performance studies. Combining impeccable archival work, a nuanced understanding of the drama of vision, and a lyrical sensitivity to movement, Being Watchedis an absolute pleasure to read. In these pages, Rainer emerges as a muscular thinker, a complicated personality, and one of the most influential choreographers of our time. Great artists need great commentators and here we are fortunate to see a truly compelling duet." -Peggy Phelan, The Ann O'Day Maples Chair in the Arts, and Professor of Drama and English, Stanford University
"Essential reading for anyone with an interest in Yvonne Rainer and the dynamic relationship between advanced performance and the visual arts during the 1960's and 1970's. Being Watched zeroes in on the most basic fact about live performance: its ephemeral nature; and the book that results is a profound meditation on the problematic nature of 'seeing' itself." - Roger Copeland , author of Merce Cunningham: The Modernizing of Modern Dance
"Essential reading for anyone with an interest in Yvonne Rainer and the dynamic relationship between advanced performance and the visual arts during the 1960's and 1970's. Being Watchedzeroes in on the most basic fact about live performance: its ephemeral nature; and the book that results is a profound meditation on the problematic nature of 'seeing' itself." -Roger Copeland, author of Merce Cunningham: The Modernizing of Modern Dance
"In this terrific book, Carrie Lambert-Beatty digs deep into minimalist dance and performance from the 1960s, helping us see its engagement with burgeoning mass media, Taylorized motion studies, and rampant systems-think. Yvonne Rainer's compelling work is linked to Fluxus, Happenings, and other time-based art from this crucial decade-her abstract yet demotic means are brilliantly analyzed in relation to both spectacle and spectators in Being Watched. " - Caroline A. Jones , Director, History, Theory, Criticism Program, Department of Architecture, MIT
"The book is a fantastic read and an exemplary text... a highly original analysis, this study is sure to become a classic." - MJ Thompson , TDR: The Drama Review
"A brilliantly vivid description of Rainer, Judson, and art making in the 1960s, Being Watched sets a new scholarly standard for dance and performance studies. Combining impeccable archival work, a nuanced understanding of the drama of vision, and a lyrical sensitivity to movement, Being Watched is an absolute pleasure to read. In these pages, Rainer emerges as a muscular thinker, a complicated personality, and one of the most influential choreographers of our time. Great artists need great commentators and here we are fortunate to see a truly compelling duet."--Peggy Phelan, The Ann O'Day Maples Chair in the Arts, and Professor of Drama and English,Stanford University
"Essential reading for anyone with an interest in Yvonne Rainer and the dynamic relationship between advanced performance and the visual arts during the 1960's and 1970's. Being Watched zeroes in on the most basic fact about live performance: its ephemeral nature; and the book that results is a profound meditation on the problematic nature of 'seeing' itself."--Roger Copeland, author of Merce Cunningham: The Modernizing of Modern Dance
"In this terrific book, Carrie Lambert-Beatty digs deep into minimalist dance and performance from the 1960s, helping us see its engagement with burgeoning mass media, Taylorized motion-studies, and rampant systems-think. Yvonne Rainer's compelling work is linked to Fluxus, Happenings, and other time-based art from this crucial decade -- her abstract yet demotic means are brilliantly analyzed in relation to both spectacle and spectators in Being Watched."--Caroline A. Jones, Director of History, Theory, Criticism Program, Department of Architecture, MIT, and author of Sensorium
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, March 2009
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Bowker Data Service Summary
In her dance and performances of the 1960s, Yvonne Rainer transformed the performing body. Without discounting these innovations, this book argues that the crucial site of Rainer's interventions in the 1960s was less the body of the performer than the eye of the viewer - or rather, the body as offered to the eye.
Main Description
In her dance and performances of the 1960s, Yvonne Rainer famously transformed the performing body-stripped it of special techniques and star status, traded its costumes and leotards for T-shirts and sneakers, and asked it to haul mattresses or recite texts rather than leap or spin. Without discounting these innovations, Carrie Lambert-Beatty argues in Being Watchedthat the crucial site of Rainer's interventions in the 1960s was less the body of the performer than the eye of the viewer-or rather, the body as offered to the eye. Rainer's art, Lambert-Beatty writes, is structured by a peculiar tension between the body and its display. Through close readings of Rainer's works of the 1960s-from the often-discussed dance Trio Ato lesser-known Vietnam war-era protest dances-Lambert-Beatty explores how these performances embodied what Rainer called "the seeing difficulty." (As Rainer said: "Dance is hard to see.") Viewed from this perspective, Rainer's work becomes a bridge between key episodes in postwar art. Lambert-Beatty shows how Rainer's art (and related performance work in Happenings, Fluxus, and Judson Dance Theater) connects with the transformation of the subject-object relation in minimalism and with emerging feminist discourse on the political implications of the objectifying gaze. In a spectacle-soaked era, moreover, when images of war played nightly on the television news, Rainer's work engaged the habits of viewing formed in mass-media America, linking avant-garde art and the wider culture of the 1960s. Rainer is significant, argues Lambert-Beatty, not only as a choreographer but as a sculptor of spectatorship.
