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.

Bibliography

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 ?
The festival will begin at 6pm on Friday and Wolverhampton Art Gallery where there will be a speech and live performance artists. On Saturday, there will be artist performing at a series of venues including the art gallery, Bantock House and the the Mander Centre.
CIPAF gives newcomer performance artists and the audience a place to create and meet.
This exciting and cutting-edge performance format is directed by performance artist and theater practitioner Angelo Aurelio, collaborating with young and talented rap artists Pio Balbuena, Jim Poblete and Talentadong Pinoy winner Batang Maligaya.
Performance artist Michikazu Matsune and David Subal examine the global phenomenon of shopping, and perform especially for each customer.
This year's performances at the Edinburgh Showcase include a new production by Volcano Theatre Company and a presentation by performance artist Eddie Ladd, recently commissioned by the Royal Opera House.
The title "Into Performance" refers not only to performance art, but also to the transitional period in which the five artists experimented with various media before becoming performance artists. Derived directly from the author's doctoral dissertation, this scholarly volume begins with a look at artists' historical background (both Japanese and American) and common issues, and then devotes one chapter each to the respective artists and their work.
This was followed by an afternoon of music and performance artists, including drumming group Bleoo.
Who are the great performance artists in world history--who may or may not have known they were performance artists?
Introducing a unique combination of dancing, live musicians, DJs, performance artists, cabaret, vaudeville and trapeze artists, SHOW, New York's most anticipated nightlife venue located at 135 West 41st St.
Kudos to the authors for their imaginative selection of performance artists and repertoire to enhance the narrative.
The voyeuristic possibilities provided by webcams have created a slew of (perhaps unwitting) performance artists. If you are an obsessive observer of sensational subjects, check out the New Jersey police scanner, where you can tap into a live, unedited audio stream from the world of law enforcement and emergency response.

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