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Performance art is an artwork or art exhibition created through actions executed by the artist or other participants. It may be witnessed live or through documentation, spontaneously developed or written, and is traditionally presented to a public in a
fine art In European academic traditions, fine art is developed primarily for aesthetics or beauty, distinguishing it from decorative art or applied art, which also has to serve some practical function, such as pottery or most metalwork. In the aesthe ...

fine art
context in an interdisciplinary mode. Also known as ''artistic action'', it has been developed through the years as a genre of its own in which art is presented live. It had an important and fundamental role in 20th century
avant-garde art The avant-garde (; In 'advance guard' or 'vanguard The vanguard (also called the advance guard) is the leading part of an advancing military formation. It has a number of functions, including seeking out the enemy and securing ground in adv ...
. It involves four basic elements: time, space, body, and presence of the artist, and the relation between the creator and the public. The actions, generally developed in art galleries and museums, can take place in the street, any kind of setting or space and during any time period. Its goal is to generate a reaction, sometimes with the support of improvisation and a sense of aesthetics. The themes are commonly linked to life experiences of the artist themselves, or the need of denunciation or social criticism and with a spirit of transformation. The term "performance art" and "performance" became widely used in the 1970s, even though the history of performance in visual arts dates back to futurist productions and cabarets from the 1910s. The main pioneers of performance art include
Carolee Schneemann Carolee Schneemann (October 12, 1939 – March 6, 2019) was an American visual experimental artist, known for her multi-media works on the body, narrative, sexuality and gender. She received a B.A. in poetry and philosophy from Bard College an ...
,
Marina Abramović Marina Abramović ( sr-cyr, Марина Абрамовић, ; born November 30, 1946) is a Serbian Conceptual art, conceptual and performance artist, Philanthropy, philanthropist, writer, and filmmaker. Her work explores body art, endurance a ...

Marina Abramović
,
Ana Mendieta Ana Mendieta (November 18, 1948 – September 8, 1985) was a Cuban-American performance artist, sculptor, painter and video artist Video art is an art form which relies on using video technology as a visual and audio medium. Video art emerge ...
,
Chris Burden Christopher Lee Burden (April 11, 1946 – May 10, 2015) was an American artist working in Performance Art, performance, sculpture and installation art. Burden became known in the 1970s for his performance art works, including ''Shoot (Burden), Sho ...
,
Hermann Nitsch Hermann Nitsch (born 29 August 1938) is an Austrian avant-garde artist who works in experimental and multimedia modes. Life Born in Vienna en, Viennese , iso_code = AT-9 , registration_plate = Vehicl ...

Hermann Nitsch
,
Joseph Beuys Joseph Heinrich Beuys ( , ; 12 May 1921 – 23 January 1986) was a German artist An artist is a person engaged in an activity related to creating art Art is a diverse range of (products of) human activities involving creative imagi ...
,
Nam June Paik Nam June Paik (; July 20, 1932 – January 29, 2006) was a Korean American Korean Americans () are Americans Americans are the Citizenship of the United States, citizens and United States nationality law, nationals of the United St ...
,
Yves Klein Yves Klein (; 28 April 1928 – 6 June 1962) was a French artist and an important figure in post-war European art. He was a leading member of the French artistic movement of Nouveau réalisme founded in 1960 by art critic Pierre Restany. Klein was ...
and
Vito Acconci File:'City of Words', lithograph by Vito Acconci, 1999.jpg, 250px, ''City of Words'', lithograph by Acconci, 1999 Vito Acconci (, ; January 24, 1940 – April 27, 2017) was an influential American performance art, performance, video and installa ...
. Some of the main exponents more recently are
Tania Bruguera Tania Bruguera (born 1968) is a Cuban installation art, installation and performance artist. She lives and works between New York and Havana, and has participated in numerous international exhibitions. Her work is also in the permanent collections ...

Tania Bruguera
,
Abel Azcona Abel Azcona (born 1 April 1988) is a Spanish artist, specializing in performance art Performance art is an artwork or art exhibition created through actions executed by the artist or other participants. It may be live, through documentation ...
, Regina José Galindo,
Tehching Hsieh Tehching (Sam) Hsieh (謝德慶; born 31 December 1950; Nan-Chou, Pingtung County, Taiwan) is a performance artist. He has been called a "master" by fellow performance artist Marina Abramović. Early life He was one of 15 children from a family in ...
, and
Petr Pavlensky Pyotr (or Petr) Andreyevich Pavlensky (russian: link=no, Пётр Андреевич Павленский; born March 8, 1984) is a Russian contemporary artist. Known for his controversial political performance art, which he calls "actions", Pavlen ...

Petr Pavlensky
. The discipline is linked to ''
happening A happening is a performance, event, or Situationist International, situation art, usually as performance art. The term was first used by Allan Kaprow during the 1950s to describe a range of art-related events. History Origins Image:SurvivalRese ...

happening
'', the
Fluxus Fluxus was an international, interdisciplinary community of artists, composers, designers and poets during the 1960s and 1970s who engaged in experimental art performances which emphasized the artistic process over the finished product. Fluxus i ...
movement,
body art Body art is art Art is a diverse range of (products of) human activities Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most populous and widespread species of primates, characterized by bipedality, opposable thumbs, hairlessness, and intelligence ...

body art
and
conceptual art Conceptual art, also referred to as conceptualism, is art Art is a diverse range of (products of) human activities involving creative imagination to express technical proficiency, beauty, emotional power, or conceptual ideas. There is n ...
.


Definition

The definition and historical and pedagogical contextualization of performance art is controversial. One of the handicaps comes from the term itself, which is polysemic, and one of its meanings relates to the scenic arts. This meaning of performance in the scenic arts context is opposite to the meaning of performance art, since performance art emerged with a critical and antagonistic position towards scenic arts. Performance art only adjoins the scenic arts in certain aspects such as the audience and the present body, and still not every performance art piece contains these elements. The meaning of the term in the narrower sense is related to
postmodernist Postmodernism is a broad movement that developed in the mid- to late 20th century across philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, Metaphysics, existence, Epistemol ...
traditions in Western culture. From about the mid-1960s into the 1970s, often derived from concepts of visual art, with respect to
Antonin Artaud Antoine Marie Joseph Paul Artaud, better known as Antonin Artaud (; 4 September 1896 – 4 March 1948), was a French writer, poet, dramatist, visual artist, essayist, actor and theatre director, widely recognized as one of the major figures of ...
,
Dada Dada () or Dadaism was an art movement An art movement is a tendency or style in art with a specific common philosophy or goal, followed by a group of artists during a specific period of time, (usually a few months, years or decades) or, at ...

Dada
, the
Situationist The Situationist International (SI) was an Proletarian internationalism, international organization of social revolutionaries made up of avant-garde artists, intellectuals, and Political philosophy, political theorists. It was prominent in Europ ...

Situationist
s,
Fluxus Fluxus was an international, interdisciplinary community of artists, composers, designers and poets during the 1960s and 1970s who engaged in experimental art performances which emphasized the artistic process over the finished product. Fluxus i ...
,
installation art Installation art is an artistic genre of three-dimensional works that are often site-specific and designed to transform the perception of a space. Generally, the term is applied to interior spaces, whereas exterior interventions are often called ...

installation art
, and
conceptual art Conceptual art, also referred to as conceptualism, is art Art is a diverse range of (products of) human activities involving creative imagination to express technical proficiency, beauty, emotional power, or conceptual ideas. There is n ...
, performance art tended to be defined as an
antithesis Antithesis ( Greek for "setting opposite", from "against" and "placing") is used in writing or speech either as a proposition that contrasts with or reverses some previously mentioned proposition, or when two opposites are introduced together f ...
to theatre, challenging orthodox art forms and cultural norms. The ideal had been an ephemeral and authentic experience for performer and audience in an event that could not be repeated, captured or purchased. The widely discussed difference, how concepts of visual arts and concepts of performing arts are used, can determine the meanings of a performance art presentation. Performance art is a term usually reserved to refer to a conceptual art which conveys a content-based meaning in a more drama-related sense, rather than being simple performance for its own sake for entertainment purposes. It largely refers to a performance presented to an audience, but which does not seek to present a conventional theatrical play or a formal linear narrative, or which alternately does not seek to depict a set of fictitious characters in formal scripted interactions. It therefore can include action or spoken word as a communication between the artist and audience, or even ignore expectations of an audience, rather than following a script written beforehand. Some types of performance art nevertheless can be close to performing arts. Such performance may use a script or create a fictitious dramatic setting, but still constitute performance art in that it does not seek to follow the usual dramatic norm of creating a fictitious setting with a linear script which follows conventional real-world dynamics; rather, it would intentionally seek to satirize or to transcend the usual real-world dynamics which are used in conventional theatrical plays. Performance artists often challenge the audience to think in new and unconventional ways, break conventions of traditional arts, and break down conventional ideas about "what art is". As long as the performer does not become a player who repeats a role, performance art can include satirical elements; use robots and machines as performers, as in pieces of the
Survival Research Laboratories SRL Performance in Los Angeles, 2006 Survival Research Laboratories (SRL) is an American performance art Performance art is an artwork or art exhibition created through actions executed by the artist or other participants. It may be live, throu ...
; involve ritualised elements (e.g.
Shaun Caton Shaun Caton is a British performance artist and painter, who has created over 280 live performances worldwide since the early 1980s. Often characterised by extreme duration (some performances have lasted 3 weeks) or brevity (some performance ...

Shaun Caton
); or borrow elements of any performing arts such as dance, music, and
circus A circus is a company of performers who put on diverse entertainment shows that may include clown A clown is a person who wears a unique makeup-face and flamboyant costume, performing comedy Comedy (from the el, κωμῳδία, ...
. Some artists, e.g. the Viennese Actionists and
neo-Dada Neo-Dada was a movement with audio, visual The visual system comprises the sensory organ (the eye) and parts of the central nervous system (the retina containing photoreceptor cells, the optic nerve The optic nerve, also known as crania ...
ists, prefer to use the terms "live art", "action art", "actions", "intervention" (see
art interventionArt intervention is an interaction with a previously existing artwork, audience, venue/space or situation. It has the auspice of conceptual art and is commonly a form of performance art Performance art is an artwork or art exhibition created thr ...
) or "manoeuvre" to describe their performing activities. As genres of performance art appear
body art Body art is art Art is a diverse range of (products of) human activities Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most populous and widespread species of primates, characterized by bipedality, opposable thumbs, hairlessness, and intelligence ...

body art
, fluxus-performance,
happening A happening is a performance, event, or Situationist International, situation art, usually as performance art. The term was first used by Allan Kaprow during the 1950s to describe a range of art-related events. History Origins Image:SurvivalRese ...

happening
, action poetry, and
intermedia Intermedia was a term used in the mid-1960s by Fluxus artist Dick Higgins to describe various inter-disciplinary art activities that occurred between genres in the 1960s. It was also used by John Brockman to refer to works in expanded cinema tha ...

intermedia
.


Origins

Performance art is a form of expression that was born as an alternative artistic manifestation. The discipline emerged in 1916 parallel to dadaism, under the umbrella of conceptual art. The movement was led by
Tristan Tzara Tristan Tzara (; ; born Samuel or Samy Rosenstock, also known as S. Samyro; – 25 December 1963) was a Romanian and French avant-garde The avant-garde (; In 'advance guard' or '', literally 'fore-guard') are people or works that are exper ...

Tristan Tzara
, one of the pioneers of
Dada Dada () or Dadaism was an art movement An art movement is a tendency or style in art with a specific common philosophy or goal, followed by a group of artists during a specific period of time, (usually a few months, years or decades) or, at ...

Dada
. Western culture theorists have set the origins of performance art in the beginnings of the 20th century, along with
constructivism Constructivism may refer to: Art and architecture * Constructivism (art), an early 20th-century artistic movement that extols art as a practice for social purposes * Constructivist architecture, an architectural movement in Russia in the 1920s an ...
,
Futurism Futurism ( it, Futurismo) was an artistic Art is a diverse range of (products of) human activities involving creative imagination to express technical proficiency, beauty, emotional power, or conceptual ideas. There is no generally a ...

Futurism
and Dadaism. Dada was an important inspiration because of their poetry actions, which drifted apart from conventionalisms, and futurist artists, specially some members of
Russian futurism Russian Futurism (art), Futurism is the broad term for a movement of Russian poets and artists who adopted the principles of Filippo Marinetti's "Futurist Manifesto, Manifesto of Futurism," which espoused the rejection of the past, and a celebrat ...
, could also be identified as part of the starting process of performance art.


Cabaret Voltaire

The Cabaret Voltaire was founded in (Switzerland) by the couple
Hugo Ball Hugo Ball (; 22 February 1886 – 14 September 1927) was a German author, poet, and essentially the founder of the Dada : left, ''Le saint des saints c'est de moi qu'il s'agit dans ce portrait'', 1 July 1915; center, ''Portrait d'une jeune fille ...

