Joshua Sofaer (Book)

Performance | Objects | Participation

With a mixture of intellect, humour, and striking design, Joshua Sofaer: Performance | Objects | Participation analyses the artist’s oeuvre in the contexts of liveness, visual art and participatory practices.


Sample Chapter


Series: Intellect Live


Joshua Sofaer works across boundaries, borders and disciplines to create artworks that engage with all levels of society. In cultural institutions or on the street, for art galleries or personal homes, staged as operas or cast as golden sculptures, Sofaer’s work weaves with and through social fabric to consider the ideas that hold us together.
Co-published with the Live Art Development Agency, this lavishly illustrated volume is the first in-depth study of the artist’s work, featuring discussions with producers and participants, documentary images and a new photographic essay, interviews with the artist himself, and thirteen commissioned essays by scholars, curators and artists from the perspectives of performance studies, archaeology and opera criticism. With a mixture of intellect, humour and striking design, Joshua Sofaer: Performance | Objects | Participation analyses the artist’s oeuvre in the contexts of liveness, visual art and participatory practices. It explores the binding aesthetics of his approach as a model for contemporary practice, and it considers the impact of his work on audiences, institutions and pedagogy, as well as on fine art and performance ecologies as a whole.

Roberta Mock is Professor of Performance Studies and Director of the Doctoral College at the University of Plymouth. She is also Chair of the Theatre & Performance Research Association (TaPRA). Her research (which includes writing and performance practice) tends to focus on gender, sexuality, the performing body and Jewishness.

Mary Paterson is a writer, artist and producer who works in relation to the live. With Maddy Costa and Diana Damian Martin, she runs Something Other and The Department of Feminist Conversations – two interrelated projects that explore the performance of politics, and the politics of performance.

Where Are You From? Or Originally – Joshua Sofaer

Introduction: Nobody Nose: Joshua Sofaer – Mary Paterson and Roberta Mock

Window Dresser – Stacy Makishi interviews Joshua Sofaer

Artist and Star – Joshua Sofaer

Joshua Sofaer’s Grammar of the Body – Roberta Mock

No Show: Personal Evidence in Public Space, Or The Artist is in Withdrawal – Sibylle Peters

Teacher's Pet – Lois Keidan

Documentation (of a Near Death Experience) – Robin Deacon

Back to the Artwork of the Future: Transformation, Emotion, and Participation in the Opera-related Works of Joshua Sofaer – Daniel Somerville

Make Happy Those Who Are Near, and Those Who Are Far Will Come – Yu-Ying Kung, Yuan-Liang An and Yu-Chin Hsiao, with Joshua Sofaer

Value, Labour, and Presence in the Live Gallery – Nadia Abdelaziz

Sibling Disciplines: Objects, Archaeology, and the Art of Joshua Sofaer – Joanna Sofaer 

Trashing the Institution: Disruption and Democratisation at the Science Museum – Sarah Harvey

Un-Thinking The Rubbish Collection: From Plastics to Plasticity – Carl Lavery

Naming: Joshua Sofaer's Dramaturgies of Interference in Public Space – Konstantina Georgelou

Performing Workshops at Home – Stuart Andrews

Small Actions, Everyday Encounters: Permission and the Possibility of Change in Gold Nose of a Green Finger – Maddy Costa

Keep It Opening: Joshua Sofaer's Use of Language – Mary Paterson

Afterword: Hilarious Hooters and Curious Conks – Simon Gould

Selected Artworks by Joshua Sofaer



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