Redeeming Features of Daily Life
Edited by Michèle Barrett, Bobby Baker
Routledge – 2007 – 276 pages
Bobby Baker is one of most widely acclaimed and popular performance artists working today. Over the course of a thirty-five-year career she has toured the globe with her wildly stimulating explorations of 'Daily Life' and has been extensively written about and studied.
This fully-illustrated book brings together for the first time an account of Baker's career as an artist – from her first sculptures at Central St Martins in the early 1970s to her most recent work, 'How to Live' and 'Diary Drawings' – with critical commentary by reviewers and academic practitioners.
Under the guiding editorial hand of distinguished cultural theorist Michèle Barrett, this volume is an essential text for students interested in performance, gender, and visual culture, and a hugely absorbing and accessible account of Baker's work.
'A truly beautiful book … If only all books about contemporary performance were this good! Whether you are a life-long fan of Bobby Baker, or new to her work, this is an essential purchase.' - Total Theatre
'She was bold, she was brave, she was beautiful. And with what acuteness, then and always, has she unpeeled the wrappings from packaged modern femininity.' – Lisa Jardine, Queen Mary, University of London, UK
'I had been entertained, tantalised, unnerved and comforted. I would go without food for a week just to get a ticket for her next show.' – Nigel Slater, Food Critic, Observer
'The Book is beautifully illustrated throughout with colour reproductions of Baker's drawings and paintings as well as copious photographs of the performances' - Contemporary Theatre Review
'In its comprehensive and multifaceted presentation of Baker's extensive career, Bobby Baker: Redeeming Features of Daily Life serves as an important addition to the existing scholarship on feminist performance art. It also permits the reader to gain an understanding of Baker's career that would be impossible to comprehend on the basis of isolated performances or essays. Like Baker herself, this book will have appeal on many levels to many different audiences.' - Contemporary Theatre Review
Part 1: The Artist Introduction. A Historical Artist Bobby Baker. The Tale of the Early Years. Chronicle of Selected Artworks Part 2: The Work Editorial. An Introduction to Baker's Performance Work. Feminist Autobiography and Performance Art. Risk in Intimacy: An Interview with Bobby Baker. The Rebel at the Heart of the Joker. Upstaged by the Foodie Gaze. Feminist Performance as Archive. Saying the Unsayable: A Second Interview Part 3: The Shows Editorial. Drawing on a Mother's Experience. Transcript. Interview with David Tushingham. Review of My Cooking Competes. Daily Life I: Kitchen Show. Booklet Text. Action No. 3 [TV transcript]. Daily Life II: How to Shop. Daily Life III: Take a Peek! Daily Life IV: Grown-Up School. Daily Life V: Box Story. Transcript. 'Dear Bobby'. How to Live. Script Extract. Diary Drawings. Bibliography and Sources
Bobby Baker has been commissioned and/or invited to perform at festivals all over the world, including Adelaide, Chicago, Munich, New Zealand, Slovenia, Brazil, London (the LIFT festival), Brighton, Glasgow, Cairo, and Covent Garden. Venues for her shows include the V&A Museum, the Serpentine Gallery and the Royal Festival Hall. Her work within the university sector includes workshops and residencies at Giessen University in Germany, the University of Essex, and universities in Beijing and Taiwan. She has also performed in New York, Pittsburgh, Helsinki, Dublin, and Edinburgh. She currently has a Creative Arts Fellowship at Queen Mary, University of London.
Michele Barratt is Professor of Modern Literary and Cultural Theory at Queen Mary College, University of London. She has published with Verso, Polity, Penguin, Columbia University Press and The Women's Press.