Hugo Ball
and
Emmy Hennings Emmy Hennings (born Emma Maria Cordsen, 17 January 1885 – 10 August 1948) was a performer and poet. She was also the wife of celebrated Dadaist Hugo Ball. Life and work Hennings was born on 17 January 1885 in Flensburg, German Empire, desc ...
for artistic and political purposes and was a place where new tendencies were explored. Located on the upper floor of a theater, whose exhibitions they mocked in their shows, the works interpreted in the cabaret were avant garde and experimental. It is thought that the Dada movement was founded in the ten square meter locale. Moreover, Surrealists, whose movement descended directly from Dadaism, used to meet in the Cabaret. On its brief existence—barely six months, closing the summer of 1916—the Dadaist Manifesto was read and it held the first Dada actions, performances, and hybrid poetry, plastic art, music and repetitive action presentations. Founders such as
Richard Huelsenbeck Carl Wilhelm Richard Hülsenbeck (23 April 189220 April 1974) was a German writer, poet, and psychoanalyst born in Frankenau, Hessen-Nassau. Huelsenbeck was a medical student on the eve of World War I. He was invalided out of the army and emigra ...
,
Marcel Janco Marcel Janco (, , common rendition of the Romanian name Marcel Hermann Iancu , last name also Ianco, Janko or Jancu; 24 May 1895 – 21 April 1984) was a Romanian and Israeli visual artist, architect and art theorist. He was the co-inventor of Dada ...

Marcel Janco
,
Tristan Tzara Tristan Tzara (; ; born Samuel or Samy Rosenstock, also known as S. Samyro; – 25 December 1963) was a Romanian and French avant-garde The avant-garde (; In 'advance guard' or '', literally 'fore-guard') are people or works that are exper ...

Tristan Tzara
,
Sophie Taeuber-Arp Sophie Henriette Gertrud Taeuber-Arp (; 19 January 1889 – 13 January 1943) was a Swiss artist, painter, sculptor, textile designer, furniture and interior designer, architect, and dancer. Born in 1889, in Switzerland, the daughter of a pharmac ...
and
Jean Arp Hans Peter Wilhelm Arp (16 September 1886 – 7 June 1966), better known as Jean Arp in English, was a German-French sculptor, painter, and poet. He was known as Dada : left, ''Le saint des saints c'est de moi qu'il s'agit dans ce portrait'', 1 ...
participated in provocative and scandalous events that were fundamental and the basis of the foundation for the anarchist movement called Dada. Dadaism was born with the intention of destroying any system or established norm in the art world. It is an anti-art movement, anti-literary and anti-poetry, that questioned the existence of art, literature and poetry itself. Not only was it a way of creating, but of living; it created a whole new ideology. It was against eternal beauty, the eternity of principles, the laws of logic, the immobility of thought and clearly against anything universal. It promoted change, spontaneity, immediacy, contradiction, randomness and the defense of chaos against the order and imperfection against perfection, ideas similar to those of performance art. They stood for provocation, anti-art protest and scandal, through ways of expression many times satirical and ironic. The absurd or lack of value and the chaos protagonized their breaking actions with traditional artistic form.De Micheli, Mario: ''Le Avanguardie artistiche del Novecento'', 1959.


Futurism

Futurism Futurism ( it, Futurismo) was an artistic Art is a diverse range of (products of) human activities involving creative imagination to express technical proficiency, beauty, emotional power, or conceptual ideas. There is no generally a ...

Futurism
was an artistic
avant garde The avant-garde (; In 'advance guard' or 'vanguard The vanguard (also called the advance guard) is the leading part of an advancing military formation Military organization or military organisation is the structuring of the armed forces ...
movement that appeared in 1909. It first started as a literary movement, even though most of the participants were painters. In the beginning it also included sculpture, photography, music and cinema. The First World War put an end to the movement, even though in Italy it went on until the 1930s. One of the countries where it had the most impact was Russia. In 1912 manifestos such as the ''Futurist Sculpture Manifesto'' and the ''Futurist Architecture'' arose, and in 1913 the ''Manifesto of Futurist Lust'' by , dancer, writer and French artist. The futurists spread their theories through encounters, meetings and conferences in public spaces, that got close to the idea of a political concentration, with poetry and music-halls, which anticipated performance art.


Bauhaus

The
Bauhaus The Staatliches Bauhaus (), commonly known as the Bauhaus (German: "building house"), was a German German(s) may refer to: Common uses * of or related to Germany * Germans, Germanic ethnic group, citizens of Germany or people of German an ...

Bauhaus
, founded in Weimar in 1919, included an experimental performing arts workshops with the goal of exploring the relationship between the body, space, sound and light. The
Black Mountain College Black Mountain College was an experimental college founded in 1933 by John Andrew Rice, Theodore Dreier, and several others. Based in Black Mountain, North Carolina Black Mountain is a town in Buncombe County, North Carolina North Carolin ...

Black Mountain College
, founded in the United States by instructors of the original Bauhaus who were exiled by the Nazi Party, continued incorporating experimental performing arts in the scenic arts training twenty years before the events related to the history of performance in the 1960s. The name Bauhaus derives from the German words Bau, ''construction'' and Haus, ''house''; ironically, despite its name and the fact that his founder was an architect, the Bauhaus did not have an architecture department the first years of its existence.


Action painting

In the 1940s and 1950s, the action painting technique or movement gave artists the possibility of interpreting the canvas as an area to act in, rendering the paintings as traces of the artist's performance in the studio According to art critic
Harold Rosenberg Harold Rosenberg (1906–1978) was an American writer, educator, philosopher and art critic An art critic is a person who is specialized in analyzing, interpreting, and evaluating art. Their written critiques or reviews contribute to art criticism ...
, it was one of the initiating processes of performance art, along with abstract expressionism.
Jackson Pollock Paul Jackson Pollock (January 28, 1912 – August 11, 1956) was an American painter and a major figure in the abstract expressionist Abstract expressionism is a post–World War II art movement in American painting, developed in New Y ...

Jackson Pollock
is the action painter par excellence, who carried out many of his actions live. Names to be highlighted are
Willem de Kooning Willem de Kooning (; ; April 24, 1904 – March 19, 1997) was a Dutch-American Dutch Americans ( Dutch: ''Nederlandse Amerikanen''), not to be confused with the Pennsylvania Dutch The Pennsylvania Dutch (''Pennsilfaanisch-Deitsch''), also ...
and
Franz Kline Franz Kline (May 23, 1910 – May 13, 1962) was an American painter. He is associated with the Abstract Expressionist Abstract expressionism is a post–World War II art movement in American painting, developed in New York City New Y ...
, whose work include abstract and action painting.


Nouveau réalisme

Nouveau réalisme Nouveau réalisme (French: new realism) refers to an artistic movement founded in 1960 by the art critic Pierre Restany and the painter Yves Klein during the first collective exposition in the Apollinaire gallery in Milan. Pierre Restany wrote ...
is another one of the artistic movements cited in the beginnings of performance art. It was a painting movement founded in 1960 by art critic
Pierre Restany Pierre Restany (24 June 1930 – 29 May 2003), was an internationally known French art critic An art critic is a person who is specialized in analyzing, interpreting, and evaluating art. Their written critiques or reviews contribute to art cri ...

Pierre Restany
and painter
Yves Klein Yves Klein (; 28 April 1928 – 6 June 1962) was a French artist and an important figure in post-war European art. He was a leading member of the French artistic movement of Nouveau réalisme founded in 1960 by art critic Pierre Restany. Klein was ...
, during the first collective exhibition in the Apollinaire Gallery in Milan. Nouveau réalisme was, along with Fluxus and other groups, one of the many avant garde tendencies of the 1960s.
Pierre Restany Pierre Restany (24 June 1930 – 29 May 2003), was an internationally known French art critic An art critic is a person who is specialized in analyzing, interpreting, and evaluating art. Their written critiques or reviews contribute to art cri ...

Pierre Restany
created various performance art assemblies in the
Tate Modern Tate Modern is an art gallery located in London. It houses the United Kingdom's national collection of international modern Modern may refer to: History *Modern history Human history, also known as world history, is the description of h ...

Tate Modern
, amongst other spaces. Yves Klein is one of the main exponents of the movement. He was a clear pioneer of performance art, with his conceptual pieces like ''Zone de Sensibilité Picturale Immatérielle'' (1959–62), ''Anthropométries'' (1960), and the photomontage ''Saut dans le vide''. All his works have a connection with performance art, as they are created as a live action, like his best-known artworks of paintings created with the bodies of women. The members of the group saw the world as an image, from which they took parts and incorporated them into their work; they sought to bring life and art closer together.


Gutai

One of the other movements that anticipated performance art was the Japanese movement , who made action art or
happening A happening is a performance, event, or Situationist International, situation art, usually as performance art. The term was first used by Allan Kaprow during the 1950s to describe a range of art-related events. History Origins Image:SurvivalRese ...

happening
. It emerged in 1955 in the region of
Kansai The or the , lies in the southern-central region of Japan Japan ( ja, 日本, or , and formally ) is an island country An island country or an island nation is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or ...
(
Kyōto Kyoto (; Japanese: , ''Kyōto'' ), officially , is the capital city of Kyoto Prefecture is a prefecture of Japan , image_flag = Flag of Japan.svg , alt_flag = Centered deep red circle on a white re ...

Kyōto
,
Ōsaka is a Cities designated by government ordinance of Japan, designated city in the Kansai region of Honshu in Japan. It is the capital city of Osaka Prefecture and as of 1 January 2012, has an estimated population of 2,668,586. Osaka is also the lar ...

Ōsaka
,
Kōbe Kobe ( ; ; officially , ) is the List of Japanese cities by population, seventh-largest city, the third-largest port city in Japan after Yokohama and Fukuoka, and the capital city of Hyōgo Prefecture. It is located on the southern side of the m ...
). The main participants were Jirō Yoshihara, Sadamasa Motonaga, Shozo Shimamoto, Saburō Murakami, Katsuō Shiraga, Seichi Sato, Akira Ganayama and Atsuko Tanaka. The Gutai group arose after World War II. They rejected capitalist consumerism, carrying out ironic actions with latent aggressiveness (object breaking, actions with smoke). They influenced groups such as Fluxus and artists like
Joseph Beuys Joseph Heinrich Beuys ( , ; 12 May 1921 – 23 January 1986) was a German artist An artist is a person engaged in an activity related to creating art Art is a diverse range of (products of) human activities involving creative imagi ...
and
Wolf Vostell Wolf Vostell (14 October 1932 – 3 April 1998) was a German painter and sculptor, considered one of the early adopters of video art and installation art Installation art is an artistic genre of three-dimensional works that are often site-sp ...

Wolf Vostell
.


Land art and performance

In the late 1960s, diverse
land art Land art, variously known as Earth art, environmental art, and Earthworks, is an art movement that emerged in the 1960s and 1970s, largely associated with Great Britain and the United StatesArt in the modern era: A guide to styles, schools, & mov ...

land art
artists such as
Robert Smithson Robert Smithson (January 2, 1938 – July 20, 1973) was an American artist known for sculpture and land art who often used drawing and photography in relation to the spatial arts. His work has been internationally exhibited in galleries and mus ...
or
Dennis Oppenheim Dennis Oppenheim (September 6, 1938 – January 21, 2011) was an American conceptual artist, performance artist, earth artist, sculptor and photographer. Dennis Oppenheim's early artistic practice is an epistemological questioning about the na ...
created environmental pieces that preceded performance art in the 1970s. Works by conceptual artists from the early 1980s, such as
Sol LeWitt Solomon "Sol" LeWitt (September 9, 1928 – April 8, 2007) was an American artist linked to various movements, including conceptual art Conceptual art, also referred to as conceptualism, is art Art is a diverse range of (products of) hum ...
, who made mural drawing into a performance act, were influenced by
Yves Klein Yves Klein (; 28 April 1928 – 6 June 1962) was a French artist and an important figure in post-war European art. He was a leading member of the French artistic movement of Nouveau réalisme founded in 1960 by art critic Pierre Restany. Klein was ...
and other land art artists. Land art is a
contemporary art Contemporary art is the art Art is a diverse range of (products of) human activities Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most populous and widespread species of primates, characterized by bipedality, opposable thumbs, hairlessness, and ...

contemporary art
movement in which the landscape and the artwork are deeply bound. It uses nature as a material (wood, soil, rocks, sand, wind, fire, water, etc.) to intervene on itself. The artwork is generated with the place itself as a starting point. The result is sometimes a junction between sculpture and architecture, and sometimes a junction between sculpture and landscaping that is increasingly taking a more determinant role in contemporary public spaces. When incorporating the artist's body in the creative process, it acquires similarities with the beginnings of performance art. File:Valentine de Saint-Point 1914 (2).jpg, Portrait of in the space of creation File:1916 Olga Rozanova oblozhka Zaumnaya kniga.jpg, Intervened cover by Russian Futurist Olga Rozanova (1912) File:Willem de Kooning in his studio.jpg, Portrait of
Willem de Kooning Willem de Kooning (; ; April 24, 1904 – March 19, 1997) was a Dutch-American Dutch Americans ( Dutch: ''Nederlandse Amerikanen''), not to be confused with the Pennsylvania Dutch The Pennsylvania Dutch (''Pennsilfaanisch-Deitsch''), also ...
,
action painting Action painting, sometimes called "gestural abstraction", is a style of painting in which paint is spontaneously dribbled, splashed or smeared onto the canvas, rather than being carefully applied. The resulting work often emphasizes the physical act ...

action painting
painter in his studio File:Gutai_Venice1.jpg, Installation by Gutai Group, in the 2009
Venice Biennial The Venice Biennale (; it, La Biennale di Venezia ; in English also called the "Venice ''Biennial''") is an arts organization based in Venice and the name of the original and principal biennial exhibition the organization presents. The o ...
File:Blickachsen-7--23-dennis-oppenheim-hg-004.jpg, Installation by
Dennis Oppenheim Dennis Oppenheim (September 6, 1938 – January 21, 2011) was an American conceptual artist, performance artist, earth artist, sculptor and photographer. Dennis Oppenheim's early artistic practice is an epistemological questioning about the na ...
in Hesse, Germany File:Spiral Jetty Smithson Laramee.jpg,
Land art Land art, variously known as Earth art, environmental art, and Earthworks, is an art movement that emerged in the 1960s and 1970s, largely associated with Great Britain and the United StatesArt in the modern era: A guide to styles, schools, & mov ...

