Making Time at Human Resources: Judith Rodenbeck

Coinciding with the annual meeting of the College Art Association in Los Angeles, The Arts Research Center at UC Berkeley is hosting the offsite working session “Making Time at Human Resources” on February 22, 2012. Participants have been invited to post some brief thoughts on the topic in advance of the event. This guest posting is by Sarah Lawrence professor and art historian, Judith Rodenbeck.
Several issues emerged from my work on Allan Kaprow and happenings and have been taking up headroom for some time now.

1)  “Strips of behavior” and the repertoire and how these two concepts do or don’t map onto advanced art practice.

2)  Deskilling and its self-conscious institutionalizing as “resistant” practice.

3)  Institutional critique as necessary decoy.

4)  The fetishizing of collective and/or participatory practice v. the problematics of solo work.
While these topics can’t satisfactorily be compressed into a keyword, all circulate around several common nodal points, one of which is the nominally shared territory of certain advanced art practices and performance art. At play in many such works is a complex of claims about deskilling, performative language and framing, and a desired though possibly utopian sociability — I think, for instance, of the curious quietism in claims for the performative efficacy and communicative openness of Tino Sehgal’s work, or the highly stylized embrace of pathos in Sharon Hayes’s various embodied reanimations of speech acts. I’ve been interested in the ways the varied jargons deployed to frame or explicate these kinds of projects both open up new lines of thought (or reopen old ones) and close down or repress other avenues.
Art history has concentrated on what performance people call the archive, but we also have our various repertoires though we don’t think of them this way. Might hybrid practices help shed light, understood in terms of their relation to repertoire, on issues in non-performance-art?.