Main Description
In her dance and performances of the 1960s, Yvonne Rainer famously transformed the performing body--stripped it of special techniques and star status, traded its costumes and leotards for T-shirts and sneakers, asked it to haul mattresses or recite texts rather than leap or spin. Without discounting these innovations, Carrie Lambert-Beatty argues in Being Watched that the crucial site of Rainer's interventions in the 1960s was less the body of the performer than the eye of the viewer--or rather, the body as offered to the eye. Rainer's art, Lambert-Beatty writes, is structured by a peculiar tension between the body and its display. Through close readings of Rainer's works of the 1960s--from the often-discussed dance Trio A to lesser-known Vietnam war-era protest dances--Lambert-Beatty explores how these performances embodied what Rainer called "the seeing difficulty." (As Rainer said: "Dance is hard to see.") Viewed from this perspective, Rainer's work becomes a bridge between key episodes in postwar art. Lambert-Beatty shows how Rainer's art (and related performance work in Happenings, Fluxus, and Judson Dance Theater) connects with the transformation of the subject-object relation in minimalism and with emerging feminist discourse on the political implications of the objectifying gaze. In a spectacle-soaked era, moreover--when images of war played nightly on the television news--Rainer's work engaged the habits of viewing formed in mass-media America, linking avant-garde art and the wider culture of the 1960s. Rainer is significant, argues Lambert-Beatty, not only as a choreographer, but as a sculptor of spectatorship.
Main Description
winner, 2009 de la Torre Bueno Book Prize presented by the Society of Dance History Scholars (SDHS). and Honorable Mention, Music and the Performing Arts category, 2008 PROSE Awards presented by the Professional/Scholarly Publishing Division of the Association of American Publishers. In her dance and performances of the 1960s, Yvonne Rainer famously transformed the performing body-stripped it of special techniques and star status, traded its costumes and leotards for T-shirts and sneakers, and asked it to haul mattresses or recite texts rather than leap or spin. Without discounting these innovations, Carrie Lambert-Beatty argues in Being Watched that the crucial site of Rainer's interventions in the 1960s was less the body of the performer than the eye of the viewer-or rather, the body as offered to the eye. Rainer's art, Lambert-Beatty writes, is structured by a peculiar tension between the body and its display. Through close readings of Rainer's works of the 1960s-from the often-discussed dance Trio A to lesser-known Vietnam war-era protest dances-Lambert-Beatty explores how these performances embodied what Rainer called "the seeing difficulty." (As Rainer said: "Dance is hard to see.") Viewed from this perspective, Rainer's work becomes a bridge between key episodes in postwar art. Lambert-Beatty shows how Rainer's art (and related performance work in Happenings, Fluxus, and Judson Dance Theater) connects with the transformation of the subject-object relation in minimalism and with emerging feminist discourse on the political implications of the objectifying gaze. In a spectacle-soaked era, moreover, when images of war played nightly on the television news, Rainer's work engaged the habits of viewing formed in mass-media America, linking avant-garde art and the wider culture of the 1960s. Rainer is significant, argues Lambert-Beatty, not only as a choreographer but as a sculptor of spectatorship.
Main Description
winner, 2009 de la Torre Bueno Book Prize presented by the Society of Dance History Scholars (SDHS). and Honorable Mention, Music and the Performing Arts category, 2008 PROSE Awards presented by the Professional/Scholarly Publishing Division of the Association of American Publishers. In her dance and performances of the 1960s, Yvonne Rainer famously transformed the performing body-stripped it of special techniques and star status, traded its costumes and leotards for T-shirts and sneakers, and asked it to haul mattresses or recite texts rather than leap or spin. Without discounting these innovations, Carrie Lambert-Beatty argues in Being Watchedthat the crucial site of Rainer's interventions in the 1960s was less the body of the performer than the eye of the viewer-or rather, the body as offered to the eye. Rainer's art, Lambert-Beatty writes, is structured by a peculiar tension between the body and its display. Through close readings of Rainer's works of the 1960s-from the often-discussed dance Trio Ato lesser-known Vietnam war-era protest dances-Lambert-Beatty explores how these performances embodied what Rainer called "the seeing difficulty." (As Rainer said: "Dance is hard to see.") Viewed from this perspective, Rainer's work becomes a bridge between key episodes in postwar art. Lambert-Beatty shows how Rainer's art (and related performance work in Happenings, Fluxus, and Judson Dance Theater) connects with the transformation of the subject-object relation in minimalism and with emerging feminist discourse on the political implications of the objectifying gaze. In a spectacle-soaked era, moreover, when images of war played nightly on the television news, Rainer's work engaged the habits of viewing formed in mass-media America, linking avant-garde art and the wider culture of the 1960s. Rainer is significant, argues Lambert-Beatty, not only as a choreographer but as a sculptor of spectatorship.
Table of Contents
Preface: Camera, Actionp. xi
Acknowledgmentsp. xv
Introduction: Seeing Difficultiesp. 1
Judson Dance Theater in Hindsightp. 19
Sections and Chunks: Serial Timep. 75
Mediating TRIO Ap. 127
Other Solutionsp. 167
Performance Demonstrationp. 199
Conclusion: Taking Sidesp. 253
Notesp. 269
Indexp. 351
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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