On February 20 and February 21 The Arts Research Center at UC Berkeley is hosting the symposium “Living Time: Art and Life After ‘Art-Into-Life‘. We’ve asked participants from three sessions to post some brief thoughts on the topic in advance of the event. This guest posting is by André Lepecki (Associate Professor, Performance Studies, New York University), who is delivering Thursday’s keynote presentation entitled “Temporality and the Question of Life: Hélio Oiticica and Lygia Clark”.
My aim is to investigate how the works and writings of Hélio Oiticia and Lygia Clark re-articulate the problem of temporality and the problem of “life.” I am proposing that there is both a rigor and a novelty in their definitions of both terms, one that bypasses accepted notions that the privileged temporality of performance and dance is the ephemeral, and that the life element in performance and dance is the living presence of bodies in participation. I see their quest as a particular empiricism involving materials, matters, bodies, modes of living, and modes of moving (or not moving), offering renewed definitions of both “time” and “life” to performance theory and art history. As both artists work on form, color, objects, non-objects, participation, bodies, and subjectivities they also engage in a parallel, and yet deeply inter-related, theoretical-philosophical work.