What is Performance Art?

O que é Performance Art?

What is Performance Art?
Performance Art is a movement performed live in front of the public, that is, they are works created through actions carried out by the artist or other participants. This movement differs from traditional theater by its rejection of a clear narrative, by the use of random structures or by being based on chance and direct appeal to the audience.

kazuo shiraga | Magazine | P55.ARTKazuo Shiraga

When did Performance Art appear?
This movement emerged in the second half of the 20th century, in the 1960s and 1970s in the United States of America, from the development of other movements, such as pop art, minimalism and conceptual art. In this post-war period, performance thus aligned itself with conceptual art, due to its often immaterial nature, and offered liveliness, physical movement and impermanence to artists who wanted an alternative to the static permanence of painting and sculpture. .
While the terms 'performance' and 'performance art' only became widely used in the 1970s, the history of performance in the visual arts stems from the Futurist Dadaist productions and cabarets of the 1910s. the conventions of traditional forms of visual art such as painting and sculpture. When these modes no longer seem to respond to the needs of artists - when they seem too conservative, or too entangled in the traditional art world and too far removed from ordinary people - artists often turn to performance to find new audiences and test new ideas. .

robert rauschenberg | Magazine | P55.ARTRobert Rauschenberg

How is performance art different from many other forms of artistic expression?
After World War II, performance emerged as a useful way for artists to explore philosophical and psychological questions about human existence. For this generation, which witnessed the destruction wrought by the Holocaust and the atomic bomb, the body offered a powerful medium for communicating shared physical and emotional experiences. Whereas painting and sculpture relied on expressive form and content to convey meaning, performance forces viewers to engage with a real person who could feel cold and hunger, fear and pain, excitement and embarrassment – just like they did.Thus, the performances explore our most basic instincts: human behavior, physical and psychological needs for food, shelter, sex and human interaction, individual fears and self-awareness, concerns about life, the future and the world. There are some varieties of the term performance art, such as “actions” or even action painting. The German artist Joseph Beuys preferred the term actions because it distinguished artistic performance from the more conventional types of entertainment found in the theater.While the term encompasses a wide range of artistic practices that involve bodily experience and live action, its radical connotations derive from this challenge to conventional social mores and past artistic values.

MarinaAbramovic | Magazine | P55.ARATMarinaAbramovicand Ulay

Some artists, largely inspired by Abstract Expressionism, used performance to emphasize the role of the body in artistic production. In front of a live audience, Kazuo Shiraga of the Japanese Gutai Group created a sculpture by crawling through a pile of mud.Georges Mathieustaged similar performances in Paris, where he threw paint violently on his canvas. There was thus a transformation of attention from the art of the object to the action of the artist, creating tension between what is art and what is life. An example of this are the performances ofMarinaAbramović, John Cage's musical compositions such as 4 '33 ``, Robert Rauschenberg's nine-night-in-the-dark electronic tennis match, among others.

Yoko Ono | Magazine | P55.ARTYoko Ono and John Lennon

Fluxus artists, poets and musicians also challenged viewers by presenting the most mundane events – brushing your teeth, making a salad, leaving the theater – as art forms. A well-known example is the “bed-in” that Fluxus artist,Yoko Ono, staged in 1969 with her husband John Lennon. Typical of many performances,Yoko Onoand Lennon made ordinary human activity a public spectacle that required personal interaction and raised popular awareness of their pacifist beliefs.

Carolee Schneemann | Magazine | P55.ARTCarolee Schneemann

In the politicized environment of the 1960s, many artists employed performance to address emerging social concerns. For feminist artists in particular, using their bodies in live performance has proven effective in challenging historical representations of women. In keeping with past tradition, artists such as Carolee Schneemann, Hannah Wilke and Valie Export displayed their naked bodies to the viewer's gaze, but resisted the idealized notion of women as passive objects of beauty and desire. Through their words and actions, they confronted the public and raised questions about the relationship of women's experience to cultural beliefs and institutions, physical appearance and bodily functions, including menstruation and pregnancy.

Hannah Wilke | Magazine | P55.ARTHannah Wilke

Performance in the 21st Century
The mainstream acceptance of performance over the past 30 years has led to new trends in practice and understanding. Ironically, the need to position performance in art history has led museums to focus heavily on photography and video in order to be able to document events live. In 2010,MarinaAbramovic, a performance pioneer, had the first performance retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art. The artist began to use her own body as the subject, object and medium of her work in the early 1970s, she presented at MoMA the exhibitionMarinaAbramovic: The Artist Is Present. Every day that the Museum was open between March 14 and May 31, 2010, the Museum itselfMarinaAbramovicwas seated in front of an empty chair in which museum visitors were invited to sit in front of her for as long as they wanted. The Artist Is Present is the longest performance byMarinaAbramovicuntil today.

marina abramovic | Magazine | P55.ART

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