Performance artPerformance art is art where the actions of an individual or a group at a particular place and in a particular time in front of an audience constitute the work. It is opposed to painting or sculpture, for example, where an object constitutes the work.
A performance artist, with eyes closed, sits motionless for long periods balanced on an uncomfortable railing. Montmartre, Paris, France.|
Although performance art could be said to include relatively mainstream activities such as theater, dance, music, and circus-related things like fire breathing, juggling, and gymnastics, these are normally instead known as the performing arts. Performance art is a term usually reserved to refer to a kind of usually avant garde art which grew out of the visual arts.
Performance art, as the term is usually understood, began to be really important in the 1960s with the work of artists such as Vito Acconci, Hermann Nitsch and Joseph Beuys, although dada provided a significant progenitor with the unconventional performances of poetry, often at the Cabaret Voltaire, by the likes of Richard Huelsenbeck and Tristan Tzara.
Later performance art is sometimes related to body art.
The performance in performance art can happen in any environment. Sometimes it occurs in an art gallery, but equally it can take place out of doors in some public space.
Sniggling is an activist, prankish form of public performance art, which is typically done in a form in which it is not immediately obvious that a piece of deliberate performance is being delivered.
Performance artists include (Please list in alphabetical order);
- 7:84 Theatre Group
- Alan Abel
- Marina Abramovic
- Vito Acconci
- Laurie Anderson
- Joseph Beuys
- Alexander Brener
- Stuart Brisley
- Chris Burden
- (early period) Cabaret Voltaire
- COUM Transmissions (later Throbbing Gristle)
- EXIT (members Penny Rimbaud and Gee Vaucher later formed Crass)
- Diamanda Galás
- Gilbert and George
- Ruud Janssen
- Judas 2 (formed by Pete Wright, formerly of Crass)
- Charlotte Moorman
- Otto Muehl
- Hermann Nitsch
- Yoko Ono
- Dennis Oppenheim
- Carolee Schneemann
- Rudolf Schwarzkogler
- David Sherry
- Joey Skaggs
- Litsa Spathi
- Welfare State Theatre Group