How Performance Art Entered the Mainstream
“Performance is inherently subversive in that the presenting institution cannot guarantee what is going to happen,” says video and performance artist Ryan McNamara. His comment references a 2010 in-boutique performance commissioned by Louis Vuitton, in which dancers spontaneously licked a signature handbag until it was covered in saliva, wreaking havoc on what was supposed to be a pristine performance. Heavily influenced by the MTV music videos he grew up watching, McNamara is known for situation-specific works involving the participation of viewers, professional dancers, and other artists. In early 2012, "Still", his first solo gallery show, mandated that visitors pose for photos donning unusual costumes and enacting stills from performances, an inversion of the typical artist/performer relationship. In the second phase of the exhibition, he displayed the photographs decoupaged on the objects, backdrops, and costumes used in the performances.
American, b. 1980