"John P. Bowles's Adrian Piper: Race, Gender, and Embodiment is a groundbreaking, meticulously researched and beautifully written text that challenges its readers to understand Adrian Piper's early work in provocative new ways. In doing so, Bowles forces us to re-evaluate our understanding of the histories of conceptualism, minimalism, feminism and their intersections with the visual practices of African American artists." Steven Nelson, University of California, Los Angeles "Adrian Piper: Race, Gender, and Embodiment is an important book. John P. Bowles has much to say not only about Piper's own artistic journey, but also about how scholars have chosen to read the avant-garde creative production of the 1960s and 1970s, and whether or not one can ever escape the 'burden of the flesh' when one creates or interprets works of art." Gwendolyn DuBois Shaw, author of Seeing the Unspeakable: The Art of Kara WalkerVom Verlag:
Beginning in 1972, the artist Adrian Piper began periodically dressing as a persona called the Mythic Being, striding the streets of New York in a moustache, Afro wig, and mirrored sunglasses with a cigar in the corner of her mouth. Her Mythic Being performances critically engaged with popular representations of race, gender, sexuality, and class, challenging viewers to accept personal responsibility for xenophobia, discrimination, and the conditions that allowed them to persist. Piper's work confronts viewers and forces them to reconsider assumptions about the social construction of identity. Adrian Piper: Race, Gender, and Embodiment is an in-depth analysis of this groundbreaking artist's work, illustrated with more than ninety images, including twenty-five in colour. Over the course of a decade, John P. Bowles and Piper conversed about her art, its meaning, reception, and relation to her scholarship on Kant's philosophy. Drawing on those conversations, Bowles locates Piper's work at the nexus of Conceptual and Feminist art of the late 1960s and 1970s. Piper was the only African American woman associated with the Conceptual artists of the 1960s and one of only a few African Americans to participate in exhibitions of the nascent feminist art movement in the early 1970s. Bowles contends that Piper's work is ultimately about our responsibility for the world in which we live.
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