Yerba Buena Center for the Arts presents Audience as Subject, Part 2: Extra Large, from February 18 through May 27, 2012. Audience as Subject is a two-part exhibition that considers the audience broadly as a living organism of participating viewers of live events. It includes artworks that illuminate audiences as collective bodies as well as the individuals who comprise them. It asks: What is the civic potential implied by different publics? Why focus on the audience of live events rather than the performer, actor, or stage? What can be gleaned about our humanity from artists’ representations of audience behavior? What is satisfying (and frustrating) about being in a crowd during a live event? French philosopher Alain Badiou asks: “Why would a crowd which does not revolt against flagrant injustice actually constitute itself as a collective subject through the grace of a theatrical summoning?” While these works acknowledge the role of media for disseminating images of live events, as well as the widening impact of virtual experiences of these events, this exhibition hopes to reconsider corporeal experience as a primal site of social collectivity, exchange, and potential.
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