Land art
work by
Robert Smithson Robert Smithson (January 2, 1938 – July 20, 1973) was an American artist known for sculpture and land art who often used drawing and photography in relation to the spatial arts. His work has been internationally exhibited in galleries and mus ...
File:Restany-Brajo-Verdet1972web.jpg, Portrait of
Pierre Restany Pierre Restany (24 June 1930 – 29 May 2003), was an internationally known French art critic An art critic is a person who is specialized in analyzing, interpreting, and evaluating art. Their written critiques or reviews contribute to art cri ...

Pierre Restany
in one of his openings File:Klein Beaubourg 2007.jpg, Freeing of 1001 blue balloons, "sculpture aérostatique" by
Yves Klein Yves Klein (; 28 April 1928 – 6 June 1962) was a French artist and an important figure in post-war European art. He was a leading member of the French artistic movement of Nouveau réalisme founded in 1960 by art critic Pierre Restany. Klein was ...


1960s

In the 1960s, with the purpose of evolving the generalized idea of art and with similar principles of those originary from Cabaret Voltaire or
Futurism Futurism ( it, Futurismo) was an artistic Art is a diverse range of (products of) human activities involving creative imagination to express technical proficiency, beauty, emotional power, or conceptual ideas. There is no generally a ...

Futurism
, a variety of new works, concepts and a growing number of artists led to new kinds of performance art. Movements clearly differentiated from
Viennese Actionism Viennese Actionism was a short and violent movement in 20th-century art. It can be regarded as part of the many independent efforts of the 1960s to develop "performance art Performance art is an artwork or art exhibition created through actions ...
,
avant garde The avant-garde (; In 'advance guard' or 'vanguard The vanguard (also called the advance guard) is the leading part of an advancing military formation Military organization or military organisation is the structuring of the armed forces ...
performance art in New York City,
process art Process art is an artistic movement where the end product of ''art'' and ''craft'', the '' objet d’art'' (work of art A work of art, artwork, art piece, piece of art or art object is an artistic creation of aesthetics, aesthet ...
, the evolution of
The Living Theatre The Living Theatre is an American theatre Theatre or theater is a collaborative form of performing art that uses live performers, usually actor, actors or actresses, to present the experience of a real or imagined event before a live audience ...
or
happening A happening is a performance, event, or Situationist International, situation art, usually as performance art. The term was first used by Allan Kaprow during the 1950s to describe a range of art-related events. History Origins Image:SurvivalRese ...

happening
, but most of all the consolidation of the pioneers of performance art.


Viennese actionism

The term
Viennese Actionism Viennese Actionism was a short and violent movement in 20th-century art. It can be regarded as part of the many independent efforts of the 1960s to develop "performance art Performance art is an artwork or art exhibition created through actions ...
(''Wiener Aktionismus'') comprehends a brief and controversial art movement of the 20th century, which is remembered for the violence, grotesque and visual of their artworks. It is located in the Austrian vanguard of the 1960s, and it had the goal of bringing art to the ground of performance art, and is linked to Fluxus and Body Art. Amongst their main exponents are
Günter Brus Günter Brus (born 27 September 1938, Ardning Ardning is a municipality in the district of Liezen (district), Liezen in the Austrian state of Styria. References External links Cities and towns in Liezen District {{Styria-geo-stub ..., Styr ...
,
Otto Muehl Otto Muehl (16 June 1925 – 26 May 2013) was an Austrian artist, who was known as one of the co-founders as well as a main participant of Viennese Actionism and for founding the Friedrichshof Commune. In 1943, Muehl had to serve in the German We ...
and
Hermann Nitsch Hermann Nitsch (born 29 August 1938) is an Austrian avant-garde artist who works in experimental and multimedia modes. Life Born in Vienna en, Viennese , iso_code = AT-9 , registration_plate = Vehicl ...

Hermann Nitsch
, who developed most of their actionist activities between 1960 and 1971. Hermann Nitsch presented in 1962 his ''Theatre of Orgies and Mysteries'' (Orgien und Mysterien Theater), pioneer of performance art, close to scenic arts.


New York and avant-garde performance

In the early 1960s, New York City harbored many movements, events end interests regarding performance art. Amongst others,
Andy Warhol Andy Warhol (; born Andrew Warhola; August 6, 1928 – February 22, 1987) was an American artist, film director, and producer who was a leading figure in the visual art movement known as pop art. His works explore the relationship betwe ...

Andy Warhol
began creating films and videos, and mid decade he sponsored
The Velvet Underground The Velvet Underground was an American rock Rock most often refers to: * Rock (geology) A rock is any naturally occurring solid mass or aggregate of minerals or mineraloid matter. It is categorized by the minerals included, its Chemi ...
and staged events and performative actions in New York, such as the
Exploding Plastic Inevitable Promotional poster for the ''Exploding Plastic Inevitable'' in Chicago, June 21–26, 1966. The ''Exploding Plastic Inevitable'', sometimes simply called ''Plastic Inevitable'' or ''EPI'', was a series of multimedia Multimedia is a form of commu ...

Exploding Plastic Inevitable
(1966), that included live rock music, explosive lights and films.


The Living Theatre

Indirectly influential for art-world performance, particularly in the United States, were new forms of theatre, embodied by the San Francisco Mime Troupe and the Living Theatre and showcased in Off-Off Broadway theaters in SoHO and at La MaMa in New York City. The Living Theatre is a theater company created in 1947 in New York. It is the oldest experimental theatre in the United States. Throughout its history it has been led by its founders: actress
Judith Malina Judith Malina (June 4, 1926 – April 10, 2015) was a German-born American actress, director and writer. With her husband, Julian Beck Julian Beck (May 31, 1925 – September 14, 1985) was an American actor, Theatre director, director, poet, an ...
, who had studies theatre with
Erwin Piscator Erwin Friedrich Maximilian Piscator (17 December 1893 – 30 March 1966) was a German theatre director A theatre director or stage director is a professional in the theatre field who oversees and orchestrates the mounting of a theatre producti ...
, with whom she studied
Bertolt Brecht Eugen Berthold Friedrich Brecht (10 February 1898 – 14 August 1956), known professionally as Bertolt Brecht, was a German theatre practitioner A theatre practitioner is someone who creates theatrical performances and/or produces a theoretica ...

Bertolt Brecht
's and
Meyerhold Vsevolod Emilyevich Meyerhold (russian: Всеволод Эмильевич Мейерхольд, translit=Vsévolod Èmíl'evič Mejerkhól'd; born german: Karl Kasimir Theodor Meyerhold; 2 February 1940) was a Russian and Soviet theatre dir ...
's theory; and painter and poet
Julian Beck Julian Beck (May 31, 1925 – September 14, 1985) was an American actor, Theatre director, director, poet, and Painting, painter. He is best known for co-founding and directing The Living Theatre, as well as his role as Kane, the malevolent preach ...
. After Beck's death in 1985, the company member Hanon Reznikov became co-director along with Malina. Because it is one of the oldest random theatre or live theatre groups nowadays, it is looked upon by the rest. They understood theatre as a way of life, and the actors lived in a community under libertary principles. It was a theatre campaign dedicated to transformation of the power organization of an authoritarian society and hierarchical structure. The Living Theatre chiefly toured in Europe between 1963 and 1968, and in the U.S. in 1968. A work of this period, ''Paradise Now'', was notorious for its audience participation and a scene in which actors recited a list of social taboos that included nudity, while disrobing.


Fluxus

Fluxus Fluxus was an international, interdisciplinary community of artists, composers, designers and poets during the 1960s and 1970s who engaged in experimental art performances which emphasized the artistic process over the finished product. Fluxus i ...
, a Latin word that means ''flow'', is a visual arts movement related to music, literature, and dance. Its most active moment was in the 1960s and 1970s. They proclaimed themselves against the traditional artistic object as a commodity and declared themselves a sociological art movement. Fluxus was informally organized in 1962 by
George Maciunas George Maciunas (; lt, Jurgis Mačiūnas; November 8, 1931 – May 9, 1978) was a Lithuanian American artist, born in Kaunas. A founding member and the central coordinator of Fluxus, an international community of artists, architects, composer ...
(1931–1978). This movement had representation in Europe, the United States and Japan. The Fluxus movement, mostly developed in North America and Europe under the stimulus of
John Cage John Milton Cage Jr. (September 5, 1912 – August 12, 1992) was an American composer A composer (Latin wikt:compono, ''compōnō''; literally "one who puts together") is a person who writes musical composition, music, especially classical ...
, did not see the avant-garde as a linguistic renovation, but it sought to make a different use of the main art channels that separate themselves from specific language; it tries to be interdisciplinary and to adopt mediums and materials from different fields. Language is not the goal, but the mean for a renovation of art, seen as a global art. As well as
Dada Dada () or Dadaism was an art movement An art movement is a tendency or style in art with a specific common philosophy or goal, followed by a group of artists during a specific period of time, (usually a few months, years or decades) or, at ...

Dada
, Fluxus escaped any attempt for a definition or categorization. As one of the movement's founders,
Dick Higgins Dick Higgins (1938–1998) was an American artist, composer, art theorist, poet, publisher, printmaker, and a co-founder of the Fluxus international artistic movement (and community). Inspired by John Cage, Higgins was an early pioneer of electroni ...
, stated:
Fluxus started with the work, and then came together, applying the name Fluxus to work which already existed. It was as if it started in the middle of the situation, rather than at the beginning.
Robert Filliou Robert Filliou (17 January 1926 – 2 December 1987) was a French artist associated with Fluxus, who produced works as a filmmaker, "action poet," sculptor, and happenings maestro. Life In 1943, Filliou became a member of the French Communist ...
places Fluxus opposite to conceptual art for its direct, immediate and urgent reference to everyday life, and turns around Duchamp's proposal, who starting from Ready-made, introduced the daily into art, whereas Fluxus dissolved art into the daily, many times with small actions or performances.
John Cage John Milton Cage Jr. (September 5, 1912 – August 12, 1992) was an American composer A composer (Latin wikt:compono, ''compōnō''; literally "one who puts together") is a person who writes musical composition, music, especially classical ...
was an American composer,
music theorist Music theory is the study of the practices and possibilities of music Music is the of arranging s in time through the of melody, harmony, rhythm, and timbre. It is one of the aspects of all human societies. General include common elem ...
, artist, and philosopher. A pioneer of
indeterminacy in music Indeterminacy is a composing approach in which some aspects of a musical work are left open to chance or to the interpreter's free choice. John Cage, a pioneer of indeterminacy, defined it as "the ability of a piece to be performed in substantially ...
,
electroacoustic music Electroacoustic music is a genre Genre () is any form or type of communication Communication (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin w ...
, and non-standard use of musical instruments, Cage was one of the leading figures of the post-war
avant-garde The avant-garde (; In 'advance guard' or 'vanguard', literally 'fore-guard') are people or works that are experimental, Wikt:radical#Adjective, radical, or unorthodox with respect to The arts, art, culture, or society.John Picchione, The New A ...
. Critics have lauded him as one of the most influential composers of the 20th century. He was also instrumental in the development of
modern dance Modern dance is a broad genre of western concert dance, concert or theatrical dance which included dance styles such as ballet, folk, ethnic, religious, and social dancing; and primarily arose out of Europe and the United States in the late 19th ...
, mostly through his association with choreographer
Merce Cunningham Mercier Philip "Merce" Cunningham (April 16, 1919 – July 26, 2009) was an American dancer and choreographer who was at the forefront of American modern dance for more than 50 years. He was notable for frequent collaboration with artists of o ...
, who was also Cage's romantic partner for most of their lives.


Process art

Process art Process art is an artistic movement where the end product of ''art'' and ''craft'', the '' objet d’art'' (work of art A work of art, artwork, art piece, piece of art or art object is an artistic creation of aesthetics, aesthet ...
is an
artistic movement An art movement is a tendency or style in art with a specific common philosophy or goal, followed by a group of artists during a specific period of time, (usually a few months, years or decades) or, at least, with the heyday of the movement defin ...
where the end product of ''art'' and ''craft'', the '' objet d’art'' (
work of art A work of art, artwork, art piece, piece of art or art object is an artistic creation of aesthetic Aesthetics, or esthetics (), is a branch of philosophy that deals with the nature of beauty and taste (sociology), taste, as well as the ph ...

work of art
/
found object A found object (a loan translation In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed language, si ...
), is not the principal focus; the process of its making is one of the most relevant aspects if not the most important one: the gathering, sorting, collating, associating, patterning, and moreover the initiation of actions and proceedings. Process artists saw art as pure human expression. Process art defends the idea that the process of creating the work of art can be an art piece itself. Artist
Robert MorrisRobert or Bob Morris may refer to: Politics * Robert Hunter Morris (1700–1764), Lieutenant Governor of Colonial Pennsylvania * Robert Morris (financier) (1734–1806), financier of the American Revolution and signatory to three of the United Stat ...
predicated "anti-form", ''process'' and ''time '' over an objectual finished product.


