This spring the photography department offered a course that focused on the relationship between photography and performance. This course was a studio seminar that focused on the potential for photography as a tool to document performances that are staged for the camera. Within the photographic medium, photography can play with notions of time and reality and while performance art traditionally emphasizes the presence of the body in a live action, this class looked beyond that tradition towards articulating a potential for performance with the absence of a live performing body, the photograph being the end result.
A note from the instructor, Christine Rogers:
“The goals of this class in my opinion is to allow students to engage with their ideas of performance, to challenge what a performance is and can be (by removing the aspect of the live body performing in front of an audience). In doing this, another goal reveals itself: for students to understand the meaning behind their decisions of what to record and how they record it is equally important and performative of a decision as the performance itself. The form and function of their pieces are intertwined and students have a place to play with art historical modes of representation as well as vernacular modes of representation and in doing so it is my hope that they better understand the mediated image in art and in culture.”