Performance art is a performance presented to an audience within a fine art context, traditionally interdisciplinary. Performance may be either scripted or unscripted, random or carefully orchestrated, spontaneous or otherwise carefully planned with or without audience participation. The performance can be live or via media; the performer can be present or absent. It can be any situation that involves four basic elements: time, space, the performer's body, or presence in a medium, and a relationship between performer and audience. Performance art can happen anywhere, in any type of venue or setting and for any length of time. The actions of an individual or a group at a particular place and in a particular time constitute the work.
In European academic traditions, fine art is art developed primarily for aesthetics or beauty, distinguishing it from decorative art or applied art, which also has to serve some practical function, such as pottery or most metalwork. In the aesthetic theories developed in the Italian Renaissance, the highest art was that which allowed the full expression and display of the artist's imagination, unrestricted by any of the practical considerations involved in, say, making and decorating a teapot. It was also considered important that making the artwork did not involve dividing the work between different individuals with specialized skills, as might be necessary with a piece of furniture, for example. Even within the fine arts, there was a hierarchy of genres based on the amount of creative imagination required, with history painting placed higher than still life.
Interdisciplinarity or interdisciplinary studies involves the combining of two or more academic disciplines into one activity. It draws knowledge from several other fields like sociology, anthropology, psychology, economics etc. It is about creating something by thinking across boundaries. It is related to an interdiscipline or an interdisciplinary field, which is an organizational unit that crosses traditional boundaries between academic disciplines or schools of thought, as new needs and professions emerge. Large engineering teams are usually interdisciplinary, as a power station or mobile phone or other project requires the melding of several specialties. However, the term "interdisciplinary" is sometimes confined to academic settings.
Performance art is an essentially contested concept: any single definition of it implies the recognition of rival uses. As concepts like "democracy" or "art", it implies productive disagreement with itself.
The meaning of the term in the narrower sense is related to postmodernist traditions in Western culture. From about the mid-1960s into the 1970s, often derived from concepts of visual art, with respect to Antonin Artaud, Dada, the Situationists, Fluxus, installation art and conceptual art, performance art tended to be defined as an antithesis to theatre, challenging orthodox art forms and cultural norms. The ideal had been an ephemeral and authentic experience for performer and audience in an event that could not be repeated, captured or purchased.The widely discussed difference, how concepts of visual arts and concepts of performing arts are utilized, can determine the meanings of a performance art presentation.
Antoine Marie Joseph Artaud, better known as Antonin Artaud, was a French dramatist, poet, essayist, actor, and theatre director, widely recognized as one of the major figures of twentieth-century theatre and the European avant-garde. He is best known for conceptualizing a 'Theatre of Cruelty'.
Dada or Dadaism was an art movement of the European avant-garde in the early 20th century, with early centers in Zürich, Switzerland, at the Cabaret Voltaire ; New York Dada began circa 1915, and after 1920 Dada flourished in Paris. Developed in reaction to World War I, the Dada movement consisted of artists who rejected the logic, reason, and aestheticism of modern capitalist society, instead expressing nonsense, irrationality, and anti-bourgeois protest in their works. The art of the movement spanned visual, literary, and sound media, including collage, sound poetry, cut-up writing, and sculpture. Dadaist artists expressed their discontent with violence, war, and nationalism, and maintained political affinities with the radical far-left.
Fluxus was an international, interdisciplinary community of artists, composers, designers and poets during the 1960s and 1970s who engaged in experimental art performances which emphasized the artistic process over the finished product. Fluxus is known for experimental contributions to different artistic media and disciplines and for generating new art forms. These art forms include intermedia, a term coined by Fluxus artist Dick Higgins; conceptual art, first developed by Henry Flynt;, an artist often mistakenly labelled as Fluxus though he considers himself to be extremely separate from the label, and video art, first pioneered by Nam June Paik and Wolf Vostell. Dutch gallerist and art critic Harry Ruhé describes Fluxus as "the most radical and experimental art movement of the sixties."