Happening

Wardrip-Fruin and Montfort in ''The New Media Reader'', "The term 'Happening' has been used to describe many performances and events, organized by Allan Kaprow and others during the 1950s and 1960s, including a number of theatrical productions that were traditionally scripted and invited only limited audience interaction." A ''happening'' allows the artis to experiment with the movement of the body, recorded sounds, written and talked texts, and even smells. One of Kaprow's first works was ''Happenings in the New York Scene'', written in 1961. Allan Kaprow's happenings turned the public into interpreters. Often the spectators became an active part of the act without realizing it. Other actors who created ''happenings'' were
Jim Dine Jim Dine (born 16 June 1935 in Cincinnati, Ohio) is a contemporary artist whose œuvre extends over sixty years. Dine’s exceptionally diverse practice includes painting, drawing, printmaking (in many forms including lithographs, etchings, gravur ...
,
Claes Oldenburg Claes Oldenburg (born January 28, 1929) is a Swedish-born American sculpture, sculptor, best known for his public art installations typically featuring large replicas of everyday objects. Another theme in his work is soft sculpture versions of ev ...

Claes Oldenburg
, ''Robert Whitman'' and
Wolf Vostell Wolf Vostell (14 October 1932 – 3 April 1998) was a German painter and sculptor, considered one of the early adopters of video art and installation art Installation art is an artistic genre of three-dimensional works that are often site-sp ...

Wolf Vostell
: ''Theater is in the Street'' (Paris, 1958).


Main artists

The works by performance artists after 1968 showed many times influences from the political and cultural situation that year. Barbara T. Smith with ''Ritual Meal'' (1969) was at the vanguard of body and scenic feminist art in the seventies, which included, amongst others,
Carolee Schneemann Carolee Schneemann (October 12, 1939 – March 6, 2019) was an American visual experimental artist, known for her multi-media works on the body, narrative, sexuality and gender. She received a B.A. in poetry and philosophy from Bard College an ...
and
Joan Jonas Joan Jonas (born July 13, 1936) is an American visual artist The visual arts are art forms such as painting, drawing, printmaking, sculpture Sculpture is the branch of the visual arts that operates in three dimensions. It is one of the ...
. These, along with
Yoko Ono Yoko Ono ( ; ja, 小野 洋子, Ono Yōko, usually spelled in katakana is a Japanese syllabary, one component of the Japanese writing system along with hiragana, kanji and in some cases the Latin script (known as rōmaji). The word ''kat ...
,
Joseph Beuys Joseph Heinrich Beuys ( , ; 12 May 1921 – 23 January 1986) was a German artist An artist is a person engaged in an activity related to creating art Art is a diverse range of (products of) human activities involving creative imagi ...
,
Nam June Paik Nam June Paik (; July 20, 1932 – January 29, 2006) was a Korean American Korean Americans () are Americans Americans are the Citizenship of the United States, citizens and United States nationality law, nationals of the United St ...
,
Wolf Vostell Wolf Vostell (14 October 1932 – 3 April 1998) was a German painter and sculptor, considered one of the early adopters of video art and installation art Installation art is an artistic genre of three-dimensional works that are often site-sp ...

Wolf Vostell
,
Allan Kaprow Allan Kaprow (August 23, 1927 – April 5, 2006) was an American painter, Assemblage (art), assemblagist and a pioneer in establishing the concepts of performance art. He helped to develop the "Installation art, Environment" and "Happening" in the ...

Allan Kaprow
,
Vito Acconci File:'City of Words', lithograph by Vito Acconci, 1999.jpg, 250px, ''City of Words'', lithograph by Acconci, 1999 Vito Acconci (, ; January 24, 1940 – April 27, 2017) was an influential American performance art, performance, video and installa ...
,
Chris Burden Christopher Lee Burden (April 11, 1946 – May 10, 2015) was an American artist working in Performance Art, performance, sculpture and installation art. Burden became known in the 1970s for his performance art works, including ''Shoot (Burden), Sho ...
and
Dennis Oppenheim Dennis Oppenheim (September 6, 1938 – January 21, 2011) was an American conceptual artist, performance artist, earth artist, sculptor and photographer. Dennis Oppenheim's early artistic practice is an epistemological questioning about the na ...
were pioneers in the relationship between body art and performance art, as well as the collective in Spain with Esther Ferrer and Juan Hidalgo Codorniu, Juan Hidalgo. Barbara Smith is an artist and United States activist. She is one of the main African-American exponents of feminism and LGBT activism in the United States. In the beginning of the 1970s she worked as a teacher, writer and defender of the black feminism current. She has taught at numerous colleges and universities in the last five years. Smith's essays, reviews, articles, short stories and literary criticism have appeared in a range of publications, including ''The New York Times'', ''The Guardian'', ''The Village Voice'' and ''The Nation''.Smith, Barbara, interview by Loretta Ross, transcript of video recording, May 7, 2003
Voices of Feminism Oral History Project
Sophia Smith Collection, p. 2.
Carolee Schneemann Carolee Schneemann (October 12, 1939 – March 6, 2019) was an American visual experimental artist, known for her multi-media works on the body, narrative, sexuality and gender. She received a B.A. in poetry and philosophy from Bard College an ...
was an American visual artist, visual experimental artist, known for her multi-media works on the body, narrative, human sexuality, sexuality and gender. She created pieces such as ''Meat Joy'' (1964) and ''Interior Scroll'' (1975). Schneemann considered her body a surface for work. She described herself as a "painter who has left the canvas to activate the real space and the lived time."
Joan Jonas Joan Jonas (born July 13, 1936) is an American visual artist The visual arts are art forms such as painting, drawing, printmaking, sculpture Sculpture is the branch of the visual arts that operates in three dimensions. It is one of the ...
(born July 13, 1936) is an American visual artist and a pioneer of video art, video and performance art, who is one of the most important female artists to emerge in the late 1960s and early 1970s.Faculty: Joan Jonas
ACT at MIT – MIT Program in Art, Culture and Technology.
Jonas' projects and experiments provided the foundation on which much video performance art would be based. Her influences also extended to
conceptual art Conceptual art, also referred to as conceptualism, is art Art is a diverse range of (products of) human activities involving creative imagination to express technical proficiency, beauty, emotional power, or conceptual ideas. There is n ...
, theatre, performance art and other visual media. She lives and works in New York and Nova Scotia, Canada."Joan Jonas: Biography"
, Electronic Arts Intermix, Retrieved June 6, 2020.
Immersed in New York's downtown art scene of the 1960s, Jonas studied with the choreographer Trisha Brown for two years. Jonas also worked with choreographers Yvonne Rainer and Steve Paxton.
Yoko Ono Yoko Ono ( ; ja, 小野 洋子, Ono Yōko, usually spelled in katakana is a Japanese syllabary, one component of the Japanese writing system along with hiragana, kanji and in some cases the Latin script (known as rōmaji). The word ''kat ...
was part of the avant-garde movement of the 1960s. She was part of the Fluxus movement. She is known for her performance art pieces in the late 1960s, works such as ''Cut Piece'', where visitors could intervene in her body until she was left naked. One of her best known pieces is ''Wall piece for orchestra'' (1962).
Joseph Beuys Joseph Heinrich Beuys ( , ; 12 May 1921 – 23 January 1986) was a German artist An artist is a person engaged in an activity related to creating art Art is a diverse range of (products of) human activities involving creative imagi ...
was a German Fluxus,
happening A happening is a performance, event, or Situationist International, situation art, usually as performance art. The term was first used by Allan Kaprow during the 1950s to describe a range of art-related events. History Origins Image:SurvivalRese ...

happening
, performance artist, painter, sculptor, medallist and installation artist. In 1962 his actions alongside the Fluxus neodadaist movement started, group in which he ended up becoming the most important member. His most relevant achievement was his socialization of art, making it more accessible for every kind of public. In ''How to Explain Pictures to a Dead Hare'' (1965) he covered his face with honey and gold leaf and explained his work to a dead hare that lay in his arms. In this work he linked spacial and sculptural, linguistic and sonorous factors to the artist's figure, to his bodily gesture, to the conscience of a communicator whose receptor is an animal. Beuys acted as a shaman with healing and saving powers toward the society that he considered dead. In 1974 he carried out the performance ''I Like America and America Likes Me'' where Beuys, a coyote and materials such as paper, felt and thatch constituted the vehicle for its creation. He lived with the coyote for three days. He piled United States newspapers, a symbol of capitalism. With time, the tolerance between Beuys and the coyote grew and he ended up hugging the animal. Beuys repeats many elements used in other works. Objects that differ form Duchamp's ready-mades, not for their poor and ephemerality, but because they are part of Beuys's own life, who placed them after living with them and leaving his mark on them. Many have an autobiographical meaning, like the honey or the grease used by the tartars who saved in World War Two. In 1970 he made his ''Felt Suit''. Also in 1970, Beuys taught sculpture in the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf. In 1979, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum of New York City exhibited a retrospective of his work from the 1940s to 1970. File:Barbara Smith at NWSA 2017.jpg, Portrait of Barbara Smith File:2012 Yoko Ono (8170166921).jpg, Conference by
Yoko Ono Yoko Ono ( ; ja, 小野 洋子, Ono Yōko, usually spelled in katakana is a Japanese syllabary, one component of the Japanese writing system along with hiragana, kanji and in some cases the Latin script (known as rōmaji). The word ''kat ...
in the Viena Biennial, 2012 File:Yoko Ono at John Lennon Plaque Unveiling (5107729471).jpg, Portrait of
Yoko Ono Yoko Ono ( ; ja, 小野 洋子, Ono Yōko, usually spelled in katakana is a Japanese syllabary, one component of the Japanese writing system along with hiragana, kanji and in some cases the Latin script (known as rōmaji). The word ''kat ...
File:CaroleeSchneemann2008.jpg, Video art piece from the Brooklyn Museum with an interview with
Carolee Schneemann Carolee Schneemann (October 12, 1939 – March 6, 2019) was an American visual experimental artist, known for her multi-media works on the body, narrative, sexuality and gender. She received a B.A. in poetry and philosophy from Bard College an ...
File:Joan Jonas Vertical Roll.jpg,
Joan Jonas Joan Jonas (born July 13, 1936) is an American visual artist The visual arts are art forms such as painting, drawing, printmaking, sculpture Sculpture is the branch of the visual arts that operates in three dimensions. It is one of the ...
guring a performance documented on video and installed, 1972 File:Joan Jonas (4518929754).jpg, Portrait of artist
Joan Jonas Joan Jonas (born July 13, 1936) is an American visual artist The visual arts are art forms such as painting, drawing, printmaking, sculpture Sculpture is the branch of the visual arts that operates in three dimensions. It is one of the ...
File:BeuysAchberg78.jpg, Portrait of
Joseph Beuys Joseph Heinrich Beuys ( , ; 12 May 1921 – 23 January 1986) was a German artist An artist is a person engaged in an activity related to creating art Art is a diverse range of (products of) human activities involving creative imagi ...
in a conference-performance, 1978 File:Joseph Beuys Filtz TV by Lothar Wolleh.jpg,
Joseph Beuys Joseph Heinrich Beuys ( , ; 12 May 1921 – 23 January 1986) was a German artist An artist is a person engaged in an activity related to creating art Art is a diverse range of (products of) human activities involving creative imagi ...
in a video art piece
Nam June Paik Nam June Paik (; July 20, 1932 – January 29, 2006) was a Korean American Korean Americans () are Americans Americans are the Citizenship of the United States, citizens and United States nationality law, nationals of the United St ...
was a South Korean performance artist, composer and video artist from the second half of the 20th century. He studied music and art history in the University of Tokyo. Later, in 1956, he traveled to Germany, where he studied Music Theory in Munich, then continued in Cologne in the Freiburg conservatory. While studying in Germany, Paik met the composers Karlheinz Stockhausen and
John Cage John Milton Cage Jr. (September 5, 1912 – August 12, 1992) was an American composer A composer (Latin wikt:compono, ''compōnō''; literally "one who puts together") is a person who writes musical composition, music, especially classical ...
and the
conceptual art Conceptual art, also referred to as conceptualism, is art Art is a diverse range of (products of) human activities involving creative imagination to express technical proficiency, beauty, emotional power, or conceptual ideas. There is n ...
ists Sharon Grace as well as
George Maciunas George Maciunas (; lt, Jurgis Mačiūnas; November 8, 1931 – May 9, 1978) was a Lithuanian American artist, born in Kaunas. A founding member and the central coordinator of Fluxus, an international community of artists, architects, composer ...
,
Joseph Beuys Joseph Heinrich Beuys ( , ; 12 May 1921 – 23 January 1986) was a German artist An artist is a person engaged in an activity related to creating art Art is a diverse range of (products of) human activities involving creative imagi ...
and
Wolf Vostell Wolf Vostell (14 October 1932 – 3 April 1998) was a German painter and sculptor, considered one of the early adopters of video art and installation art Installation art is an artistic genre of three-dimensional works that are often site-sp ...

Wolf Vostell
and was from 1962 on, a member of the experimental art movement
Fluxus Fluxus was an international, interdisciplinary community of artists, composers, designers and poets during the 1960s and 1970s who engaged in experimental art performances which emphasized the artistic process over the finished product. Fluxus i ...
. Nam June Paik then began participating in the Neo-Dada art movement, known as
Fluxus Fluxus was an international, interdisciplinary community of artists, composers, designers and poets during the 1960s and 1970s who engaged in experimental art performances which emphasized the artistic process over the finished product. Fluxus i ...
, which was inspired by the composer
John Cage John Milton Cage Jr. (September 5, 1912 – August 12, 1992) was an American composer A composer (Latin wikt:compono, ''compōnō''; literally "one who puts together") is a person who writes musical composition, music, especially classical ...
and his use of everyday sounds and noises in his music. He was mates with
Yoko Ono Yoko Ono ( ; ja, 小野 洋子, Ono Yōko, usually spelled in katakana is a Japanese syllabary, one component of the Japanese writing system along with hiragana, kanji and in some cases the Latin script (known as rōmaji). The word ''kat ...
as a member of
Fluxus Fluxus was an international, interdisciplinary community of artists, composers, designers and poets during the 1960s and 1970s who engaged in experimental art performances which emphasized the artistic process over the finished product. Fluxus i ...
.
Wolf Vostell Wolf Vostell (14 October 1932 – 3 April 1998) was a German painter and sculptor, considered one of the early adopters of video art and installation art Installation art is an artistic genre of three-dimensional works that are often site-sp ...

