Grey Room

Gestural Study

Sven Lütticken


Performance has moved to the forefront of contemporary culture not because it is exempt from commodification, as a certain kind of discourse used to claim, but because it is in the vanguard of commodification—not of objects but of subjects. Performance in art has to be seen in the context of a more general culture of performativity in which the theatrical and economic meanings of the term performance become conjoined. Is it a lecture? No, it’s a lecture-performance, in which the speaker’s embodied live presence is at least as important as the content of their speech. In this and many other contexts and registers, the gesture reasserts itself.