Date: March 31, 2005
Creator: Nersesova, Lisa & Way, Jennifer
Description: This paper discusses research on the performance art of Alexander Brener. The author states that we should expand our understanding of contemporary art by considering it from ideological perspectives other than those of the West. The author will show the significance that certain established conventions of Western art criticism and history have for the Russian performance artist Alexander Brener. Western art critics perceive Brener's performances as destructive and perverse, which indicates the existence of accepted conventions and a tacit agreement concerning what is considered art. Art history also excludes Brener, not only because his work is so contemporary, but also because prevailing approaches to understanding art in the West require categorizing art movements and corresponding labeling of artists, which is difficult to achieve in Brener's case. Consequently, the author asks, how was Brener emphasized the importance of understanding art as an entity that has culturally specific features? The author considers Brener's use of the phrase "third world artist" in relation to the prevailing Western art critical terms "East" and "West." Finally, the author examines Brener's controversial performance at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam in relation to the Western art world as a system consisting of artists, critics, historians, and patrons.
Contributing Partner: UNT Honors College