About the book:
Challenging the assumption that the unofficial art scene in state socialist Europe was only subversive and oppositional, this publication offers alternative readings. Left Performance Histories explores artistic positions that, while critical of actually existing socialism, were grounded in Marxist and communist ideas. Performance/art was not a mirror of tristesse but a site of jouissance, where social conventions concerning gender identity, sexuality and beauty were playfully undermined. But what do performances leave in their wake? And how should we situate their legacies in the context of archives, exhibitions and academic and artistic practice? These are some of the questions that this book sets out to answer.
I contributed the performance “She turns her head, she lifts the pen.” to the exhibition project and the text “Sie hebt die Hand, sie wendet den Kopf.”/”She lifts the hand, she turns her head.” (published here in English for the first time) to the publication.
Sie hebt die Hand, sie wendet den Kopf.