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 performance, or rather the idea for the performance, came out of a performance art workshop run by visual and performance artist, curator, educator, researcher and writer Christina Georgiou.
Edgy Caper About Performers Who Kidnap Their Billionaire Boss And Turn Him Into A Performance Artist
Performance artist Michikazu Matsune and David Subal examine the global phenomenon of shopping, and perform especially for each customer.
Also included in the Edinburgh Showcase from Wales are performance artists Good Cop Bad Cop and Gerald Tyler, who will be represented as part of the Trade Fair aiming to establish links with major programmers and to develop collaborations with potential theatres and festivals from around the world.
The new museum was opened to the public on 18 January but access to it was blocked 12 days later by a sit-in staged by professional musicians and other performance artists in protest against planned government measures which, they claim, would leave them no better off than the sans-culottes.
Painters make paintiols, sculptors make sculpture, and performance artists make Performance Art.
CHICAGO -- Performance artists are rolling giant molecules down the streets of Chicago today, as GE Healthcare welcomes more than 60,000 healthcare professionals to the 91st annual Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) Scientific Assembly and Annual Meeting being held at McCormick Place Convention Center from Sunday, November 27 through Thursday, December 1.
WHY: Scotch's debut novel -- a caper comedy about two performance artists -- comes out April 10th.
Ignoring the deep flaws of this concept, it seems like our birds have the pluck, not barmy performance artists, these days.
Almost 30 performance artists will be displaying their talents in Wales this month as part of a major festival.

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