another lecture.

I try to frequently attend artist talks.  I listen to fashion designers, artist, performers, musicians illustrators etc.  I observe there seems to be a standard format for how these things are supposed to go. In general, we, the audience, travel through time as  artists break down their artistic development while we view the highlights of their practice through slides.
 
 Last Wednesday 9/10/13  I attended:
 Performance: Robin Deacon
“If Not from the Heart, from Where?,” presented as part of Assistant Professor Robin Deacon’s final review toward tenure in the Department of Performance.
 
I am always pleasantly surprised to experience artist talks by performance artists.  All bets are off.  This talk was no exception.
 
This was not a tenure review I imagine, an artist defending their practice and their place at an institution.  Deacon utilizes speech as one of his performance tools, so I tried to pay attention to every detail presented to me.  Often speakers get lost in their thoughts and catch up with pauses or “ums.” In Deacon’s speech every bit of information seemed to be presented in a manor that it was specifically rehearsed and delivered.   If there was a pause I felt like it was supposed to be there, and I went along for the ride.
 
I appreciated how the artist utilized humor to deliberate over intense concepts.  Something very interesting for me was his challenging the very stereotype of what performance art is.  
 
I left this talk contemplating what performance art asks me to think about a lot-> Which is: If performance artists can elevate simple tasks like a lecture into a performance, then as artists, how do we navigate what is worthy to be a performance and what should remain a standard ritual?
 
If you haven’t seen or heard any of Deacon’s work it’s worth investigating:
 
http://www.robindeacon.com
 
– Whittle

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