Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book


Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Joanna Frueh  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Non-Fiction Other

Audience: Adult;

Born:


-- Website -- http://www.joannafrueh.com
-- Joanna Frueh on WorldCat -- http://www.worldcat.org/search?q=joanna++frueh+


Illinois Connection

Frueh received her MA in General Studies in the Humanities and her PhD in History of Culture from the University of Chicago.

Biographical and Professional Information

Joanna Frueh is a Professor of Practice with the School of Art. She teaches a course in live performance art that encourages students to focus on concerns that deeply engage them, from the aesthetic to the social; the political to the sexual.


Published Works Expand for more information


Titles At Your Library

Erotic Faculties
ISBN: 0520200829

University of California Press. 1996

The erotic and the intellectual come together to create a new kind of criticism in the lushly written work of Joanna Frueh. Addressing sexuality in ways that are usually hidden or left unsaid, Frueh—a noted performance artist and art historian—explores subjects such as aging, beauty, love, sex, pleasure, contemporary art, and the body as a site and vehicle of knowledge. Frueh's language is explicit, graphic, fragmented. She assumes multiple voices: those of lover, prophet, daughter, mythmaker, art critic, activist, and bleeding heart. What results is an utterly original narrative that frees us from the false objectivity of traditional critical discourse and affirms the erotic as a way to ease human suffering.

Through personal reflection, parody, autobiography, and poetry, Frueh shows us what it means to perform criticism, to personalize critical thinking. Rejecting postmodern, deconstructed prose, she recuperates the sentimental, proudly asserts a romantic viewpoint, and disrupts academic and feminist conventions. Erotic Faculties seeks to free the power of our unutilized erotic faculties and to expand the possibilities of criticism it is a wild ride and a consummate pleasure.

Clairvoyance (For Those In The Desert): Performance Pieces, 1979–2004
ISBN: 0822340402

Duke University Press Books. 2008

The performance artist Joanna Frueh has emerged over the past twenty-five years as a wildly original voice in feminist art. Her uninhibited performances are celebrations of beauty, sensuality, eroticism, and pleasure. Clairvoyance (For Those In The Desert), which features eighteen of her essential performance texts, is a celebration of this remarkable artist and her work. Arranged chronologically, from The Concupiscent Critic (1979) through Ambrosia (2004), the pieces reveal Frueh’s evolution as an artist and intellectual over the course of her career. Many of these texts have never before been published others have not been readily available until now. Among the sixteen color photographs in this richly illustrated book are pictures of Frueh performing and images from Joanna in the Desert, a 2006 collaboration between Frueh and the artist and scholar Jill O’Bryan.

Frueh’s performances are unabashedly autobiographical, as likely to reflect her scholarship as a feminist art historian as her love affairs or childhood memories. For Frueh, eros and self-love are part of a revolutionary feminist strategy her work exemplifies the physicality and embrace of pleasure that she finds wanting in contemporary feminist theory. Scholarly and rigorous yet playful in tone, her performances are joyful, filled with eroticism, flowers, sexy costumes, and beautiful colors, textures, and scents. Recurring themes include Frueh’s passionate attachment to the desert landscape and the idea of transformation: a continual reaching for clarity of thought and feeling.
In an afterword as lyrical and breathless as her performance pieces, Frueh explores her identification with the desert and its influence on her art. Clairvoyance (For Those In The Desert) includes a detailed chronology of Frueh’s performances.

Swooning Beauty: A Memoir Of Pleasure
ISBN: 0874176727

University of Nevada Press. 2006

When her parents died and her marriage disintegrated within the span of a few months, art historian and performance artist Joanna Frueh entered a painful period of grief and mourning. This book is about how she healed herself and in the process explored the vast range of her potential as a woman, for mind inseparable from the body, for being truly alive. Swooning Beauty is an ornate, intimate memoir of discovery and healing. Frueh's path to recovery lay through a profound examination of her intuitions, desires, fantasies, dreams, and emotions her capacity for pleasure - visual, sensual, intellectual, gastronomic, and erotic and her sense of her own heroic female identity. Hers is the passionate voice of a creative, intelligent woman scrutinizing the nature of love in all its forms - including self-love - and the ways of being that make us free, flexible, more fully real and more fully human. The result is an engaging view into the rich and colorful inner life of a woman at the threshold of middle age, of the blossoming of mind and spirit that comes after suffering and self-realization. Pleasure, she concludes, is the absence of lack. Self-love is a necessary plenitude. attainment is humanly impossible. Yogis say that the self that is not ego is free. That self is the spacious heart, the spacious mind. Frueh offers us wisdom and comfort for the journey into middle age, and the deep pleasure of encountering a generous, lively spirit and a remarkably spacious mind.


Speaking Engagements

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