Performance art is a term usually reserved to refer to a conceptual art which conveys a content-based meaning in a more drama-related sense, rather than being simple performance for its own sake for entertainment purposes. It largely refers to a performance presented to an audience, but which does not seek to present a conventional theatrical play or a formal linear narrative, or which alternately does not seek to depict a set of fictitious characters in formal scripted interactions. It therefore can include action or spoken word as a communication between the artist and audience, or even ignore expectations of an audience, rather than following a script written beforehand.
Conceptual art, sometimes simply called conceptualism, is art in which the concept(s) or idea(s) involved in the work take precedence over traditional aesthetic, technical, and material concerns. Some works of conceptual art, sometimes called installations, may be constructed by anyone simply by following a set of written instructions. This method was fundamental to American artist Sol LeWitt's definition of conceptual art, one of the first to appear in print:
In conceptual art the idea or concept is the most important aspect of the work. When an artist uses a conceptual form of art, it means that all of the planning and decisions are made beforehand and the execution is a perfunctory affair. The idea becomes a machine that makes the art.
A narrative or story is an account of a series of related events, experiences, or the like, whether true or fictitious. The word derives from the Latin verb narrare, which is derived from the adjective gnarus. Along with exposition, argumentation and description, narration, broadly defined, is one of four rhetorical modes of discourse. More narrowly defined, it is the fiction-writing mode in which the narrator communicates directly to the reader.
Some types of performance art nevertheless can be close to performing arts. Such performance may utilize a script or create a fictitious dramatic setting, but still constitute performance art in that it does not seek to follow the usual dramatic norm of creating a fictitious setting with a linear script which follows conventional real-world dynamics; rather, it would intentionally seek to satirize or to transcend the usual real-world dynamics which are used in conventional theatrical plays.
Performance artists often challenge the audience to think in new and unconventional ways, break conventions of traditional arts, and break down conventional ideas about "what art is". As long as the performer does not become a player who repeats a role, performance art can include satirical elements; utilize robots and machines as performers, as in pieces of the Survival Research Laboratories; involve ritualised elements (e.g. Shaun Caton); or borrow elements of any performing arts such as dance, music, and circus.
Survival Research Laboratories (SRL) is a machine performance art group credited for pioneering the genre of large-scale machine performance. After about 30 years in San Francisco, California, SRL spent most of 2008 moving to Petaluma, California.
Shaun Caton is a British performance artist and painter, who has created over 280 live performances worldwide since the early 1980s. Often characterised by extreme duration or brevity, his works incorporate the installation of ancient and organic items, with the making of gigantic paintings, often illuminated by ultraviolet lighting. These works strongly reflect prehistoric or apocalyptic imagery.
Performing arts are a form of art in which artists use their voices, bodies or inanimate objects to convey artistic expression. It is different from visual arts, which is when artists use paint, canvas or various materials to create physical or static art objects. Performing arts include a range of disciplines which are performed in front of a live audience.
Some artists, e.g. the Viennese Actionists and neo-Dadaists, prefer to use the terms "live art", "action art", "actions", "intervention" (see art intervention) or "manoeuvre" to describe their performing activities. As genres of performance art appear body art, fluxus-performance, happening, action poetry, and intermedia.
Viennese Actionism was a short and violent movement in 20th-century art. It can be regarded as part of the many independent efforts of the 1960s to develop "performance art". Its main participants were Günter Brus, Otto Mühl, Hermann Nitsch, and Rudolf Schwarzkogler. As "actionists", they were active between 1960 and 1971. Most have continued their artistic work independently from the early 1970s onwards.
Neo-Dada was a movement with audio, visual and literary manifestations that had similarities in method or intent with earlier Dada artwork. It sought to close the gap between art and daily life, and was a combination of playfulness, iconoclasm, and appropriation. In the United States the term was popularized by Barbara Rose in the 1960s and refers primarily, although not exclusively, to work created in that and the preceding decade. There was also an international dimension to the movement, particularly in Japan and in Europe, serving as the foundation of Fluxus, Pop Art and Nouveau réalisme.
