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Timeline of performance art
RODDY HUNTER

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My first performance was called 'Autokopros (Fridge Sex)', Drama Studio, University of Glasgow, 1989.

The moment I decided that I was going to become a performance artist was probably the moment when a vinyl compilation album called 'You Bet We've Got Something Against You' released by Cathexis Recordings, Glasgow released in 1986 came into my possession. Cathexis Recordings was an independent record label run by Robert H. King covering industrial, electronic, avant-garde and experimental music. King was also a graphic designer and in designing the cover of 'You Bet We've Got Something Against You' saw fit to feature an image of Gunter Brus lying on the ground during one of his 'aktions' surrounded by razor blades, scissors, knives, forks and six inch nails (some of which were protruding from his mouth). The combination of this image with the music on the album (e.g. Sonic Youth, Mark Stewart and the Maffia, 93 Current 93) was dynamite in my hands. I never knew the images was the work of Gunter Brus at that time but that image was burned into my mind nonetheless.

In terms of my personal background, then, 'my position of engagement' was formed in the late 1980s - early 1990s largely according to: (post) industrial culture and the economic and ideological situation of the 1980s, 'perestroika' (economic restructuring) 'here' as well as 'there', ideological binaries, geo-political dualities, a personal fascination with East-Central Europe (I remember asking my mother what communism was, because I heard about it on television), thinking is sufficient to be contrary, deliberately liking whatever anyone else did not like: experimental music, fashion, art - but actually for me performance art was even cooler than industrial music and so thinking about bands like Throbbing Cristle formed by action and mail artists like Genesis P-Orridge and Cosey Fanni Tutti was perfect, the idea of Gesamtkunstwerk: Laibach, Einsturzende Neubauten, and then the more and more obscure the better.

The excerpt was taken from: Roddy Hunter, "I think I now know"" in: Artistic Research in Action. Proceedings of CARPA 2 - Colloquium on Artistic Research in Performing Arts, ed. Annette Arlander, (Helsinki: Theatre Academy, 2011), 24-25.

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