performance art

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performance art,

multimedia art form originating in the 1970s in which performance is the dominant mode of expression. Perfomance art may incorporate such elements as instrumental or electronic music, song, dance, television, film, sculpture, spoken dialogue, and storytelling. Its roots lie in early 20th-century modernist experiments with mixed media, particularly in DadaDada
or Dadaism
, international nihilistic movement among European artists and writers that lasted from 1916 to 1922. Born of the widespread disillusionment engendered by World War I, it originated in Zürich with a 1916 party at the Cabaret Voltaire and the
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 performances. The direct antecedent of performance art, however, can be found in the happeningshappening,
an artistic event of a theatrical nature, but usually improvised spontaneously without the framework of a plot. The term originated with the creation and performance in 1959 of Allan Kaprow's "18 Happenings in 6 Parts.
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 of the late 1950s and the 1960s. Among the most obvious differences between the two is that the later movement tends to be much less spontaneous in nature than the earlier and that happenings were almost always created by visual artists, whereas performance artists generally have more varied backgrounds, often in theater, writing, or dance.

Primarily an avant-garde form, performance art is often emotional and topical, frequently dealing with political and personal matters and with such issues as race, class, and feminism. Probably the best-known contemporary American performance artist is Laurie AndersonAnderson, Laurie,
1947–, American performance artist, b. Chicago. Originally a sculptor, she was influenced by Philip Glass and other avant-garde composers in the early 1970s and soon turned to the creation of multimedia performance art.
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; others include Nam June PaikPaik, Nam June
, 1932–2006, Korean-American artist, widely considered the founder of video art, b. Seoul, studied art and music at Tokyo Univ. and in Germany. A performance and conceptual artist, Paik worked beginning in the 1960s mainly with video, integrating visual
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 (also involved earlier with happenings), cellist Charlotte Moorman (whose avant-garde performances began in the 1960s), Michael Smith, Vito Acconci, Carolee Schneeman, Martha Wilson, and Marina Abramovic. Often classified as performance artists are such monologist-writers Eric Bogosian, Spalding Gray, Karen Finley, Anna Deavere Smith, and John Leguizamo. The form enjoyed a widespread revival in the early 21st cent., with museums and galleries restaging works originally created in the 1970s and also presenting new examples of the art.


See G. Battcock and R. Nickas ed., The Art of Performance (1983); M. Roth ed., The Amazing Decade: Women and Performance Art in America, 1970–1980 (1983); R. Goldberg, Performance Art: From Futurism to the Present (1988); H. M. Sayre, The Object of Performance (1989); C. Carr, On Edge: Performance at the End of the Twentieth Century (1993); P. Phelan, Unmarked: The Politics of Performance (1993); and E. Diamond, ed., Performance and Cultural Politics (1996).

References in periodicals archive ?
It will include a parade inspired by Crewe's 1918 Tank Week -- part of a fund-raising campaign led by the government, which saw tanks touring England's towns and cities -- and a street concert featuring music from bands and choirs from across Cheshire East.
The 'street concert', run by supporters of hardliner candidate Ibrahim Raisi was held in the area of Yousef Abad in Tehran where loud, thumping with music is played by a live DJ.
Sesame Street Makes Music features six classic songs kids can play including a reggae version of "If You're Happy and You Know It," and a jug band rendition of "Old MacDonald." Kids can play songs with the band in the Sesame Street concert hall or explore a variety of instruments on their own.
The tour will hit over 15 cities for over 20 performances by Dez Nado, including Grand Hustle's Exposure Showcase at Apache Cafe in Atlanta on April 14, Reggae On The Block Street Concert in Orlando on May 7, BET Awards BETX Music Matters Stage in Los Angeles in June, and the Fleet DJs Music Conference Showcase in Charlotte in July.
Caption: People light candles during a street concert organized to highlight the crisis in Burundi.
The three-day event from Friday features music, dance, book readings, food and drink and a street concert.
Complicating Harry's investigation efforts is the fact that there are no witnesses despite the crowds attending a nearby street concert, and no suspect, weapon or motive.
Music BEST CLASSICAL This autumn, chief conductor Vasily Petrenko completed the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra's Mahler cycle with the massive Symphony of a Thousand in Liverpool Cathedral and a stunning performance of Symphony No.9 back in the Hope Street concert hall.
He founded the Church Street Concert Series at First Unitarian Universalist Meeting House in Burlington, Vt., and gives concerts throughout New England and upstate New York.
Improv Everywhere is a comedic performance art group based in New York City that carries out public pranks such as faking a street concert by the band U2 or overwhelming a Best Buy store with people dressed in Best Buy uniforms.
In conjunction with the campaign, Common was scheduled to perform a street concert in Paris on May 6 as well as an in-store concert in the Diesel flagship in Los Angeles on May 20 and festivals in Spain and a New York.
A street concert by Satin Love Orchestra will be held during that time.