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Black Sphinx: On the Comedic in Modern Art (Soccas Symposium)

Black Sphinx: On the Comedic in Modern Art (Soccas Symposium)

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Black Sphinx collects 12 essays on comedy in contemporary art by leading philosophers, art historians and theorists. Philosopher Simon Critchley and art historian Janet Whitmore consider the origins of comedic genres and survey some of the key theoretical articulations of laughter and wit, by Freud, Bergson and others; John C. Welchman focuses on John Baldessari, a touchstone for the revival of humor in art in the 1960s; performer, playwright and former V-Girl Jessica Chalmers and writer and curator Jo Anna Issak, discuss the relation between comedy and gender; finally, artist and writer David Robbins reports on his decade-long investigation into the comedic properties of objects, while video and performance artist Michael Smith reflects on his hilariously awkward and regressive journeys with his alter persona "Mike." Black Sphinx is based on the fourth Southern California Consortium of Art Schools symposium, held at the Hammer Museum.