Art intervention is an interaction with a previously existing artwork, audience, venue/space or situation. It has the auspice of conceptual art and is commonly a form of performance art. It is associated with the Viennese Actionists, the Dada movement and Neo-Dadaists. Stuckists have made extensive use of it to affect perceptions of artworks they oppose and as a protest against existing interventions.
Performance art activity is not confined to European or American art traditions; notable practitioners can be found in Asia and Latin America. Performance artists and theorists point to different traditions and histories, ranging from tribal to sporting and ritual or religious events. In an episode of In Our Time broadcast on Thu, 20 Oct 2005, 21:30 on BBC Radio 4, Angie Hobbs, Lecturer in Philosophy, University of Warwick; Miriam Griffin, Fellow of Somerville College, Oxford; and John Moles, Professor of Latin, University of Newcastle discussed with Melvyn Bragg the idea that Antisthenes and Diogenes in ancient Greece practiced a form of performance art and that they acquired the epithet of cynic which means "dog" due to Diogenes behaving repeatedly like a dog in his performances.
Western cultural theorists often trace performance art activity back to the beginning of the 20th century, to the Russian constructivists, Futurists and Dada. Dada provided a significant progenitor with the unconventional performances of poetry, often at the Cabaret Voltaire, by the likes of Richard Huelsenbeck and Tristan Tzara. Russian Futurist artists could be identified as precursors of performance, such as David Burliuk, who painted his face for his actions (1910–20) and Alexander Rodchenko and his wife Varvara Stepanova.
According to the art critic Harold Rosenberg in the 1940s and 1950s Action Painting gave artists the freedom to perform—the canvas as "an arena in which to act", thereby rendering the paintings as traces of the artist's performance in his/her studio. Abstract expressionism and Action painting preceded the Fluxus movement, Happenings and the emergence of Performance Art.
Performance art was anticipated, if not explicitly formulated, by Japan's Gutai group of the 1950s, especially in such works as Atsuko Tanaka's Electric Dress (1956).
Yves Klein had been a precursor of performance art with the conceptual pieces of Zone de Sensibilité Picturale Immatérielle (Zones of Immaterial Pictorial Sensibility) 1959–62, Anthropométries (1960), and works like the photomontage, Saut dans le vide (Leap into the Void). In the late 1960s Earth artists as diverse as Robert Smithson, Dennis Oppenheim, Michael Heizer and Carl Andre created environmental pieces that predict the performance art of the 1970s. Works of conceptual artists in the early 1980s, like Sol LeWitt, who converted mural-style drawing into an act of performance by others, were influenced by Yves Klein and the Earth artists as well.
In the 1960s a variety of new works, concepts and the increasing number of artists led to new kinds of performance art. Prototypic for the art form later explicitly labeled "performance art", were works of artists like Yoko Ono with her Wall piece for orchestra (1962), Carolee Schneemann with pieces like Meat Joy (1964) and Interior Scroll (1975);Wolf Vostell with his Happening YOU (1964 in New York); Joseph Beuys with How to Explain Pictures to a Dead Hare (1965); Yayoi Kusama, with actions such as a naked flag-burning on the Brooklyn Bridge (1968) and Allan Kaprow in his many Happenings.
Kaprow had coined the term Happening describing a new artform, at the beginning of the 1960s. A Happening allows the artist to experiment with body motion, recorded sounds, written and spoken texts, and even smells. One of Kaprow's earliest was "Happenings in the New York Scene," written in 1961 as the form was developing.Notably in the Happenings of Allan Kaprow, the audience members become performers. While the audiences in Happenings had been welcomed as the performers, it is only sometimes and often unwittingly that they become an active part in a Performance. Other artists who created Happenings besides Kaprow include Jim Dine, Claes Oldenburg, Robert Whitman, and Wolf Vostell: Theater is in the Street (Paris in 1958).
Hermann Nitsch in 1962 presented his "Theatre of Orgies and Mysteries" (Orgien- und Mysterien Theater), a precursor to performance art, close to the performing arts.