Wolf Vostell
was a German artist, one of the most representative of the second half of the 20th century, who worked with various mediums and techniques sucha as painting, sculpture, installation art, installation, decollage, videoart,
happening A happening is a performance, event, or Situationist International, situation art, usually as performance art. The term was first used by Allan Kaprow during the 1950s to describe a range of art-related events. History Origins Image:SurvivalRese ...

happening
and fluxus.
Vito Acconci File:'City of Words', lithograph by Vito Acconci, 1999.jpg, 250px, ''City of Words'', lithograph by Acconci, 1999 Vito Acconci (, ; January 24, 1940 – April 27, 2017) was an influential American performance art, performance, video and installa ...
was an influential American performance, video and
installation art Installation art is an artistic genre of three-dimensional works that are often site-specific and designed to transform the perception of a space. Generally, the term is applied to interior spaces, whereas exterior interventions are often called ...

installation art
ist, whose diverse practice eventually included sculpture, architectural design, and landscape design. His foundational performance and video art was characterized by "existential unease," exhibitionism, discomfort, transgression and provocation, as well as wit and audacity, and often involved crossing boundaries such as public–private, consensual–nonconsensual, and real world–art world. His work is considered to have influenced artists including Laurie Anderson, Karen Finley, Bruce Nauman, and Tracey Emin, among others. Acconci was initially interested in radical poetry, but by the late 1960s, he began creating
Situationist The Situationist International (SI) was an Proletarian internationalism, international organization of social revolutionaries made up of avant-garde artists, intellectuals, and Political philosophy, political theorists. It was prominent in Europ ...

Situationist
-influenced performances in the street or for small audiences that explored the body and public space. Two of his most famous pieces were ''Following Piece'' (1969), in which he selected random passersby on New York City streets and followed them for as long as he was able, and ''Seedbed (performance piece), Seedbed'' (1972), in which he claimed that he masturbated while under a temporary floor at the Sonnabend Gallery, as visitors walked above and heard him speaking.
Chris Burden Christopher Lee Burden (April 11, 1946 – May 10, 2015) was an American artist working in Performance Art, performance, sculpture and installation art. Burden became known in the 1970s for his performance art works, including ''Shoot (Burden), Sho ...
was an American artist working in Performance Art, performance, sculpture and
installation art Installation art is an artistic genre of three-dimensional works that are often site-specific and designed to transform the perception of a space. Generally, the term is applied to interior spaces, whereas exterior interventions are often called ...

installation art
. Burden became known in the 1970s for his performance art works, including ''Shoot (Burden), Shoot'' (1971), in which he arranged for a friend to shoot him in the arm with a small-caliber rifle. A prolific artist, Burden created many well-known installations, public artworks and sculptures before his death in 2015. Burden began to work in performance art in the early 1970s. He made a series of controversial performances in which the idea of personal danger as artistic expression was central. His first significant performance work, ''Five Day Locker Piece'' (1971), was created for his master's thesis at the University of California, Irvine, and involved his being locked in a locker for five days.Work Ethic
by Helen Anne Molesworth, M. Darsie Alexander, Julia Bryan-Wilson, Baltimore Museum of Art, Des Moines Art Center, Wexner Center for the Arts; published 2003 by Penn State Press
Dennis Oppenheim Dennis Oppenheim (September 6, 1938 – January 21, 2011) was an American conceptual artist, performance artist, earth artist, sculptor and photographer. Dennis Oppenheim's early artistic practice is an epistemological questioning about the na ...
was an American
conceptual art Conceptual art, also referred to as conceptualism, is art Art is a diverse range of (products of) human activities involving creative imagination to express technical proficiency, beauty, emotional power, or conceptual ideas. There is n ...
ist, performance artist, Land art, earth artist, sculptor and photographer. Dennis Oppenheim's early artistic practice is an epistemological questioning about the nature of art, the making of art and the definition of art: a meta-art which arose when strategies of the Minimalists were expanded to focus on site and context. As well as an aesthetic agenda, the work progressed from perceptions of the physical properties of the gallery to the social and political context, largely taking the form of permanent public sculpture in the last two decades of a highly prolific career, whose diversity could exasperate his critics.Simon Taylor, ''Dennis Oppenheim, New Works'', Guild Hall Museum, East Hampton, NY: 2001. Yayoi Kusama is a Japanese artist who, throughout her career, has worked with a great variety of media including:sculpture, installation, painting, performance, film, fashion, poetry, fiction, and other arts; the majority of them exhibited her interest in psychedelia, repetition and patterns. Kusama is a pioneer of the pop art, minimalism and feminist art movements and influenced her coetaneous,
Andy Warhol Andy Warhol (; born Andrew Warhola; August 6, 1928 – February 22, 1987) was an American artist, film director, and producer who was a leading figure in the visual art movement known as pop art. His works explore the relationship betwe ...

Andy Warhol
and
Claes Oldenburg Claes Oldenburg (born January 28, 1929) is a Swedish-born American sculpture, sculptor, best known for his public art installations typically featuring large replicas of everyday objects. Another theme in his work is soft sculpture versions of ev ...

Claes Oldenburg
. She has been acknowledged as one of the most important living artists to come out of Japan and a very relevant voice in avant garde art. File:Korea-Nam June Paik-One hundread-and-eight Tourments.jpg, Video-installation-performance by
Nam June Paik Nam June Paik (; July 20, 1932 – January 29, 2006) was a Korean American Korean Americans () are Americans Americans are the Citizenship of the United States, citizens and United States nationality law, nationals of the United St ...
in 2008 File:"Perpetual Mobile I" within "Fish Flies On Sky".jpg, Video-installation-performance by
Nam June Paik Nam June Paik (; July 20, 1932 – January 29, 2006) was a Korean American Korean Americans () are Americans Americans are the Citizenship of the United States, citizens and United States nationality law, nationals of the United St ...
in Düsseldorf File:Wolf Vostell, 1980 in Spain.jpg, Portrait of
Wolf Vostell Wolf Vostell (14 October 1932 – 3 April 1998) was a German painter and sculptor, considered one of the early adopters of video art and installation art Installation art is an artistic genre of three-dimensional works that are often site-sp ...

Wolf Vostell
in 1980 File:Allan Kaprow.jpg, Portrait of
Allan Kaprow Allan Kaprow (August 23, 1927 – April 5, 2006) was an American painter, Assemblage (art), assemblagist and a pioneer in establishing the concepts of performance art. He helped to develop the "Installation art, Environment" and "Happening" in the ...

Allan Kaprow
in 1973 File:Vito1973.jpg,
Vito Acconci File:'City of Words', lithograph by Vito Acconci, 1999.jpg, 250px, ''City of Words'', lithograph by Acconci, 1999 Vito Acconci (, ; January 24, 1940 – April 27, 2017) was an influential American performance art, performance, video and installa ...
during a video-performance in 1973 File:Vito acconci, multi bed -1, 1992.jpg, Installation by
Vito Acconci File:'City of Words', lithograph by Vito Acconci, 1999.jpg, 250px, ''City of Words'', lithograph by Acconci, 1999 Vito Acconci (, ; January 24, 1940 – April 27, 2017) was an influential American performance art, performance, video and installa ...
in the Luigi Pecci Contemporary Art Centre File:Dennis Oppenheim "Engagement" Vancouver Sulpture Biennale (5086405361).jpg, Installation by
Dennis Oppenheim Dennis Oppenheim (September 6, 1938 – January 21, 2011) was an American conceptual artist, performance artist, earth artist, sculptor and photographer. Dennis Oppenheim's early artistic practice is an epistemological questioning about the na ...
in the Vancouver Sculpture Biennial


1970s

In the 1970s, artists that had derived to works related to performance art evolved and consolidated themselves as artists with performance art as their main discipline, deriving into installations created through performance, video performance, or collective actions, or in the context of a socio-historical and political context.


Video performance

In the early 1970s the use of video format by performance artists was consolidated. Some exhibitions by
Joan Jonas Joan Jonas (born July 13, 1936) is an American visual artist The visual arts are art forms such as painting, drawing, printmaking, sculpture Sculpture is the branch of the visual arts that operates in three dimensions. It is one of the ...
and
Vito Acconci File:'City of Words', lithograph by Vito Acconci, 1999.jpg, 250px, ''City of Words'', lithograph by Acconci, 1999 Vito Acconci (, ; January 24, 1940 – April 27, 2017) was an influential American performance art, performance, video and installa ...
were made entirely of video, activated by previous performative processes. In this decade, various books that talked about the use of the means of communication, video and cinema by performance artists, like ''Expanded Cinema'', by Gene Youngblood, were published. One of the main artists who used video and performance, with notorious audiovisual installations, is the South Korean artist
Nam June Paik Nam June Paik (; July 20, 1932 – January 29, 2006) was a Korean American Korean Americans () are Americans Americans are the Citizenship of the United States, citizens and United States nationality law, nationals of the United St ...
, who in the early 1960s had already been in the Fluxus movement until becoming a media artist and evolving into the audiovisual installations he is known for.
Carolee Schneemann Carolee Schneemann (October 12, 1939 – March 6, 2019) was an American visual experimental artist, known for her multi-media works on the body, narrative, sexuality and gender. She received a B.A. in poetry and philosophy from Bard College an ...
's and Robert Whitman's 1960s work regarding their video-performances must be taken into consideration as well. Both were pioneers of performance art, turning it into an independent art form in the early seventies.
Joan Jonas Joan Jonas (born July 13, 1936) is an American visual artist The visual arts are art forms such as painting, drawing, printmaking, sculpture Sculpture is the branch of the visual arts that operates in three dimensions. It is one of the ...
started to include video in her experimental performances in 1972, while Bruce Nauman scenified his acts to be directly recorded on video. Nauman is an American multimedia artist, whose sculptures, videos, graphic work and performances have helped diversify and develop culture from the 1960s on. His unsettling artworks emphasized the conceptual nature of art and the creation process. His priority is the idea and the creative process over the end result. His art uses an incredible array of materials and especially his own body. Gilbert and George are Italian artist Gilbert Proesch and English artist George Passmore, who have developed their work inside conceptual art, performance and body art. They were best known for their live-sculpture acts. One of their first makings was ''The Singing Sculpture'', where the artists sang and danced "Underneath the Arches", a song from the 1930s. Since then they have forged a solid reputation as live-sculptures, making themselves works of art, exhibited in front of spectators through diverse time intervals. They usually appear dressed in suits and ties, adopting diverse postures that they maintain without moving, though sometimes they also move and read a text, and occasionally they appear in assemblies or artistic installations. Apart from their sculptures, Gilbert and George have also made pictorial works, collages and photomontages, where they pictured themselves next to diverse objects from their immediate surroundings, with references to urban culture and a strong content; they addressed topics such as sex, race, death and HIV, religion or politics, critiquing many times the British government and the established power. The group's most prolific and ambitious work was ''Jack Freak Pictures'', where they had a constant presence of the colors red, white and blue in the Union Jack. Gilbert and George have exhibited their work in museums and galleries around the world, like the Stedelijk van Abbemuseum of Eindhoven (1980), the Hayward Gallery in London (1987), and the
Tate Modern Tate Modern is an art gallery located in London. It houses the United Kingdom's national collection of international modern Modern may refer to: History *Modern history Human history, also known as world history, is the description of h ...

Tate Modern
(2007). They have participated in the Venice Biennale. In 1986 they won the Turner Prize.


Endurance art

Endurance performance art deepens the themes of trance, pain, solitude, deprivation of freedom, isolation or exhaustion. Some of the works, based on the passing of long periods of time are also known as long-durational performances. One of the pioneering artists was
Chris Burden Christopher Lee Burden (April 11, 1946 – May 10, 2015) was an American artist working in Performance Art, performance, sculpture and installation art. Burden became known in the 1970s for his performance art works, including ''Shoot (Burden), Sho ...
in California since the 1970s. In one of his best known works, ''Five days in a locker'' (1971) he stayed for five days inside a school locker, in ''Shoot'' (1971) he was shot with a firearm, and inhabited for twenty two days a bed inside an art gallery in ''Bed Piece'' (1972). Another example of endurance artist is Tehching Hsieh. During a performance created in 1980–1981 (''Time Clock Piece''), where he stayed a whole year repeating the same action around a metaphorical clock. Hsieh is also known for his performances about deprivation of freedom; he spent an entire year confined.Andrew Taylor
"Tehching Hsieh: The artist who took the punches as they came"
''Sydney Morning Herald'', April 30, 2014: "Don't try this endurance art at home. That is Tehching Hsieh's advice to artists inspired to emulate the five year-long performances he began in the late 1970s."
In ''The House With the Ocean View'' (2003),
Marina Abramović Marina Abramović ( sr-cyr, Марина Абрамовић, ; born November 30, 1946) is a Serbian Conceptual art, conceptual and performance artist, Philanthropy, philanthropist, writer, and filmmaker. Her work explores body art, endurance a ...

