Petra Kuppers is a disability culture activist, a community performance artist and a professor at the University of Michigan. She also teaches on Goddard College’s Low Residency MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts. She leads The Olimpias, a performance research collective (www.olimpias.org). Her Disability Culture and Community Performance: Find a Strange and Twisted Shape (Palgrave, 2011, paperback 2013) explores The Olimpias’ arts-based research methods. The Salamander Project influenced her new novel, Ice Bar (Spuyten Duyvil, 2018). She is the author of the textbook, Studying Disability Arts and Culture: An Introduction (Palgrave, 2014). Other books include PearlStitch (Spuyten Duyvil, 2016), Disability and Contemporary Performance: Bodies on Edge (Routledge, 2003), The Scar of Visibility: Medical Performance and Contemporary Art (Minnesota, 2007) and Community Performance: An Introduction (Routledge, 2007).
Contact: University of Michigan, English Department, Angell Hall, South State Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48104, USA.
Medium: Mixed media
Courtesy of the Artist
ArtPrize Vote Code: 68598
Salamander by the Olimpias Project by Petra Kuppers; 2014. Digital Underwater Photography
Displayed on a 42 inch monitor
Each of the digital photographs taken by Petra Kuppers show Disabled people underwater. The shots are in color and fill the entirety of a 42 inch television monitor. The bodies pictured in these photographs are in motion which means that there are occasions when objects are not fully in focus. All of the subjects of these photographs have a look of contentment, joy, and freedom. The clothing and hair of the subjects move independently from the bodies themselves and the presence of bubbles and other moving water around the subjects indicate motion and fluidity.