Performing for the Camera by Simon Baker
The book examines three distinct strands of photographic practice: the documentation of performance works, by artists such as Yves Klein, Yayoi Kusama and Merce Cunningham; how performers and photographers have worked collaboratively, such as Nadar and the mime artist Charles Deburau, or Eikoh Hosoe and the choreographer Tatsumi Hijikata; and the work of photographers who have a strong performative element to their practice, such as Charles Ray, Boris Mikhailov and Erwin Wurm. It further explores the construction of self-identity in the work of artists such as Samuel Fosso, Lee Friedlander, Tomoko Sawada, Cindy Sherman and Andy Warhol, as well as the playful, innovative approaches to portraiture adopted by Keith Arnatt and Masahisa Fukase. The result is a fascinating new insight into the ways in which we think about the role of photography in performance art, and of performance within photographic practice. In his introductory essay, Simon Baker provides an insightful overview of the inter-relationship between performance and photography, while a further text examines how performance photography has been used as a tool to explore subjectivity and identity. The work of photography duo Harry Shunk and Janos Kender, who documented a number of the most exciting and important performances of the 1960s and 1970s, is also discussed. With around 300 illustrations of more than ninety key bodies of work, this is the definitive publication on photography and performance, two of the most popular and intriguing art forms of our time.