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On Edge: Performance at the End of the Twentieth Century Paperback – December 15, 1993


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 357 pages
  • Publisher: Wesleyan; 1st edition (December 15, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0819562696
  • ISBN-13: 978-0819562692
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,165,887 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Since 1984, Village Voice critic Carr has chronicled the work of artists in that amorphous territory called "performance art." Though some of these 58 essays have gone stale, most convey spirited descriptions and sensitive defenses of obscure or much-maligned avant-gardists. She observes Holly Hughes and Carmelita Tropicana bra-zenly presenting politically incorrect lesbian theater, finds dragster Ethyl Eichelberger transmuting Shakespeare into Leer and notes how Chris Burden's apparent masochism (having himself crucified on top of a Volkswagen) forces the audience to confront iconographies of power. Foul-mouthed, food-smearing Karen Finley is, to Carr, an example of a shattered persona, "a self unable to put a face on things," while "feminist porn activist" Annie Sprinkle, allowing audiences to peer at her cervix, suggests a "supernakedness" that restores her power. Carr's best work takes on the critics of Finley and Robert Mapplethorpe, skewering Rev. Donald Wildmon and the would-be censors in Cincinnati. In an epilogue, Carr suggests the bohemian tradition has been energized as well as fractured by the advent of multiculturalism. Photos not seen by PW.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review

"Like a parade, a reunion, a wake, a summit, or a coming out party, C. Carr's On Edge is an occasion. The book brings together the best of those exquisite Carr essays that have salt and peppered the Village Voice for ten years, telling the 'Real Deal' on the ever-cutting edge of what we, the 'nth' generation, refuse to let ourselves continue to call the avantgarde." --Rebecca Schneider, TDR (The Drama Review)

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Celia Pearce on May 28, 2010
Format: Paperback
Last year, I attended Come Out & Play, a festival of outdoor and alternate reality games, a growing genre of often technologically-enabled games that take place in the real world. The lower Manhattan venues at which this distributed event was hosted were, in some cases, the very same locales where some of the performance art described in C. Carr's "On Edge" took place. Having been in New York at that time, and attended some of the "happenings" she described, I was amazed at how much this innovative new movement has in common, unbeknownst to itself, with this historical but often forgotten moment in intangible art. Indeed, there is one piece Carr describes which is so similar to Blast Theory's "Uncle Roy All Around You" it's uncanny. Anyway, for anyone working on tactical media, street art, or pervasive/locative games, ARG's, etc., this book will provide some valuable insight into contemporary practices through reflection past experimentation.
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By CC on November 14, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
very lively account of an eye witness and close observer of performances. Great read.
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