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Defining the Body-Object of Minimalism: Yvonne Rainer and the 1960s

Hastings, Thomas Magna (2018) Defining the Body-Object of Minimalism: Yvonne Rainer and the 1960s. PhD thesis, University of Leeds.

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This thesis explores the ways in which Yvonne Rainer’s manipulation of the body was bound up with minimal sculptors’ examinations of the object. Reading across texts, statements, and practices of a range of artist-critics at work through the 1960s, including Rainer, Lucy Lippard, Robert Morris, Donald Judd, Rosalind Krauss, Susan Sontag, and Barbara Rose, it seeks to identify points of transfer between critical approaches to dance and sculpture that were, on the surface and in the literature, answerable to different sets of concerns. Rather than draw a superficial analogy between the viewer’s traversal of the gallery and the activity of the dancer, this movement is considered with recourse to the metonym, a linguistic trope that signals a set of active, moving procedures embedded in the specificity of the text. Having explored how Rainer herself reworked strategies of ‘radical juxtaposition’ through both her published art criticism and performance work, the metonym is further tested through a case study of her signature dance work, Trio A (1966). This thesis draws on archival research in order to make a case for Trio A as an expressive mass of material that is constituted at the intersection of an embodied, daily expenditure of energy and forms of verbal transcription, both of which serve to relay activities in the social life of the subject. Culminating in an original reading of Rainer’s Convalescent Dance (1967), this research contributes to recent readings of minimalism’s ‘emotional underbelly’ by examining Rainer’s negotiation of externalised relations and offstage relationships.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: Yvonne Rainer; Minimalism; American Art; Dance; History of Art; Metonymy; Robert Morris; Susan Sontag; Lucy Lippard; 1960s; Performance Art.
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures (Leeds) > Fine Art, History of Art & Cultural Studies (Leeds)
Depositing User: Dr Thomas Magna Hastings
Date Deposited: 24 Jun 2019 12:35
Last Modified: 24 Jun 2019 12:35
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/24144

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