New Territories: Interview with Patty Chang

Sep 23, 2013 4:09AM

The New York-based artist Patty Chang has been making daring forays in performance art since the late 1990s. In Eels (1999), she captivated viewers onscreen, appearing to be somewhere between throws of ecstasy and pain—but irreducible to neither—later attributing this to the live eels that filled her blouse and wriggled uncontrollably against her skin. In another work, Chang came uncomfortably close to incest by making chewing movements against the lips of her own parents. Teetering precariously between humor and embarrassment, Chang’s early works push the body to its limits, alluding to the fluidity of identity by confounding any attempt at characterization.


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