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 ?
Beatrix is an internationally acclaimed painter, installation, and performance artist, whose works have often been described as "powerful iconic images carved from the artist's fertile imagination.
This material includes books, catalogues, portfolios and screenings presenting the work of performance artists, collectives, organisations, festivals and other initiatives of Performance Art.
The Performance Artist and I agreed this was a good thing since, firstly, waste isn't cool and, secondly, it shows that, while the restaurant will go that extra mile on quality and quantity, it would ask for a little respect in return.
Directed by performance artist Niegel Smith and featuring Tony nominee Nancy Opel, Hir also boasts the talents of Jax Jackson, the first openly transgender performer to perform at Chicago's Goodman Theatre, in the title role.
Recently Orrico has been working with performance artist Marina Abramovic at the Museum of Modern Art in a retrospective of her career.
Performance artists Michikazu Matsune and David Subal in front of their Bangor 'Store'
Some of the best contemporary performance artists from Wales will take part in this week's Edinburgh Showcase.
A hypnotherapist, performance artist, poet, and photographer who covered the 1970s punk rock scene in London, Reed says her teachings are ordinary.
But for performance artist He Yun Chang carrying a rock 12 hours a day for four months is all part of the act.
A performance artist has pulled the plug on a plan to waste 100 million litres of water after he received death threats.
Was Brecht a performance artist or a sculptor or a poet?
It's a romantic comedy, where a performance artist (guess who takes that role) falls for a divorced dad-of-two (John Hawkes) who works in a shoe store.

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