Marina Abramović
lived silently for twelve days without food.Thomas McEvilley, "Performing the Present Tense – A recent piece by Marina Abramovic blended endurance art and Buddhist meditation," ''Art in America'', 91(4), April 2003. The Nine Confinements or The Deprivation of Liberty is a conceptual endurance artwork of critical content carried out in the years 2013 and 2016. All of them have in common the illegitimate deprivation of freedom.


Performance in a political context

In the mid 1970s, behind the Iron Curtain, in major Eastern Europe cities such as Budapest, Kraków, Belgrade, Zagreb, Novi Sad and others, scenic arts of a more experimental content flourished. Against political and social control, different artists who made performance of political content arose. Orshi Drozdik's performance series, titled ''Individual Mythology'' 1975/77 and the ''NudeModel'' 1976/77. All her actions were critical of the patriarchal discourse in art and the forced emancipation programme and constructed by the equally patriarchal state. Drozdik showed a pioneer and feminist point of view on both, becoming one of the precursors of this type of critical art in Eastern Europe. In the 1970s, performance art, due to its fugacity, had a solid presence in the Eastern European avant-garde, specially in Poland and Yugoslavia, where dozens of artists who explored the body conceptually and critically emerged.


The Other

In the mid-1976s, Ulay and
Marina Abramović Marina Abramović ( sr-cyr, Марина Абрамовић, ; born November 30, 1946) is a Serbian Conceptual art, conceptual and performance artist, Philanthropy, philanthropist, writer, and filmmaker. Her work explores body art, endurance a ...

Marina Abramović
founded the collective The Other in the city of Amsterdam. When Abramović and Ulay started their collaboration. The main concepts they explored were the ego and artistic identity. This was the start of a decade of collaborative work. Both artists were interested in the tradition of their cultural heritage and the individual's desire for rituals. In consecuense, they formed a collective named ''The Other''. They dressed and behaved as one, and created a relation of absolute confidence. They created a series of works in which their bodies created additional spaces for the audience's interaction. In ''Relation in Space'' they ran around the room, two bodies like two planets, meshing masculine and feminine energies into a third component they called "that self". ''Relation in Movement'' (1976) had the couple driving their car inside the museum, doing 365 spins. A black liquid dripped out of the car, forming a sculpture, and each round represented a year. After this, they created ''Death Self'', where both of them united their lips and inspired the air expired by the other one until they used up all oxygen. Exactly 17 minutes after the start of the performance, both of them fell unconscious, due to their lungs filling with carbon dioxide. This piece explored the idea of the ability of a person to absorb the life out of another one, changing them and destroying them. In 1988, after some years of a tense relationship, Abramović and Ulay decided to make a spiritual travel that would put an end to the collective. They walked along the Great Wall of China, starting on opposite ends and finding each other halfway. Abramović conceived this walk on a dream, and it gave her what she saw as an appropriate and romantic ending to the relationship full of mysticism, energy and attraction. Ulay started on the Gobi dessert and Abramovic in the Yellow sea. Each one of them walked 2500 kilometres, found each other in the middle and said goodbye.


Main artists

In 1973, Laurie Anderson interpreted ''Duets on Ice'' in the streets of New York.
Marina Abramović Marina Abramović ( sr-cyr, Марина Абрамовић, ; born November 30, 1946) is a Serbian Conceptual art, conceptual and performance artist, Philanthropy, philanthropist, writer, and filmmaker. Her work explores body art, endurance a ...

Marina Abramović
, in the performance ''Rhythm 10'', included conceptually the violation of a body. Thirty years later, the topic of rape, shame and sex exploitation would be reimagined in the works of contemporary artists such as ''Clifford Owens'', ''Gillian Walsh'', ''Pat Oleszko'' and ''Rebecca Patek,'' amongst others. New artists with radical acts consolidated themselves as the main precursors of performance, like
Chris Burden Christopher Lee Burden (April 11, 1946 – May 10, 2015) was an American artist working in Performance Art, performance, sculpture and installation art. Burden became known in the 1970s for his performance art works, including ''Shoot (Burden), Sho ...
, with the 1971 work ''Shoot'', where an assistant shot him in the arm from a five-meter distance, and
Vito Acconci File:'City of Words', lithograph by Vito Acconci, 1999.jpg, 250px, ''City of Words'', lithograph by Acconci, 1999 Vito Acconci (, ; January 24, 1940 – April 27, 2017) was an influential American performance art, performance, video and installa ...
the same year with ''Seedbed''. The work ''Eye Body'' (1963) by Carolee Schneemann en 1963, had already been considered a prototype of performance art. In 1975, Schneemann recurred to innovative solo acts such as ''Interior Scroll'', that showed the feminine body as an artistic media. One of the main artists was Gina Pane, French artist of Italian origins. She studied at the École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts in París from 1960 until 1965 and was a member of the performance art movement in the 1970 in France, called "Art Corporel". Parallel to her art, Pane taught in the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Mans from 1975 until 1990 and directed an ''atelier'' dedicated to performance art in the Pompidou Centre from 1978 to 1979. One of her best known works is ''The Conditioning '' (1973), in which she was lied into a metal bed spring over an area of lit candles. ''The Conditioning '' was created as an homage to
Marina Abramović Marina Abramović ( sr-cyr, Марина Абрамовић, ; born November 30, 1946) is a Serbian Conceptual art, conceptual and performance artist, Philanthropy, philanthropist, writer, and filmmaker. Her work explores body art, endurance a ...

Marina Abramović
, part of her ''Seven Easy Pieces''(2005) in the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York City in 2005. Great part of her works are protagonized by self-inflicted pain, separating her from most of other woman artists in the 1970s. Through the violence of cutting her skin with razors or extinguishing fires with her bare hands and feet, Pane has the intention of inciting a ''real experience'' in the visitor, who would feel moved for its discomfort. The impactful nature of these first performance art pieces or actions, as she preferred to call them, many times eclipsed her prolific photographic and sculptural work. Nonetheless, the body was the main concern in Panes's work, either literally or conceptually.
File:Ulay.jpg, Portrait of Ulay in 1972 File:Furgone Abramovic-Ulay 02.jpg, Abramovic and Ulay's Furgone File:Marina Abramović in Stockholm 2017-2.jpg, Exhibition of Marina Abramović's first works in Stochholm File:Truncated Pyramid Room.jpg, Installation by Bruce Nauman in Germany File:Burden-Lacma.jpg, Luminic installation by
Chris Burden Christopher Lee Burden (April 11, 1946 – May 10, 2015) was an American artist working in Performance Art, performance, sculpture and installation art. Burden became known in the 1970s for his performance art works, including ''Shoot (Burden), Sho ...
in the LACMA museum in Los Angeles File:NTSC color bar calibration-(for Video Flag Z by artist Nam June Paik) 2013-07-20 18-21.jpg, Video installation by
Nam June Paik Nam June Paik (; July 20, 1932 – January 29, 2006) was a Korean American Korean Americans () are Americans Americans are the Citizenship of the United States, citizens and United States nationality law, nationals of the United St ...
File:20150203백남준의 비디오 타워 다다익선 多多益善190.jpg, Videoinstallation by
Nam June Paik Nam June Paik (; July 20, 1932 – January 29, 2006) was a Korean American Korean Americans () are Americans Americans are the Citizenship of the United States, citizens and United States nationality law, nationals of the United St ...
File:Gilbert.george.jpg, Gilbert and George in a presentation File:Orshi Drozdik Brains on High Heels, 1993 installation, photo 2006.jpg, Orshi Drozdik in one of her exhibitions


1980s


The technique of performance art

Until the 1980s, performance art has demystified virtuosism, this being one of its key characteristics. Nonetheless, from the 1980s on it started to adopt some technical brilliancy. In reference to the work ''Presence and Resistance'' by Philip Auslander, the dance critic Sally Banes writes, "... by the end of the 1980s, performance art had become so widely known that it no longer needed to be defined; mass culture, especially television, had come to supply both structure and subject matter for much performance art; and several performance artists, including Laurie Anderson, Spalding Gray, Eric Bogosian, Willem Dafoe, and Ann Magnuson, had indeed become crossover artists in mainstream entertainment." In this decade the parameters and technicalities built to purify and perfect performance art were defined.


Critique and investigation of performance art

Despite the fact that many performances are held within the circle of a small art-world group, Roselee Goldberg notes in ''Performance Art: From Futurism to the Present'' that "performance has been a way of appealing directly to a large public, as well as shocking audiences into reassessing their own notions of art and its relation to culture. Conversely, public interest in the medium, especially in the 1980s, stems from an apparent desire of that public to gain access to the art world, to be a spectator of its ritual and its distinct community, and to be surprised by the unexpected, always unorthodox presentations that the artists devise." In this decade, publications and compilations about performance art and its best known artists emerged.


Performance art from a political context

In the 1980s, the political context played an important role in the artistic development and especially in performance, as almost every one of the works created with a critical and political discourse were in this discipline. Until the decline of the European Eastern bloc during the late 1980s, performance art had actively been rejected by most communist governments. With the exception of Poland and Yugoslavia, performance art was more or less banned in countries where any independent public event was feared. In the GDR, Czechoslovakia, Hungary and Latvia it happened in apartments, at seemingly spontaneous gatherings in artist studios, in church-controlled settings, or was covered as another activity, like a photo-shoot. Isolated from the western conceptual context, in different settings it could be like a playful protest or a bitter comment, using subversive metaphors to express dissent with the political situation. Amongst the most remarkable performance art works of political content in this time were those of
Tehching Hsieh Tehching (Sam) Hsieh (謝德慶; born 31 December 1950; Nan-Chou, Pingtung County, Taiwan) is a performance artist. He has been called a "master" by fellow performance artist Marina Abramović. Early life He was one of 15 children from a family in ...
between July 1983 and July 1984, ''Art/Life: One Year Performance'' (Rope Piece).


Performance poetry

In 1982 the terms "poetry" and "performance" were first used together. Performance poetry appeared to distinguish text-based vocal performances from performance art, especially the work of escenic and musical performance artists, such as Laurie Anderson, who worked with music at that time. Performance poets relied more on the rhetorical and philosophical expression in their poetics than performance artists, who arose from the visual art genres of painting and sculpture. Many artists since
John Cage John Milton Cage Jr. (September 5, 1912 – August 12, 1992) was an American composer A composer (Latin wikt:compono, ''compōnō''; literally "one who puts together") is a person who writes musical composition, music, especially classical ...
fuse performance with a poetical base.


Feminist performance art

Since 1973 the Feminist Studio Workshop in the Woman's Building of Los Ángeles had an impact in the wave of feminist acts, but until 1980 they did not completely fuse. The conjunction between feminism and performance art progressed through the last decade. In the first two decades of performance art development, works that had not been conceived as feminist are seen as such now. Still, not until 1980 did artists self-define themselves as feminists. Artist groups in which women influenced by the 1968 student movement as well as the feminist movement stood out. This connection has been treated in contemporary art history research. Some of the women whose innovative input in representations and shows was the most relevant were Pina Bausch and the Guerrilla Girls who emerged in 1985 in New York City, anonymous feminist and anti-racist art collective. They chose that name because they used guerrilla tactics in their activism to denounce discrimination against women in art through political and performance art. Their first performance was placing posters and making public appearances in museums and galleries in New York, to critique the fact that some groups of people were discriminated against for their gender or race. All of this was done anonymously; in all of these appearances they covered their faces with gorilla masks (this was due to the similar pronunciation of the words "gorilla" and "guerrilla"). They used as nicknames the names of female artists who had died. From the 1970s until the 1980s, amongst the works that challenged the system and their usual strategies of representation, the main ones feature women's bodies, such as
Ana Mendieta Ana Mendieta (November 18, 1948 – September 8, 1985) was a Cuban-American performance artist, sculptor, painter and video artist Video art is an art form which relies on using video technology as a visual and audio medium. Video art emerge ...
's works in New York City where her body is outraged and abused, or the artistic representations by Louise Bourgeois with a rather minimalist discourse that emerge in the late seventies and eighties. Special mention to the works created with feminine and feminist corporeity such as Lynda Benglis and her phallic performative actions, who reconstructed the feminine image to turn it into more than a fetish. Through feminist performance art the body becomes a space for developing these new discourses and meanings. Artist Eleanor Antin, creator in the 1970s and 1980s, worked on the topics of gender, race and class. Cindy Sherman, in her first works in the seventies and already in her artistic maturity in the eighties, continues her critical line of overturning the imposed self, through her use of the body as an object of privilege. Cindy Sherman is an American photographer and artist. She is one of the most representative post-war artists and exhibited more than the work of three decades of her work in the MoMA. Even though she appears in most of her performative photographies, she doesn't consider them slef-portraits. Sherman uses herself as a vehicle to represent a great array of topics of the contemporary world, such as the part women play in our society and the way they are represented in the media as well as the nature of art creation. In 2020 she was awarded with the ''Wolf prize in arts''. Judy Chicago is an artist and pioneer of feminist art and performance art in the United States. Chicago is known for her big collaborative art installation pieces on images of birth and creation, that examine women's part in history and culture. In the 1970s, Chicago has founded the first feminist art programme in the United States. Chicago's work incorporates a variety of artistic skills such as sewing, in contrast with skills that required a lot of workforce, like welding and pyrotechnics. Chicago's best known work is ''The Dinner Party'', that was permanently installed in the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art in the Brooklyn Museum. ''The Dinner Party'' celebrated the achievements of women throughout history and is widely considered as the first epic feminist artwork. Other remarkable projects include ''International Honor Quilt'', ''The Birth Project,'' ''Powerplay,'' and ''The Holocaust Project.'' File:Students visiting Martha Rosler's show with Gregory Sholette.jpg, Students in a Martha Rosler exhibition File:Guerrilla Girls - V&A Museum, London.jpg, The Guerrilla Girls in an opening in London File:Guerrilla girls MOMA.jpg, Works of the 'Guerrilla Girls' in an exhibition in the Museum of Modern Art, Manhattan, New York File:Mjellby konstmuseum interiör 2019 guerrilla girls.jpg, Guerrilla Girls exhibition File:Aranha, Louise Joséphine Bourgeois (5878031270).jpg, Installation by Louise Bourgeois in a Brazilian museum File:Madrid - Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía (35796312500).jpg, Esculpture by Louise Bourgeois in the Museo Reina Sofia File:Judy Chicago with flight hood.jpg, Portrait of Judy Chicago


