(technique, late 1950’s-present)
Performance Arts is a type of art form that requires an audience. The artist could do the performance either live or via media. It could be scripted or not, random or orchestrated, spontaneous or planned. The audience may also just watch the performance or participate in it. It all depends on the style and creativity of the artist.
Performance Arts officially started in the 1960s when a variety of concepts and new works lead into this type of movement. The first artists who excelled in this field are Yoko Ono, Carolee Schneemann, and Wolf Vostell. A decade after, Performance Art evolved into a much stricter form. Radical performances were staged, just like that of Chris Burden, where he was shot by his assistant in the left arm standing only five meters away.
Performance Arts continued to flourish in the later years until the present time. In the 1980s, the biggest art performance was ‘Presence and Resistance’ by Philip Auslander. In the 1990s, this movement became so big in Russia, courtesy of performance artist Gyorgy Galantai. By the turn of the century, computer-aided performances took place. Major museums like the Tate Modern and the MoMA, started to curate live art performances.
Legacy and Influences
Performance Arts may come in the form of visual art or conceptual art. However, this art form dares to challenge cultural norms and orthodox art forms. The purpose of this art movement is to challenge how the audience thinks. It aims to break free of the traditional and conventional ideas. Aside from people and the artist himself, the movement may utilize robots and machines to be the act performers. Dance, music, and circus are usually integrated into this art form.
A Performance Art staged by Yves Klein in 1960 captured him taking a ‘Leap into the Void’, thus the title of the performance. It was also in the same year when Carollee Schneemann gained worldwide recognition in her ‘Interior Scroll’ performance, where she danced naked. Years later, the dangerous Volkswagen act of Chris Burden in 1974 was staged. He entitled it ‘Transfixed’, as he allowed himself to be nailed into the back of the car before his got his left hand shot. The other notable art performances of the later years include Marina Abramovic’s ‘Seven Easy Pieces’; Stelarc’s ‘Parasite: Event for Invaded and Involuntary Body’; and ‘Reading the News’ by Marta Minujin.
Aside from all the names previously listed, the other notable artists who made a mark in the Performance Art movement include Yayoi Kusama, Joseph Beuys, Allan Kaprow, Jim Dine, Gene Youngblood, Laurie Anderson, Willem Dafoe, and Zhang Huan, among others.