Andy Warhol during the early 1960s beginning to create films and video,in the mid-60s sponsored the Velvet Underground and staged events and performances in New York, like the Exploding Plastic Inevitable (1966) that featured live Rock music, exploding lights, and film.
Indirectly influential for art-world performance, particularly in the United States, were new forms of theatre, embodied by the San Francisco Mime Troupe and the Living Theatre and showcased in Off-Off Broadway theaters in SoHO and at La MaMa in New York City. The Living Theatre chiefly toured in Europe between 1963 and 1968, and in the U.S. in 1968. A work of this period, Paradise Now was notorious for its audience participation and a scene in which actors recited a list of social taboos that included nudity, while disrobing.
The work of performance artists after 1968 often showed influences of the cultural and political events of that year. Barbara T. Smith with Ritual Meal (1969) was at the forefront of the feminist body-, and performance art of the 1970s; among others including: Carolee Schneemann, and Joan Jonas. Schneemann and Jonas along with Yoko Ono, Joseph Beuys, Nam June Paik, Wolf Vostell, Allan Kaprow, Vito Acconci, Chris Burden and Dennis Oppenheim pioneered the relationship between Body art and performance art.
At the beginning of the 1970s, artists whose work had already before tended to be a performance art, as well as new artists, began to present performance art in a stricter form.
New artists with radical performances were Chris Burden, with the 1971 performance piece Shoot, in which he was shot in his left arm by an assistant from a distance of about five meters, and Vito Acconci in the same year with Seedbed .
The book Expanded Cinema , by Gene Youngblood, marked a shift in the use of media by performance artists. The first book considering video art as an art form, mentions Jud Yalkut as a pioneering video artist. Since 1965 he had collaborated in dozens of intermedia performances throughout the United States, also with Nam June Paik, who beginning of the 1960s already had been a fluxus performer on the way to become a media artist. As to the art of Paik, Youngblood refers to works of Carolee Schneemann and Robert Whitman from the 1960s, which had been pioneering for performance art, becoming an independent artform at the beginning of the 1970s.
The British-based pair Gilbert and George, already in 1970, had documented actions of themselves on video, and created their "living sculpture" performance, being painted in gold and singing "Underneath The Arches" for extended periods. Joan Jonas began to include video in her experimental performances in 1972.
In 1973, Laurie Anderson performed Duets on Ice, on the streets of New York City. Marina Abramović, in the performance Rhythm 10, conceptually included the violation of her body.Thirty years later, the theme of violation, shame, and sexual exploitation would be re-imagined in the contemporary performance works of artists such as Clifford Owens, Gillian Walsh, Pat Oleszko and Rebecca Patek, among others.
Since 1973, the Feminist Studio Workshop at the Woman's Building in Los Angeles had a formative impact on the wave of performances with feminist background.
Carolee Schneemann work in 1963, Eye Body, already had been a prototype of performance art. Schneemann in 1975 drew on with innovative solo performances, like Interior Scroll, showing the female body as an artistic medium.
In the mid seventies, behind the iron curtain, in the Eastern European capitals: Budapest, Kraków, Belgrade, Zagreb, Novi Sad and other cities, the performing art was flourishing. Against the political and social control, emerged Orshi Drozdik performance series, titled Individual Mythology 1975/77 and the NudeModel 1976/77. Critical of the patriarchal discourse of art and the equally patriarchal state forced "emancipation program", pioneering feminist point of view on both, made her forerunner in the 70s political and artistic environment.
In 1976, HA Schult filled St. Mark's Square in Venice with old newspapers in an overnight action he called Venezia vive.In his 1977 performance, "Crash", the same artist let a Cessna crash into the garbage dump on Staten Island, New York.
Performance art, because of its relative transience, by the 1970s, had a fairly robust presence in the avant-garde of Eastern Bloc countries, especially Poland and Yugoslavia.
