Adrian Piper, The Mythic Being, 1973
Adrian Piper
The Mythic Being

Adrian Piper (*1948, USA, Germany) is a first-generation Conceptual artist who started exhibiting her work internationally at the age of twenty. She graduated from the School of Visual Arts in 1969. She also studied philosophy at Harvard and Heidelberg after beginning her lifelong exploration of Yoga and the Indian Vedanta philosophy. She introduced issues of race and gender into the vocabulary of Conceptual Art and explicit political content into Minimalism. Through her insistent exploration of subjectivity, her early conceptual performances anticipated the feminist maxim “the personal is political”.

The Mythic Being was a project which went on for several years. In it, Adrian Piper adopted the identity of an African-American man roaming the streets and parks of New York. Piper’s aim was to liberate herself from certain aspects of her own subjectivity and explore moments of confrontation, alienation and difference. Using a mathematical formula, she arranged 12 passages from her journal in chronological order and attributed these one by one to the M.B. (Mythic Being). Adrian Piper invested a great amount of time and effort preparing for her public performances, meditating and repeating each journal passage like a mantra for a month prior to each performance. This video is an excerpt from the film Other than Art’s Sake by Australian artist Peter Kennedy.

Copyright & Courtesy Adrian Piper Research Archive, Berlin


Document media
Video, b&w, sound, 8:00 min

Issue date
1973

To be seen in
Centro Cultural Montehermoso, Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain, 7 October 2011 – 15 January 2012

Relations
Laura Cottingham (COT 1)

Tags
be-coming, de/construct identities, normativity, racism, resistance, roleplay

A
Ebtisam Abdulaziz
Marina Abramović
Helena Almeida
Eleanor Antin
Arahmaiani
Malin Arnell
Oreet Ashery
Augusta Atla
Margarita Azurdia
B
Antonia Baehr
Maja Bajević
Anne Bean
Anat Ben-David
Renate Bertlmann
Pauline Boudry & Renate Lorenz
Nisrine Boukhari
Marijs Boulogne
Tania Bruguera
Nancy Buchanan
Maris Bustamante
C
Cabello / Carceller
Shirley Cameron/ Monica Ross/ Evelyn Silver
Graciela Carnevale
Theresa Hak Kyung Cha
Helen Chadwick
Chicks on Speed
Lygia Clark
Mary Coble
Colette
Cooltūristės
Corpus Deleicti
Nieves Correa
Laura Cottingham
Lilibeth Cuenca Rasmussen
D
Katrina Daschner
Teresa María Díaz Nerio
Vlasta Delimar
Carola Dertnig
Disband
Ines Doujak
Orshi Drozdik
Yingmei Duan
Kirsten Dufour
E
Diamela Eltit
Rose English
VALIE EXPORT
F
F.F.F.F.
Factory of Found Clothes
Esther Ferrer
Les filles Föllen
Rose Finn-Kelcey
Angelika Fojtuch
Simone Forti
Coco Fusco
G
(e.) Twin Gabriel
Regina José Galindo
Anna Bella Geiger
Rimma Gerlovina and Valeriy Gerlovin
Patrycja German
Ghazel
Kate Gilmore
Trine Mee Sook Gleerup
H
Mona Hatoum
Lynn Hershman
High Heel Sisters
María Teresa Hincapié
Nan Hoover
I
Icelandic Love Corporation - Gjörningaklúbburinn
IngridRobertMwangiHutter
Sanja Iveković
J
Elżbieta Jabłońska
Françoise Janicot
Birgit Jürgenssen
Joan Jonas
Anne Jud
Kirsten Justesen
K
Kanonklubben
Line Skywalker Karlström
Tina Keane
Klonaris / Thomadaki
Bettina Knaup & Beatrice Ellen Stammer
Jakob Lena Knebl
Verica Kovacevska
Elena Kovylina
Katarzyna Kozyra
Christina Kubisch
Kvinder på Værtshus (Women down the pub)
Verena Kyselka
L
Nicola L
Latifa Laâbissi
Leslie Labowitz
Leslie Labowitz & Suzanne Lacy
Suzanne Lacy
Katalin Ladik
Sigalit Landau
Klara Lidén
Kalup Linzy
Natalia LL
Léa Lublin
M
Jumana Manna
Manon
MaraM
María Evelia Marmolejo
Muda Mathis
Dóra Maurer
Mónica Mayer
Ana Mendieta
Marta Minujín
Fina Miralles
Molly and me
Linda Montano
Charlotte Moorman
Teresa Murak
Sands Murray-Wassink
N
Narcissister
Rabbya Naseer & Hurmat Ul Ain
Senga Nengudi
Les Nyakes
O
Paulina Ołowska & Lucy McKenzie
Lorraine O’Grady
Hannah O’Shea
Funda Özgünaydin
Itziar Okariz
Yoko Ono
ORLAN
Tanja Ostojić
P
Gina Pane
Letícia Parente
Ewa Partum
Jillian Peña
Performance Saga
Friederike Pezold
Howardena Pindell
Adrian Piper
Mariuccia Pisani
Polvo de Gallina Negra
Pussy Riot
R
Yvonne Rainer
Eglė Rakauskaitė
Jytte Rex
Àngels Ribé
La Ribot
Jesusa Rodríguez / Liliana Felipe
Ulrike Rosenbach
Martha Rosler
Boryana Rossa
María Ruido
S
Raeda Saadeh
Andrea Saemann
Les Salonnières und Dr. Soley
Estíbaliz Sábada
Zorka Ságlová
Christine Schlegel
Cornelia Schleime
Carolee Schneemann
Schwarze Schokolade
Stefanie Seibold
Stefanie Seibold & Teresa María Díaz Nerio
Miriam Sharon
Bonnie Ora Sherk
Barbara T. Smith
Cornelia Sollfrank
Antonieta Sosa
Spiderwoman Theater
Annie M. Sprinkle
Gabriele Stötzer
Sandra Sterle
Annika Ström
Melati Suryodarmo
Anna Szwajgier/ Zorka Wollny
T
Jinoos Taghizadeh
Milica Tomić
Mare Tralla
Teresa Tyszkiewicz
U
Mierle Laderman Ukeles
V
Valie Export Society
Cecilia Vicuña
W
The Waitresses
Julita Wójcik
Faith Wilding
Hannah Wilke
Martha Wilson
Y
Nil Yalter
Yeni & Nan