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Abstract

"Nonconsensual Collaborations, 2012-present: Notes on a Shared Condition" is an extended performance text. It investigates the unmarked gendered dynamics of artistic collaboration, documenting a series of “nonconsensual collaborations”—that is, performances with other artists who did not agree to their participation. Presented here as written narratives, these nonconsensual collaborations frame everyday occurrences of violation, erasure, and misrecognition, exploring how discourses of consent arise from the raced and gendered histories of property relations. They call into question the politics of representation, the status of the document, the formation of evidentiary truth, and the interpenetration of sexual and aesthetic economies. These nonconsensual collaborations go against traditional ideas of intention that structure art practice, dwelling instead on the entanglements of relation. By aesthetically reframing difficult social encounters as performance work, they attempt to recalibrate a feminist capacity to act. This work is part of Shvarts’s larger investigation into how we document or capture everyday ephemeral experiences loosely understood as performance (though not necessarily experienced “live”), as well as how writing can be not only a critical resource for theorizing such capture but also a mechanism for enacting it.

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