Expansion to Latin America

In this decade performance art spread until reaching Latin America through the workshops and programmes that universities and academic institutions offered. It mainly developed in Mexico, Colombia -with artists such as ''Maria Teresa Hincapié''—, in Brasil and in Argentina.
Ana Mendieta Ana Mendieta (November 18, 1948 – September 8, 1985) was a Cuban-American performance artist, sculptor, painter and video artist Video art is an art form which relies on using video technology as a visual and audio medium. Video art emerge ...
was a conceptual and performance artist born in Cuba and raised in the United States. She's mostly known for her artworks and performance art pieces in land art. Mendieta's work was known mostly in the feminist art critic environment. Years after her death, specially since the Whitney Museum of American Art retrospective in 2004 and the retrospective in the Haywart Gallery in London in 2013 she is considered a pioneer of performance art and other practices related to body art and land art, sculpture and photography. She described her own work as ''earth-body art''.
Tania Bruguera Tania Bruguera (born 1968) is a Cuban installation art, installation and performance artist. She lives and works between New York and Havana, and has participated in numerous international exhibitions. Her work is also in the permanent collections ...

Tania Bruguera
is a Cuban artist specialized in performance art and political art. Her work mainly consists of her interpretation of political and social topics. She has developed concepts such as "conduct art" to define her artistic practices with a focus on the limits of language and the body confronted to the reaction and behavior of the spectators. She also came up with "useful art", that is ought to transform certain political and legal aspects of society. Brugera's work revolves around power and control topics, and a great portion of her work questions the current state of her home country, Cuba. In 2002 she created the Cátedra Arte de Conducta in La Habana. Regina José Galindo is a Guatemalan artist specialized in performance art. Her work is characterized by its explicit political and critical content, using her own body as a tool of confrontation and social transformation. Her artistic career has been marked by the Guatemalan Civil War that took place from 1960 to 1996, which triggered a genocide of more than 200 thousand people, many of them indigenous, farmers, women and children. With her work, Galindo denounces violence, sexism (one of her the main topics is femicide), the western beauty standards, the repression of the estates and the abuse of power, especially in the context of her country, even though her language transgresses borders. Since her beginnings she only used her body as media, which she occasionally takes to extreme situations (like in ''Himenoplasty'' (2004) where she goes through a hymen reconstruction, a work that won the Golden Lyon in the Venice Biennale), to later have volunteers or hired people to interact with her, so that she loses control over the action.


1990s

The 1990s was a period of absence for classic European performance, so performance artists kept a low profile. Nevertheless, Eastern Europe experienced a peak. On the other hand, Latin American performance continued to boom, as well as feminist performance art. There also was a peak of this discipline in Asian countries, whose motivation emerged from the Butō dance in the 1950s, but in this period they professionalized and new Chinese artists arose, earning great recognition. There was also a general professionalization in the increase of exhibitions dedicated to performance art, at the opening of the Venice Art Biennial to performance art, where various artists of this discipline have won the Leone d'Oro, including Anne Imhof, Regina José Galindo or Santiago Sierra.


Performance with political context

While the Soviet Bloc dissolved, some forbidden performance art pieces began to spread. Young artists from the former Eastern Bloc, including Russia, devoted themselves to performance art. Scenic arts emerged around the same time in Cuba, the Caribbean and China. "In these contexts, performance art became a new critical voice with a social strength similar to that of Western Europe, the United States and South America in the sixties and early seventies. It must be emphasized that the rise of performance art in the 1990s in Eastern Europe, China, South Africa, Cuba and other places must not be considered secondary or an imitation of the West".


Professionalization of performance art

In the Western World, in the 1990s, performance art joined the mainstream culture. Diverse performance artworks, live, photographed or through documentation started to become part of galleries and museums that began to understand performance art as an art discipline. Nevertheless, it was not until the next decade that a major institutionalization happened, when every museum started to incorporate performance art pieces into their collections and dedicating great exhibitions and retrospectives, museums such as the la
Tate Modern Tate Modern is an art gallery located in London. It houses the United Kingdom's national collection of international modern Modern may refer to: History *Modern history Human history, also known as world history, is the description of h ...

Tate Modern
in London, the MoMA in New York City or the Pompidou Centre in Paris. From the 1990s on, many more performance artists were invited to important biennials like the Venice Biennale, the Sao Paulo Biennial and the Lyon Biennial.


Performance in China

In the late 1990s, Chinese contemporary art and performance art received great recognition internationally, as 19 Chinese artists were invited to the Venice Biennial. Performance art in China and its history had been growing since the 1970s due to the interest between art, process and tradition in Chinese culture, but it gained recognition from the 1990s on. In China, performance art is part of the fine arts education programme, and is becoming more and more popular. In the early 1990s, Chinese performance art was already acclaimed in the international art scene. File:Fitness culturel (Biennale 2013, Lyon) (10787512893).jpg, Performance art in the Lyon Biennale File:Fitness culturel (Biennale 2013, Lyon) (10783977835).jpg, Performance art in the Lyon Biennale File:Le pavillon de la Roumanie (55ème Biennale de Venise) (10168262204).jpg, Performance at the entrance of the Romanian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale File:Table with Accumulator Beuys Tate Modern AR00603.jpg, Performative installation by
Joseph Beuys Joseph Heinrich Beuys ( , ; 12 May 1921 – 23 January 1986) was a German artist An artist is a person engaged in an activity related to creating art Art is a diverse range of (products of) human activities involving creative imagi ...
in the
Tate Modern Tate Modern is an art gallery located in London. It houses the United Kingdom's national collection of international modern Modern may refer to: History *Modern history Human history, also known as world history, is the description of h ...

Tate Modern
of London File:Re publica 2013 Tag 3 – Ai Weiwei (8735247120).jpg, Video installation with the Chinese artist Ai Weiwei File:Documentation of Tehching Hsieh's project in NYC (1395277535).jpg,
Tehching Hsieh Tehching (Sam) Hsieh (謝德慶; born 31 December 1950; Nan-Chou, Pingtung County, Taiwan) is a performance artist. He has been called a "master" by fellow performance artist Marina Abramović. Early life He was one of 15 children from a family in ...
exhibition in downtown New York City File:Chien-Chi Chang-China Town Venezia Biennale-2009.jpg, China Pavilion at the Venice Biennale File:Wang Xiaoshuai-2120.jpg, Portrait of Wang Xiaoshuai File:Liu Xiaodong.jpg, Liu Xiaodong during a performance artwork


Since the 2000s


New-media performance

In the late 1990s and into the 2000s, a number of artists incorporated technologies such as the World Wide Web, digital video, webcams, and streaming media, into performance artworks. Artists such as Coco Fusco, Shu Lea Cheang, and Prema Murthy produced performance art that drew attention to the role of gender, race, colonialism, and the body in relation to the Internet. Other artists, such as Critical Art Ensemble, Electronic Disturbance Theater, and Yes Men, used digital technologies associated with hacktivism and Interventionist art, interventionism to raise political issues concerning new forms of capitalism and consumerism. In the second half of the decade, computer-aided forms of performance art began to take place. Many of these works led to the development of algorithmic art, generative art, and robotic art, in which the computer itself, or a computer-controlled robot, becomes the performer. Coco Fusco is an interdisciplinary Cuban-American artist, writer and curator who lives and works in the United States. Her artistic career began in 1988. In her work, she explores topics such as identity, race, power and gender through performance. She also makes videos, interactive installations and critical writing.


Radical performance

During the first and second decade of the 2000s, various artists were prosecuted, judicialized, detained or imprisoned for their works of political content. Artists such as Pussy Riot,
Tania Bruguera Tania Bruguera (born 1968) is a Cuban installation art, installation and performance artist. She lives and works between New York and Havana, and has participated in numerous international exhibitions. Her work is also in the permanent collections ...

Tania Bruguera
, and
Petr Pavlensky Pyotr (or Petr) Andreyevich Pavlensky (russian: link=no, Пётр Андреевич Павленский; born March 8, 1984) is a Russian contemporary artist. Known for his controversial political performance art, which he calls "actions", Pavlen ...

Petr Pavlensky
have been judged for diverse artistic actions created with the intention of denouncing and visibilizing. On February 21, 2012, as a part of their protest against the re-election of Vladímir Putin, various women of the artistic collective Pussy Riot entered the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour of Moscow of the Russian Orthodox Church. They made the sign of the cross, bowed before the shrine, and started to interpret a performance compound by a song and a dance under the motto "Virgin Mary, put Putin Away". On March 3, they were detained. On March 3, 2012, Maria Alyokhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Pussy Riot members, were arrested by the Russian authorities and accused of vandalism. At first, they both denied being members of the group and started a hunger strike for being incarcerated and taken apart from their children until the trials began in April. On March 16 another woman, Yekaterina Samutsévitch, who had been previously interrogated as a witness, was arrested and accused as well. On July 5, formal charges against the group and a 2800-page accusation were filed. That same day they were notified that they had until July 9 to prepare their defense. In reply, they announced a hunger strike, pleading that two days was an inappropriate time frame to prepare their defense. On July 21, the court extended their preventive prison to last six more months. The three detained members were recognized as political prisoners by the Union of Solidarity with Political Prisoners. Amnesty International considers them to be prisoners of conscience for "the severity of the response of the Russian authorities". Since 2012, artist
Abel Azcona Abel Azcona (born 1 April 1988) is a Spanish artist, specializing in performance art Performance art is an artwork or art exhibition created through actions executed by the artist or other participants. It may be live, through documentation ...
has been prosecuted for some of his works. The demand that gained the most repercussion was the one carried out by the Archbishopric of Pamplona and Tudela, Navarre, Tudela, in representation of the Catholic Church. The Church demanded Azcona for desecration and blasphemy crimes, hate crime and attack against the religious freedom and feelings for his work ''Amen or The Pederasty''. In the last lawsuits, the petitioners included the crime of obstruction of justice. In 2016, Azcona was denounced for extolling terrorism for his exhibition ''Natura Morta'', in which the artist recreated situations of violence, historical memory, terrorism or war conflicts through performance and hyperrealistic sculptures and installations. In 2018, he was denounced by the Francisco Franco Foundation for exposing an installation consisting of twelve documents that formed a technical examination for the detonation of the Monument of the Valle de los Caídos signed by an architect. He has also been criticized by the State of Israel for his work ''The Shame'', in which he installed fragments of the Berlin Wall along the West Bank Wall as a critical performative installation. That same year he represented Spain in the Asian Art Biennial in Daca, Bangladesh. Azcona installed chairs in the pavilion with children from the streets of Daca in a situation of despair sitting on them. His performance was cancelled because of the protests, who were against the picture that the pavilion portrayed of the Biennial and the country. In December 2014
Tania Bruguera Tania Bruguera (born 1968) is a Cuban installation art, installation and performance artist. She lives and works between New York and Havana, and has participated in numerous international exhibitions. Her work is also in the permanent collections ...

Tania Bruguera
was detained in La Habana to prevent her from carrying out new reivindicative works. Her performance art pieces have earned her harsh critiques, and she has been accused of promoting resistance and public disturbances. In December 2015 and January 2016, Bruguera was detained for organizing a public performance in the plaza de la Revolución of La Habana. She was detained along with other Cuban artists, activists and reporters who took part in the campaign ''Yo También Exijo'', which was created after the declarations of Raúl Castro and Barack Obama in favor of restoring their diplomatic relationship. During the performance ''El Susurro de Tatlin #6'' she set microphones and talkers in the Plaza de la Revolución so the Cubans could express their feelings regarding the new political climate. The event had great repercussion in international media, including a presentation of ''El Susurro de Tatlin #6'' in Times Square, and an action in which various artists and intellectuals expressed themselves in favour of the liberation of Bruguera by sending an open letter to Raúl Castro signed by thousands of people around the world asking for the return of her passport and claiming criminal injustice, as she only gave a microphone to the people so they could give their opinion. In November 2015 and October 2017
Petr Pavlensky Pyotr (or Petr) Andreyevich Pavlensky (russian: link=no, Пётр Андреевич Павленский; born March 8, 1984) is a Russian contemporary artist. Known for his controversial political performance art, which he calls "actions", Pavlen ...

Petr Pavlensky
was arrested for carrying out a radical performance art piece in which he set on fire the entry of the Lubyanka Building, headquarters of the Federal Security Service of Russia, and a branch office of the Bank of France. On both occasions he sprayed the main entrance with gasoline; in the second performance he sprayed the inside as well, and ignited it with a lighter. The doors of the building were partially burnt. Both times Pavlenski was arrested without resistance and accused of debauchery. A few hours after the actions, several political and artistic reivindicative videos appeared on the internet.


