chapter  4
12 Pages

Breaking barriers

Bodies, institutions, and codes 1
ByPaula Serafini

This chapter examines the idea of the personal as political in art activist practice, and focuses on the relationship between embodied acts of resistance and structural change, looking at issues such as vulnerability, transgression, and the relationship between art activists and structures and codes of control and oppression. The chapter begins by introducing Left Front Art, a network of radical queer artists, and the work they do with the UK trade union Unite. Through this case study the chapter looks at how performance art and other embodied forms of expression are used as mediums for creating connections between the LGBTQIA artist community and the trade union, with the double objective of involving LGBTQIA artists with union politics and changing the culture of the union as an organisation. The chapter also looks at the work of performance artist Antonio Onio, part of Left Front Art, and the work of performance artist Liz Crow, whose work looks at disability and structural issues such as austerity and public codes of conduct.