Until the 1980s, performance art had been demystifying virtuosity. Now it began to embrace technical brilliance.In reference to Presence and Resistance by Philip Auslander, dance critic Sally Banes writes "... by the end of the 1980s, performance art had become so widely known that it no longer needed to be defined; mass culture, especially television, had come to supply both structure and subject matter for much performance art; and several performance artists, including Laurie Anderson, Spalding Gray, Eric Bogosian, Willem Dafoe, and Ann Magnuson, had indeed become crossover artists in mainstream entertainment."
Despite the fact that many performances are held within the circle of a small art-world group, RoseLee Goldberg notes in Performance Art: From Futurism to the Present that "performance has been a way of appealing directly to a large public, as well as shocking audiences into reassessing their own notions of art and its relation to culture. Conversely, public interest in the medium, especially in the 1980s, stems from an apparent desire of that public to gain access to the art world, to be a spectator of its ritual and its distinct community, and to be surprised by the unexpected, always unorthodox presentations that the artists devise."
Among the performance art most discussed in the art-world of this decade were a performance by Linda Montano and Tehching Hsieh between July 1983 and July 1984, Art/Life: One Year Performance (Rope Piece), and Karen Finley's I'm an Ass Man 1987.
Until the decline of the European eastern block during the late 1980s, performance art had actively been rejected by most communist governments. With the exception of Poland and Yugoslavia, performance art was more or less banned in countries where any independent public event was feared. In the GDR, Czechoslovakia, Hungary and Latvia it happened in apartments, at seemingly spontaneous gatherings in artist studios, in church-controlled settings, or covered as another activity, like a photo-shooting. Isolated of the western conceptual context, in different settings it could be like a playful protest or like a bitter comment, using subversive metaphors to express dissent with the political situation.
Prior to 1982, Hedwig Gorski designated the term performance poetry, to distinguish her text-based vocal performances from performance art, especially the work of performance artists, such as Laurie Anderson, who worked with music at that time. Performance poets relied more on the rhetorical and philosophical expression in their poetics than performance artists, who arose from the visual art genres of painting and sculpture.[ citation needed ]
From 1981 to 1994, the Dutch visual artist PINK de Thierry created what she came to call meta-performances: a conceptual mix of intervention art in public space, performance art—interacting with an audience, installation art—utilizing large structures to perform in or with, and media art—photography and film to register and exhibit.
While the Soviet bloc disintegrated, formerly repressed activities of performance artists like György Galántai in Hungary, or the Collective Action Group in Russia, became better known. Young artists from all over the former Eastern bloc, including Russia, turned to performance. Performance art at about the same time appeared in Cuba, the Caribbean and China. Chinese performance artists like Zhang Huan had been performing underground since the late 1980s. In the early 1990s Chinese performance art already was acclaimed in the international art scene.
"In these contexts performance art became a critical new voice with a social force similar to that found in Western Europe, the United States and South America in the 1960s and early 1970s. It should be emphasized that the eruption of performance art in the 1990s in Eastern Europe, China, South Africa, Cuba, and elsewhere should never be considered either secondary to or imitative of the West."
Since 1996, HA Schult has installed one thousand life sized "Trash People" made from garbage as "silent witnesses to a consumer age that has created an ecological imbalance worldwide". They travelled to Moscow's Red Square (1999), the Pyramids of Giza (2002) and the Great Wall of China (2001).
In the western world in the 1990s, even sophisticated performance art became part of the cultural mainstream: performance art as a complete artform gained admittance into art museums and became a museal topic.
In the late 1990s and into the 2000s, a number of artists incorporated technologies such as the World Wide Web, digital video, Webcams, and streaming media, into performance art works.Artists such as Coco Fusco, Shu Lea Cheang, and Prema Murthy, produced performance art that drew attention to the role of gender, race, colonialism, and the body in relation to the Internet. Other artists, such as Critical Art Ensemble, Electronic Disturbance Theater, and Yes Men, used digital technologies associated with hacktivism and interventionism to raise political issues concerning new forms of capitalism and consumerism.
In the second half of the decade, computer-aided forms of performance art began to take place.Many of these works led to the development of algorithmic art, generative art, and robotic art, in which the computer itself, or a computer-controlled robot, becomes the performer. Similarly, robotics engineer/dancer Amy LaViers has incorporated cell phones in a contemporary dance piece calling attention to the issues surrounding our ever-increasing dependence on technology.