Institutionalization of performance art

Since the 2000s, big museums, institutions and collections have supported performance art. Since January 2003,
Tate Modern Tate Modern is an art gallery located in London. It houses the United Kingdom's national collection of international modern Modern may refer to: History *Modern history Human history, also known as world history, is the description of h ...

Tate Modern
in London has had a curated programme of live art and performance. With exhibitions by artists such as
Tania Bruguera Tania Bruguera (born 1968) is a Cuban installation art, installation and performance artist. She lives and works between New York and Havana, and has participated in numerous international exhibitions. Her work is also in the permanent collections ...

Tania Bruguera
or Anne Imhof. In 2012 The Tanks at
Tate Modern Tate Modern is an art gallery located in London. It houses the United Kingdom's national collection of international modern Modern may refer to: History *Modern history Human history, also known as world history, is the description of h ...

Tate Modern
were opened: the first dedicated spaces for performance, film and installation in a major modern and contemporary art museum. The Museum of Modern Art held a major retrospective and performance recreation of
Marina Abramović Marina Abramović ( sr-cyr, Марина Абрамовић, ; born November 30, 1946) is a Serbian Conceptual art, conceptual and performance artist, Philanthropy, philanthropist, writer, and filmmaker. Her work explores body art, endurance a ...

Marina Abramović
's work, the biggest exhibition of performance art in MoMA's history, from March 14 to 31, 2010. The exhibition consisted of more than twenty pieces by the artist, most of them from the years 1960–1980. Many of them were re-activated by other young artists of multiple nationalities selected for the show. In parallel to the exhibition, Abramovic performed ''The Artist is Present'', a 726-hour and 30-minute static, silent piece, in which she sat immobile in the museum's atrium, while spectators were invited to take turns sitting opposite her. The work is an updated reproduction of one of the pieces from 1970, shown in the exhibition, where Abramovic stayed for full days next to Ulay, who was his sentimental companion. The performance attracted celebrities such as Björk, Orlando Bloom and James Franco who participated and received media coverage. File:Detail of Facade of Guggenheim Museum with Yoko Ono Banner - Bilbao - Biscay - Spain (14434764509).jpg, Facade of the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao with a
Yoko Ono Yoko Ono ( ; ja, 小野 洋子, Ono Yōko, usually spelled in katakana is a Japanese syllabary, one component of the Japanese writing system along with hiragana, kanji and in some cases the Latin script (known as rōmaji). The word ''kat ...
Banner File:Shibboleth - Tate Modern 2007.jpg, Work by Doris Salcedo in the
Tate Modern Tate Modern is an art gallery located in London. It houses the United Kingdom's national collection of international modern Modern may refer to: History *Modern history Human history, also known as world history, is the description of h ...

Tate Modern
in London, 2007 File:Marina 1 1.jpg,
Marina Abramović Marina Abramović ( sr-cyr, Марина Абрамовић, ; born November 30, 1946) is a Serbian Conceptual art, conceptual and performance artist, Philanthropy, philanthropist, writer, and filmmaker. Her work explores body art, endurance a ...

Marina Abramović
during her seven performances in ''Seven Easy Pieces'' (2005), in the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum File:Marina Abramović, The Artist Is Present, 2010Marina Abramović, The Artist Is Present, 2010 (4422516908).jpg, Zenith shot of the performance ''The Artist Is Present'' in the Museum of Modern Art File:Marina Abramović. The Cleaner.jpg, Work by
Marina Abramović Marina Abramović ( sr-cyr, Марина Абрамовић, ; born November 30, 1946) is a Serbian Conceptual art, conceptual and performance artist, Philanthropy, philanthropist, writer, and filmmaker. Her work explores body art, endurance a ...

Marina Abramović
reproduced for the retrospective in Bologna, Italy, 2018 File:128 aktion 22.10.09 613.jpg,
Hermann Nitsch Hermann Nitsch (born 29 August 1938) is an Austrian avant-garde artist who works in experimental and multimedia modes. Life Born in Vienna en, Viennese , iso_code = AT-9 , registration_plate = Vehicl ...

Hermann Nitsch
carrying out a performance in his homonymous museum (2009) File:Fleeting-glimpse-bryan-zanisnik.jpg, Performance by Bryan Zanisnik, called ''When I Was a Child I Caught a Fleeting Glimpse'', 2009 File:Muestra Yoko Ono- Quito4.jpg, Exhibition dedicated to
Yoko Ono Yoko Ono ( ; ja, 小野 洋子, Ono Yōko, usually spelled in katakana is a Japanese syllabary, one component of the Japanese writing system along with hiragana, kanji and in some cases the Latin script (known as rōmaji). The word ''kat ...
in the Cultural Metropolitan Centre of Quito (2018)


Collective reivindication performance art

In 2014 the performance art piece ''Mattress Performance (Carry That Weight), Carry That Weight'' is created, also known as "the mattress performance". The artist behind this piece is Emma Sulkowicz who, during her end of degree thesis in visual arts in the Columbia University in the city of New York City. In September 2014, Sulkowicz's piece began, as she started carrying her own mattress around the Columbia University campus. This work was created by the artist with the goal of denouncing her rape in that same mattress years before, in her own dormitory, which she reported and was not heard by the university or the justice, so she decided to carry the mattress with her for the entire semester, without leaving it at any moment, until her graduation ceremony in May 2015. The piece generated great controversy, but was supported by a bunch of her companions and activists who joined Sulkowicz multiple times when carrying the mattress, making the work an international reivindication. Art critic Jerry Saltz considered the artwork to be one of the most important of the year 2014. In November 2018 through a conference and live performance by artist
Abel Azcona Abel Azcona (born 1 April 1988) is a Spanish artist, specializing in performance art Performance art is an artwork or art exhibition created through actions executed by the artist or other participants. It may be live, through documentation ...
in the Bogotá Contemporary Art Museum the work ''Spain Asks for Forgiveness'' (''España os Pide Perdón'') began, a piece of critical and anticolonialist content. In the first action, Azcona read a text where "Spain asks for forgiveness" was repeated continuously. Two months later, in the Mexico City Museum, he installed a sailcloth with the same sentence on it. Just a few days later, the president of Mexico Andrés Manuel López Obrador during a press conference demanded publicly an apology from Spain. From then until mid-2020, the work has achieved to become a collective movement in cities such as La Habana, Lima, Caracas, Ciudad de Panamá, Tegucigalpa, or Quito, through diverse media. In 2019 the collective performance art piece ''A Rapist in Your Path'' was created by a feminist group from Valparaíso, Chile named Lastesis, which consisted of a demonstration against the women's rights violations in the context of the 2019-2020 Chilean protests. It was first performed in front of the Second Police Station of the Carabineros de Chile in Valparaíso on November 18, 2019. A second performance done by 2000 Chilean women on November 25, 2019, as a part of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, was filmed and became viral on social media. Its reach became global after feminist movements in dozens of countries adopted and translated the performance for their own protests and demands for the cessation and punishment of femicide and sexual violence, amongst others. File:Emma Sulkowicz, Mattress Performance, 19 May 2015 (cropped).JPG, Companions of Emma Sulkowicz and the artist herself carrying the mattress to the graduation as a complaint File:Mattress Performance rules of engagement.jpg, Sulkowicz with the instructions for her performance in the Columbia University File:Mattress Performance (Carry That Weight), 10 September 2014.jpg, Part of Sulkowicz's performance, an action called "Llevemos el peso entre todas" (''Carry That Weight Together'') File:Emma Sulkowicz, 14 December 2014.jpg, Sulkowicz's portrait in one of the presentations of the work File:Roberta Smith, Emma Sulkowicz, 14 December 2014.jpg, Roberta Smith, ''New York Times'' art critic (left), discussing ''Mattress Performance'' with Sulkowicz, Brooklyn Museum, December 14, 2014 File:Un violador en tu camino, performance Oaxaca 2019.jpg, Mexican interpretation of ''A Rapist in Your Path'' in Oaxaca, November 27, 2019 File:El violador eres tú, Santiago 20191219 36.jpg, ''A Rapist in Your Path'' presented in the context of the 2019-2020 Chilean protests File:Un violador en tu camino Lima, Perú.png, Peruvian interpretation of ''A Rapist in Your Path'' in Lima, December 12, 2019 File:Estado violador.jpg, ''A Rapist in Your Path'' presented in the context of the 2019-2020 Chilean protests File:"el violador eres tú".jpg, A child intervening during the performance of ''A Rapist in Your Path''


See also

* ART/MEDIA * Classificatory disputes about art * Conceptual art * COUM Transmissions * Danger music * Digital Live Art * Endurance art * Experimental theatre * Flash mob *
Fluxus Fluxus was an international, interdisciplinary community of artists, composers, designers and poets during the 1960s and 1970s who engaged in experimental art performances which emphasized the artistic process over the finished product. Fluxus i ...
* Graphic arts * Guerrilla theatre * Happening * List of performance artists * Living statue * New media art * Noise music * Poetry slam * Radio drama *
Survival Research Laboratories SRL Performance in Los Angeles, 2006 Survival Research Laboratories (SRL) is an American performance art Performance art is an artwork or art exhibition created through actions executed by the artist or other participants. It may be live, throu ...


References


Bibliography

* * Per Bäckström, Bäckström, Per. "Performing the Poem. The Cross-Aesthetic Art of the Nordic Neo-Avant-Garde", ''The Angel of History. Literature, History and Culture'', Vesa Haapala, Hannamari Helander, Anna Hollsten, Pirjo Lyytikäinen & Rita Paqvalen (eds.), Helsinki: The Department of Finnish Language and Literature, University of Helsinki, 2009. * Per Bäckström, Bäckström, Per
“Kisses Sweeter than Wine. Öyvind Fahlström and Billy Klüver: The Swedish Neo-Avant-Garde in New York”
''Artl@s Bulletin'', vol. 6, 2017: 2 ''Migrations, Transfers, and Resemantization''. * Per Bäckström, Bäckström, Per
“The Intermedial Cluster.Åke Hodell's Lågsniff”
''Acta Universitatis Sapientiae'', Series Film & Media Studies, de Gruyter, no. 10 2015. * Per Bäckström, Bäckström, Per
”’The Trumpet in the Bottom’. Öyvind Fahlström and the Uncanny”
''Edda'' 2017: 2. *Beisswanger, Lisa:
Performance on Display. Zur Geschichte lebendiger Kunst im Museum
'' Deutscher Kunstverlag, Berlin 2021, ISBN 978-3-422-98448-6 (in German) * ''Beuys Brock Vostell. Aktion Demonstration Partizipation 1949–1983''. ZKM – Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie, Hatje Cantz Verlag, Hatje Cantz, Karlsruhe, 2014, . * Battcock, Gregory; Nickas, Robert (1984). ''The Art of Performance: A Critical Anthology''. New York, E.P. Dutton. * Carlson, Marvin (1996). ''Performance: A Critical Introduction''. London and New York: Routledge. , * Carr, C. (1993). ''On Edge: Performance at the End of the Twentieth Century''. Wesleyan University Press. , * Dempsey, Amy, ''Art in the Modern Era: A Guide to Styles, Schools, & Movements'', Publisher: Harry N. Abrams, (basic definition and basic overview provided). * Dreher, Thomas
''Performance Art nach 1945. Aktionstheater und Intermedia.''
München: Wilhelm Fink 2001. (in German) * Fischer-Lichte, Erika: ''Ästhetik des Performativen''. Frankfurt: edition suhrkamp 2004. (in German) * * * * Roselee Goldberg, Goldberg, Roselee (1998) ''Performance: Live Art Since 1960''. Harry N. Abrams, NY NY. * Goldberg, Roselee (2001). ''Performance Art: From Futurism to the Present'' (World of Art). Thames & Hudson * Gómez-Peña, Guillermo (2005). ''Ethno-techno: Writings on performance, activism and pedagogy''. Routledge, London. * Jones, Amelia and Adrian Heathfield, Heathfield, Adrian (eds.) (2012), ''Perform, Repeat, Record. Live Art in History''. Intellect, Bristol. *Phelan, Peggy: ''Unmarked. The Politics of Performance.'' Routledge, London 1993, ISBN 9780415068222 * Rockwell, John (2004). "Preserve Performance Art?" ''New York Times'', April 30. * Schimmel, Paul (ed.) (1998). ''Out of Actions: Between Performance and the Object, 1949–1979''. Thames and Hudson, Los Angeles. Library of the Congress NX456.5.P38 S35 1998 * Smith, Roberta (2005). "Performance Art Gets Its Biennial". ''New York Times'', November 2. * Best, Susan, "The Serial Spaces of Ana Mendieta" Art History, April 2007 https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-8365.2007.00532.x * Best, Susan, "Ana Mendieta: Affect Miniatiarizatin, Emotional Ties and the Silueta Series," Visualizing Feeling: Affect and the Feminine Avant-Garde (London: I B Tauris, 2011) 92–115 *
Del Valle, Alejandro. "Ana Mendieta: Performance in the way of the primitive". ''Arte, Individuo y Sociedad'', 26 (1) 508–523


Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden. Traditional Fine Arts Organization, Inc.
Ana Mendieta: New Museum archive


External links



* [http://dreher.netzliteratur.net/2_Performance_Kunst_Titel.html Thomas Dreher]: Intermedia Art: Performance Art (most articles in German) {{DEFAULTSORT:Performance Art Performance art, Contemporary art Performing arts Theatre Culture jamming techniques Art movements Postmodern theatre