Rituals of Rented Island


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Object Theater, Loft Performance, and the New Psychodrama—Manhattan, 1970–1980

Jay Sanders with J. Hoberman

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In this important volume, Jay Sanders and J. Hoberman explore the vibrant underground performance art scene of 1970s New York. Focusing on little-known and long-forgotten works, which were often performed in live/work lofts, storefronts, and alternative spaces of the city’s SoHo district, often for an audience comprising a handful of fellow artists, this catalogue makes newly visible a critical period in the development of performance art.

Rituals of Rented Island examines the disparate yet related practices of twenty artists, including Stuart Sherman; collaborators Yvonne Rainer and Babette Mangotle; Julia Heyward; Jill Kroesen; Richard Foreman; Squat Theatre; composer-musician John Zorn; and legendary playwright and filmmaker Jack Smith; among others. With an array of previously unpublished images, including installation photographs, scripts, handwritten notes, and other ephemera, drawn from the artists’ own archives, this volume illuminates the eccentric singularities of the performance art of this era and its relevance today.

Distributed for the Whitney Museum of American Art

Exhibition Schedule:

Whitney Museum of American Art

Jay Sanders is curator and curator of performance at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. J. Hoberman is an independent writer and critic.


Whitney Museum of American Art

ISBN: 9780300195866
Publication Date: November 26, 2013
Publishing Partner: Distributed for the Whitney Museum of American Art
144 pages, 6 1/2 x 9 1/2
115 color + 150 b/w illus.
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