Die Performances der V-Girls (1986 - 1996)
The V-Girls were a performance group consisting of five young women, based in New York City. Martha Baer, Erin Cramer, Jessica Chalmers, Andrea Fraser, and Marianne Weems performed as "V-Girls" between 1987 and 1996, mainly at universities and art institutions, both in the U.S. and overseas in Europe. Their performance practice consisted of mimicking academic panel discussions (1987-1992) and re-presenting a feminist consciousness-raising group (1993-1996). Until recently no major publication
... vered the group and their work. Therefore this thesis aims to give first an overview of their performances and publications as well as of the critical reception in journalism, art criticism, and academic research. It also gives an insight into the scripts of the V-Girls' performances, which are mostly unpublished. The second part of the thesis focuses on the primary method of artistic practice applied by the V-Girls: parody. The researchers Linda Hutcheon and Philip Auslander have published extensively on parody and its specific form in postmodernism in the 1980's and 1990's — their work has been reflected by the V-Girls. Therefore I explored the theories of Hutcheon and Auslander and how they interplayed in the V-Girls' works. In the last section of the second part I interpreted the V-Girls' scripts in regard to their use of parody. Feminist theory and practice as well as institutional critique are the three immanent contents in all performances and publications of the V-Girls. In the third part of the thesis I researched their topics, strategies and theoretical context in relation to a feminist critique of patriarchy and institutions. In addition to a first critical analysis of the complete works of the performance group, the thesis also displays a specific function of parody, especially its deployment in the 1980's and 1990's and its relevance for feminist art and institutional critique.