On Edge: Performance at the End of the Twentieth Century

Front Cover
Wesleyan University Press, Aug 26, 2008 - Literary Criticism - 367 pages
3 Reviews
Through her engaged and articulate essays in the Village Voice, C. Carr has emerged as the cultural historian of the New York underground and the foremost critic of performance art. On Edge brings together her writings to offer a detailed and insightful history of this vibrant brand of theatre from the late 70s to today. It represents both Carr’s analysis as a critic and her testament as a witness to performances which, by their very nature, can never be repeated.

Carr has organized this collection both chronologically and thematically, ranging from the emphasis on bodily manipulation/endurance in the 70s to the underground club scene in New York to an insider’s analysis of the Tompkins Square Riot as a manifestation of the cultural and social conflicts that underlie much of performance art. She examines the transgressive and taboo-shattering work of Ethyl Eichelberger, Karen Finley, and Holly Hughes; documents specific performances by Annie Sprinkle and Lydia Lunch; and maps the development of such artists as Robbie McCauley, Blue Man Group, and John Jesurun. She also describes the “cross-over” phenomenon of the mid-80s and considers the far-right backlash against this mainstreaming as cultural reactionaries sought to curb the influence of these new artists.

CONTRIBUTORS: Linda Montano, Chris Burden, G.G Allin, Jean Baudrillard, Patty Hearts, Dan Quayle, Anne Magnouson, John Jesurun, John Kelly, Shu Lea Changvv, Diamanda Galas, Salley May, Rafael Mantanez Ortiz, Sherman Fleming, Kristine Stiles, Laurie Carlos, Jessica Hafedorn, Robbie McCormick, Karen Finley, Poopo Shiraishi, Donna Henes, Holey Hughe, Ela Troyano, Michael Smith, Harry Koipper, John Sex, Nina Jagen, Ethyl Eichelberge, Marina Abramovic, Ulay.

What people are saying - Write a review

Review: On Edge: Performance At The End Of The Twentieth Century

User Review  - Goodreads

Now I know what I missed out on when I was in my 20s. Read full review

Review: On Edge: Performance At The End Of The Twentieth Century

User Review  - Goodreads

Wow. Carr has completely changed the way I think and write about performance art during the culture wars and its relationship to race and gender. Absolutely empowering. Read full review

Other editions - View all

About the author (2008)

C. CARR is a staff writer for The Village Voice. She also writes about performance art and culture for ArtForum, LA Weekly, Interview, and Mirabella.

Bibliographic information