What is your relationship between text and performance How is text used in for and as art design and performance

By providing access, that is, to every form of extremism, including the prostitute, the madman, the artist, and the critic, modern society had stripped man of his ability to approach the society from without, and therefore to critique. Gavin Butt, writing specifically about art and literature criticism more than a half a century later, in 2005, claimed that the position of the critic had not substantially changed. He argued that criticism had suffered a crisis following post-structuralism in which the space for criticality had withered (p 1). Specifically, he claimed that theorists following Derrida, through declaring a deconstructive stance in regard to text in which the critic lives inside the text rather than outside of it, thereby becoming unmoored from any objective or anterior position from which to judge a text’s intent, have lost claim to any constructive ground by which to judge such texts (p 3). Taking, as one must in the postmodern world, the notion of text to its logical conclusion, one comes to the same argument that Marcuse presented. The artist cannot find room to critique society because he lives within the text that society represents. But is this necessarily so? If, that is, Marcuse found it possible to write his book, or Butt found it worthwhile to discuss the role of the critic, there must be some possibility of critical distance still available to the artist. Or else why so much spilled ink? The answer, it is believed here, is found in the continuing argument provided by Butts – and indeed hinted at in the work of both Marcuse and Derrida, as well as others. Through what Butt calls the performative act of criticism, the artist as well as the critic, is able to form an act of criticism of text. Butt calls for a criticism after criticism which rests on the event-ness or immanence of an act as the significant factor, rather than any supposed transcendent or theoretical quality concerning the notion of criticism. In other words, the artist, by acting on a text, defined however it may be defined, is able to approach that text in a way that is instructive or altering or controlled or otherwise understood. In this brief paper, the role of the artist in defining the interaction between text and performance will be considered. Using the framework that Butts suggests, as presaged by other theorists working in the same vein, and as applied through the work of select contemporary artists, the paper will consider how text, both literally and figuratively configured, relates to performance, and how the artist may make use of this relationship as a critical function. Brief definition of the notion of text will be offered, followed by a critical examination of how the relevant working artists have used actual and figurative text in their art to significant effect. Following this exposition, conclusions will be offered regarding the use of performance and text within my own approach to art as a means of achieving critical distance from the society in which I live and communicative proximity to my viewers, so that my art may be both meaningful and substantive. Text Defined In their film about the French philosopher who defined the deconstruction movement, Jacques Derrida, Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering weigh his influence and theoretical suppositions against the man himself. This is a fitting tribute in many ways, since Derrida believed that the notion of a text includes a structurally infinite set of possibilities, a network of associations that spring from any given object or