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Vanessa Beecroft's performance art

By Sebastian Smee   January 2004

The performance artist Vanessa Beecroft is what the art world likes to call “established” (as opposed to “emerging”). She has for some years been one of the half dozen highest fliers in contemporary art and she is currently the subject of a retrospective at Italy’s most important museum of contemporary art, the Castello di Rivoli outside Turin. Since its beginnings in the 1970s, a great deal of performance art has concerned itself with bodily narcissism, and Beecroft is no exception. Unusually, though, she rarely participates in the performances she orchestrates. Instead, she subjects a carefully selected group of young women…

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