Performance and Prostitution: The Magazine Actions of Cosey Fanni Tutti

Eleanor Roberts

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This chapter looks at the Magazine Actions, works by the UK-based Cosey Fanni Tutti, in which the artist herself appeared as a model in pornographic magazines in the 1970s. It offers a new account of their display at the now infamous Prostitution (a retrospective exhibition of the collective COUM Transmissions) at London’s Institute of Contemporary Arts. A detailed account of the reception of the Actions in their original context provides a foundation for re-thinking the resistance to classification (both formal and political) that is evident in Tutti’s work. While the Actions have been incorrectly and unhelpfully categorised (for example, as ‘not art’ or ‘not feminist’), this chapter historicises and theorises Tutti’s work in terms of its prescience as an example of pluralistic feminist practice in the 1970s, and formal innovation in performance and conceptual art.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLive Art in the UK: Contemporary Performances of Precarity
EditorsMaria Chatzichristodoulou
PublisherMethuen Drama: Bloomsbury
ISBN (Electronic)9781474257725, 9781474257732
ISBN (Print)9781474257718, 9781474257701
Publication statusPublished - 6 Feb 2020


  • Performance Art
  • Conceptual art
  • Gender and Sexuality
  • Feminist theory

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