Since January 2003, Tate Modern in London has had a curated programme of live art and performance and in 2012 The Tanks at Tate Modern were opened: the first dedicated spaces for performance, film, and installation in a major modern and contemporary art museum.
From March 14 to May 31, 2010, the Museum of Modern Art held a major retrospective and performance recreation of Marina Abramović's work, the biggest exhibition of performance art in MoMA's history.During the run of the exhibition, Abramović performed The Artist is Present, a 736-hour and 30-minute static, silent piece, in which she sat immobile in the museum's atrium, while spectators were invited to take turns sitting opposite her. A support group for the "sitters", "Sitting with Marina", was established on Facebook. The performance attracted celebrities such as Björk and James Franco and received coverage on the internet. During Marina's performance, other artists performed for her.
A happening is a performance, event, or situation meant to be considered art, usually as performance art. The term was first used by Allan Kaprow during the 1950s to describe a range of art-related events.
Wolf Vostell was a German painter and sculptor, considered one of the early adopters of video art and installation art and pioneer of Happening and Fluxus. Techniques such as blurring and Dé-coll/age are characteristic of his work, as is embedding objects in concrete and the use of television sets in his works.
Postmodern art is a body of art movements that sought to contradict some aspects of modernism or some aspects that emerged or developed in its aftermath. In general, movements such as intermedia, installation art, conceptual art and multimedia, particularly involving video are described as postmodern.
Madeline Charlotte Moorman was an American cellist, performance artist, and advocate for avant-garde music. Referred to as the "Jeanne d'Arc of new music", she was the founder of the Annual Avant Garde Festival of New York and a frequent collaborator with Korean artist Nam June Paik.
Marina Abramović is a Serbian performance artist, writer, and art filmmaker. Her work explores body art, endurance art and feminist art, the relationship between performer and audience, the limits of the body, and the possibilities of the mind. Being active for over four decades, Abramović refers to herself as the "grandmother of performance art". She pioneered a new notion of identity by bringing in the participation of observers, focusing on "confronting pain, blood, and physical limits of the body".
George Maciunas was a Lithuanian American artist. He was a founding member and the central coordinator of Fluxus, an international community of artists, architects, composers, and designers. Other leading members brought together by this movement included Ay-O, Joseph Beuys, Jonas Mekas, George Brecht, Dick Higgins, Yoko Ono, Nam June Paik and Wolf Vostell.
The Flea Theater, founded in 1996, is a theatre in the TriBeCa section of New York City. It presents primarily new American theatre, and provides a venue for film stars to act on a very small (74-seat) stage, as well as a smaller black box theater for experimental and new works. The theater was founded by Jim Simpson, Mac Wellman, and Kyle Chepulis The Flea earned early acclaim for original productions of post-9-11 play "The Guys" and political works by A. R. Gurney. According to the New York Times, “Since its inception in 1996, The Flea has presented over 100 plays and numerous dance and live music performances. Under Artistic Director Jim Simpson and Producing Director Carol Ostrow, The Flea is one of New York’s leading off-off-Broadway companies."
Allan Kaprow was an American painter, assemblagist and a pioneer in establishing the concepts of performance art. He helped to develop the "Environment" and "Happening" in the late 1950s and 1960s, as well as their theory. His Happenings — some 200 of them — evolved over the years. Eventually Kaprow shifted his practice into what he called "Activities", intimately scaled pieces for one or several players, devoted to the study of normal human activity in a way congruent to ordinary life. Fluxus, performance art, and installation art were, in turn, influenced by his work.
Carolee Schneemann was an American visual experimental artist, known for her multi-media works on the body, narrative, sexuality and gender. She received a B.A. from Bard College and a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Illinois. Her work is primarily characterized by research into visual traditions, taboos, and the body of the individual in relation to social bodies. Her works have been shown at the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the London National Film Theatre, and many other venues.
