Pained Body, Performed Madness: A Study of the Bio-political Philosophy in He Yunchang's Performance Art

Detta är en Master-uppsats från Lunds universitet/Avdelningen för konsthistoria och visuella studier

Sammanfattning: This thesis explores the considerations of bare life in He Yunchang’s performance arts, based on two of his works, One-meter democracy (2010) and Golden Sunlight (1999). I make a deep analysis of the images and archives of the two performances, about the artist’s artistic method of using visual signs. Furthermore, I interpret how the artist used the bodily pain to create figures. I also investigate how the performance art as an imitation of madness became a potential threat to the sovereign and law in some circumstances, based on the comparison with another two performance artists, Hua Yong from China and Pyotr Pavlensky from Russia. The circumstance of these artists corresponded to the situation He Yunchang has presented in both his works. The theoretical aspects of the bio-political philosophy are mostly from Giorgio Agamben’s Homo Sacer theory and his definition of the State of Exception. Foucault’s description of madness in Madness and Civilization is also used to interpret why the performance art is seen as madness, from a historical perspective. Finally, these analyses will lead to a discussion of the relationship between performance art and modern politics which, as I conclude, could be seen as the conflict between madness and rational society.

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