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 ?
Self-reflection in Eastern European performance art (self-archivisation, self-commentary)
SCOTCH WICHMANN has been doing performance art for 23 years.
Or has she dragged performance art down to pop's level.
This would provide an even bigger space for performance art in the centre of Durham and make the cathedral more accessible whilst at the same time result in less congestion in the centre of Durham.
The stories will them be added to a room-size map of the city as part of a growing archive of performance art in Wales.
Many Western cultural theorists, however, often trace performance art back to the beginning of the twentieth century and to Dada, whose unconventional poetry presentations, often at the Cabaret Voltaire, involved such artists as Richard Huelsenbeck and Tristan Tzara.
There is insufficient information on how performance art interventions can support existing traditional forms of conflict resolution.
To help develop this skill, the American Dance Festival in Durham, North Carolina, offers the popular workshop called "Voice/Gesture Exploration for Performance Art," co-taught by Hemphill and her colleague Rafael Lopez-Barrantes every summer.
Topanga Days Country Fair: food, children's village, performance art, unique artisans, hula hoppers, belly dancers, 11 a.
Presenting a superbly written instruction manual on the performance art of acting, Tools And Techniques For Character Interpretation provides readers with a thematically appropriate interpretation of the great psychologists Freud, Klein, and Jung, as well as a practical understanding of the applications of psychological analysis in acting.
Much has been written about traditional art forms of drawing, painting, photography, sculpture, music, plays and movies; but little has been said about the more esoteric and avant-garde forms of conceptual and performance art; The Triumph of Anti-Art: Conceptual and Performance Art in the Formation of Post-Modernism handily remedies this deficiency.
In the early 20th century the couple created an extraordinary series of photographs that are part performance art, part surrealism, "Acting Out" presents about a hundred works that illuminate the little-studied world of 1920s and 1930s experimental theater, in which Cahun and Moore played active roles.

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