Kristine Stiles is the France Family Professor of Art, Art History and Visual Studies at Duke University. She is an art historian, curator, and artist specializing in global contemporary art. She is best known for her scholarship on artists’ writings, performance art, feminism, destruction and violence in art, and trauma in art. Stiles joined the faculty of Duke in 1988, and she has taught at the University of Bucharest and Venice International University. She received the Richard K. Lublin Distinguished Award for Undergraduate Teaching Excellence in 1994, and the Dean's Award for Excellence in Graduate Mentoring in 2011, both at Duke University. Among other fellowships and awards include a J. William Fulbright Fellowship in 1995, a Solomon R. Guggenheim Fellowship in 2000, and an Honorary Doctorate from Dartington College of Arts in Tontes, Devon, England in 2005.
The mid-20th-century art movement Fluxus had a strong association with Rutgers University.
Participatory art is an approach to making art which engages public participation in the creative process, letting them become co-authors, editors, and observers of the work. This type of art is incomplete without viewers' physical interaction. It intends to challenge the dominant form of making art in the West, in which a small class of professional artists make the art while the public takes on the role of passive observer or consumer, i.e., buying the work of the professionals in the marketplace. Commended works by advocates who popularized participatory art include Augusto Boal in his Theater of the oppressed, as well as Allan Kaprow in happenings.
Endurance art is a kind of performance art involving some form of hardship, such as pain, solitude or exhaustion. Performances that focus on the passage of long periods of time are also known as durational art or durational performances.
Water Yam is an artist's book by the American artist George Brecht. Originally published in Germany, June 1963 in a box designed by George Maciunas and typeset by Tomas Schmit, it has been re-published in various countries several times since. It is now considered one of the most influential artworks released by Fluxus, the internationalist avant-garde art movement active predominantly in the 1960s and '70s. The box, sometimes referred to as a Fluxbox or Fluxkit, contains a large number of small printed cards, containing instructions known as event-scores, or fluxscores. Typically open-ended, these scores, whether performed in public, private or left to the imagination, leave a lot of space for chance and indeterminancy, forcing a large degree of interpretation upon the performers and audience.
In some cases [event-scores] would arise out of the creation of the object, while in others the object was discovered and Brecht subsequently wrote a score for it, thus highlighting the relationship between language and perception. Or, in the words of the artist, "ensuring that the details of everyday life, the random constellations of objects that surround us, stop going unnoticed." The event-score was as much a critique of conventional artistic representation as it was a gesture of firm resistance against individual alienation.
Robert Watts was an American artist best known for his work as a member of the international group of artists Fluxus. Born in Burlington, Iowa June 14, 1923, he became Professor of Art at Douglass College, Rutgers University, New Jersey in 1953, a post he kept until 1984. In the 1950s, he was in close contact with other teachers at Rutgers including Allan Kaprow, Geoffrey Hendricks and Roy Lichtenstein. This has led some critics to claim that pop art and conceptual art began at Rutgers.
Eric Andersen is a Danish artist associated with the Fluxus art movement. He lives in Copenhagen, Denmark.
The Smolin Gallery was an avant-garde art venue and gallery on 57th Street in New York City, at its peak in the 1960s. It was known for its involvement with installation art, performance art and experimental art, and was best known for the Allan Kaprow assemblage performance of September 11–12, 1962 entitled "Words", believed to be the first allowing the audience to participate in an art gallery context. Kaprow "used two continual rolls of cloth with words from poems, newspapers, comic and telephone books" during which the audience were asked to "tear off the words, staple them together, write notes, even attack and hack them". Verbal fragments were pasted on the walls from floor to ceiling. In April 1963, Lima and Tony Towle gave their first public recital at the gallery.
The conservation and restoration of performance art is the process of documenting, collecting, and prolonging the life of Performance Art. Performance Art often features a live presentation initially documented by an artist, cultural institution, or host location. This genre of art can take place in a wide range of mediums, and is usually based on four core elements: Time, Space, the Performer's body, and the relationship between viewers and performer. These variables determine how it can be collected and conserved within museums or cultural institutions.
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