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Retrospective Traces Evolution of Artistic Self-Experiments by Salt Lake City Weekly

Posted on September 9, 2013

Martha Wilson SLC

Martha Wilson
Retrospective Traces Evolution of Artistic Self-Experiments
by Brian Staker

In our celebrity-obsessed culture, artists are often as much absorbed with creating a persona for themselves as with creating a body of work. The first contemporary artist to really make his persona the focus of his work was Andy Warhol; then performance artists in the 1970s and 1980s started using the medium for social and political commentary.

For four decades, Martha Wilson has been at the forefront of this movement, with her work in live performance, video and photo-text juxtapositions in the late 1970s collaborating with DISBAND—“the all-girl band of artists who couldn’t play any instruments,” as she puts it—and founding the nonprofit art space Franklin Furnace in Brooklyn. The traveling exhibition Martha Wilson: Staging the Self at the Utah Museum of Fine Arts traces the development of her work and herself as an artist.

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