‘To Risk…’ proposes that making-for-art, as a not-working aside from both economic and aesthetic valuing, risks itself to wasting – it wastes itself away. Performing is offered as a ‘decreation’ that is always enacted at extremities where conventions of value and valuing are set aside and substituted solely by the hope for and trust in the ‘elsewhere’ of Art’s Body.
Performing experiences ‘value’ and ‘valuing’ as the sites of an excruciating tension because it is both ‘in’ and ‘outside’ the enveloping culture. Making’s relation to its self-wasting has thus to be simultaneously both unreasonable and tactically knowing if it is to secrete its difference (from both technical knowledges and commonsense) across its surfaces. The pressures this tension exerts on performing’s engagement with ‘tactic’ are considered at some length.
Duchamp’s ‘Fountain’ is explored for its idiosyncratic opening out of performing’s engagement of wasting’s flowing off and away. This is elaborated through a selection of gests from the visual arts (by Manzoni, Acconci, Koons, and Chadwick) which point up some of the ways that performing is vitally implicated with both embodiment and with wasting’s risk .
The text concludes with a discussion of the necessity for performing to expose the vitality of its bond with embodiment, imagination, and tactic if it is to find ways of slipping away from representation.
Extracts and issues from the writings of Prynne, Richter, Auden, Carson, Agamben, Olson, Deleuze, Celan, Herzog, Buci-Glucksmann, Stevens, Price, and Peroni are drawn into the text to elaborate and context some of its concerns.