“Inquiry and seduction stroll hand in hand through these pages. Insubordinate, sexy, ravenously curious.” — Elizabeth Robinson, from the introduction
“Claudia La Rocco’s impactful writing sketches its performing subjects in real time, depicting not only the character of work, but the conditions in which it collectively forms and exists. Here the spaces of New York performance and the spaces of critical writing reveal themselves anew. She conjures the voices we want and need: critical and committed, self-reflexive, and brazenly addressing the interior and exterior states that define live art experiences.” — Jay Sanders, curator of performing arts, Whitney Museum of American Art
Widely known as an incisive critic for the New York Times and Artforum, Claudia La Rocco is also a poet and performer whose hybrid texts are as mercurial and imaginative as her criticism. The Best Most Useless Dress reveals the breadth and depth of La Rocco's work, encompassing a decade's worth of poetry, essays, performance texts and reviews. Trespassing genre boundaries, these writings explore how movement and rhythm—in time, through space, across bodies, on the page —engender experience itself. With an introduction by poet Elizabeth Robinson. This e-book contains enhanced multimedia content created by La Rocco herself.
an overdue addition
In the last ten+ years, Claudia La Rocco has amassed an impressive body of work across a number of seemingly incongruous disciplines: poetry, interviews, performance and visual art criticism to name just a few. The Best Most Useless Dress is an inventively organized, completely fascinating survey of this period of work. It's so rare to find a writer of talent, imagination and great intelligence paying attention to the (admittedly niche?) experimental performance scene (in NY and elsewhere) as it's happening NOW. The pieces collected in this book are an important addition to the official record of a (in my view) very important moment in time. I wish more works like this were in circulation when I was a teenager becoming interested in a world (mysterious and unknown to me at the time) populated by creative individuals marking a unique and different path. Claudia's voice is totally unique. It deserves to be read and read again.