PERFORMANCE ART Definition of Performance Art, taken from Wikipedia Note that I do not necessarily agree with this definition www.damiantoro.com Performance art refers largely to a performance which is 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 will often include some form of action or spoken word which is a form of direct communication between the artist and audience, rather than a script written beforehand. It often entails a dramatic performer who is directly aware of and in communication with the audience, much the same as a singer or juggler in a concert or variety show might be said to perform directly for an audience, rather than creating a fictitious character who inhabits a fictitious dramatic setting on the stage. Performance art often breaks the fourth wall, meaning that the performance artist does not seek to behave as if unaware of the audience. Some performance art may utilize a script or create a fictitious dramatic setting, but still constitutes 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. In this way, the performance work itself partakes of a form of direct communication with the audience, by relying on the audience's familiarity with nominal dramatic premises and norms, in order to go beyond them or circumvent them, even if the characters within the work themselves do not evince such awareness. Although performance art could be said to include relatively mainstream forms of performance such as dance, music, and circus‐related things like fire breathing, juggling and gymnastics, these are normally instead known as the performing arts. Performance art is a term usually reserved to refer to a more 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. Furthermore, performance art can include any type of physical stage performance which is not an exhibition of direct artistry such as theater, music or dance, but rather incorporates satirical or conceptual elements; an example of this is Blue Man Group. In performance art, the actions of an individual or a group at a particular place and in a particular time constitute the work. Performance art can happen anywhere, in any venue or setting and for any length of time. Performance art can be any situation that involves four basic elements: time, space, the performer's body and a relationship between performer and audience. Performance art traditionally involves the artist and other actors, but works like Survival Research Laboratories’ pieces, utilizing robots and machines without people, may also be seen as an offshoot of performance art. In some cases,the audience unwittingly becomes part of that performance. Origins The first forms of performance art began in the Middle Ages, in the forms of itinerant poets such as minstrels, troubadors, bards, and in some cases jesters. These were artists who often composed and performed their own works. In the case of minstrels, their poems were often composed spontaneously, and bore direct relevance to the audience and their society. Thus, they constituted an early form of performance art. This evolved into various forms in various cultures, such as Commedia dell’arte in Italy, pantomime in Great Britain, mime artists (which are quite distinct from pantomime), harlequinade in various European societies, skomorokh in Russia, and folk plays in various countries. In modern era, there continue to be some paradigmatic roles which fit this function, such as buskers. Modern development In the modern era, there have been a variety of new works, concepts and artists which have led to new kinds of performance art. Andy Warhol was noted for staging new types of mass events and performance art in New York, notably with the Velvet Underground and also with the Warhol Superstars. Laurie Anderson’s performance art has been staged at a number of major venues, such as Lincoln Center. Modern artistic concepts such as surrealism and dadaism were used by several artists to produce new kinds of performance art. In the 1960s, an increasing number of artists produced new forms of performance art, including Yves Klein, Allan Kaprow ‐who coined the term Happenings‐ Carolee Schneemann, Hermann Nitsch, Yoko Ono, Wolf Vostell, Joseph Beuys, Barbara T. Smith, Vito Acconci, Joan Jonas, the women associated with the Feminist Studio Workshop and the Woman's Building in Los Angeles, and Chris Burden. But performance art was certainly anticipated, if not explicitly formulated, by Japan’s Gutai group of the 1950s, especially in such works as Atsuko Tanaka’s "Electric Dress" (1956). In 1970 the British‐based pair Gilbert and George created the first of their "living sculpture" performances when they painted themselves gold and sang "Underneath The Arches" for extended periods. Jud Yalkut, a pioneering video artist, and others, such as Carolee Schneemann and Sandra Binion, began combining video with other media to create experimental works. Guerrilla theater, or street theater, including performances by students and others, have regularly appeared within the ranks of antiwar movements. The anarchist antiwar group the Yippies, partly organized by Abbie Hoffmann, performed street theater when they dropped hundreds of dollar bills from the balcony of the Stock Exchange in New York. Latino, Latin‐American, and other street theater groups, including those like the San Francisco Mime Troupe, that stem from circus and traveling theater traditions, should also be mentioned. Although they may not be not direct antecedents of art‐world performance, their influence, particularly in the United States should be noted— as should that of the U.S. conceptual artist Sol Lewitt, who in the early 1960s converted mural‐style drawing into an act of performance by others. Performance art, because of its relative transience, had a fairly robust presence in the avant‐garde of East Bloc countries, especially Yugoslavia and Poland, by the 1970s. Western cultural theorists often trace performance art activity back to the beginning of the 20th century. Dada, for example, provided a significant progenitor with the unconventional performances of poetry, often at the Cabaret Voltaire, by the likes of Richard Huelsenbeck and Tristan Tzara. There were also Russian Futurist artists who could be identified as performance artists, such as David Burliuk, who painted his face for his actions (1910–20). However, there are accounts of Renaissance artists putting on public performances that could be said to be early ancestors of modern performance art. Some performance artists and theorists point to other traditions and histories, ranging from tribal to sporting and ritual or religious events. Performance art activity is not confined to European or American art traditions; many notable practitioners can be found in Asia and Latin America. Performance In performance art, usually one or more people perform in front of an audience. Performance artists often challenge the audience to think in new and unconventional ways about theater and performing, break conventions of traditional performing arts, and break down conventional ideas about "what art is," a preoccupation of modernist experimental theater and of postmodernism. Thus, even though in most cases the performance is in front of an audience, in some cases, notably in the later works of Allan Kaprow, the audience members become the performers. The performance may be scripted, unscripted, or improvisational. It may incorporate music, dance, song, or complete silence. Art‐world performance has often been an intimate set of gestures or actions, lasting from a few minutes to many hours, and may rely on props or avoid them completely. Performance may occur in transient spaces or in galleries, room, theaters or, auditoriums. 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.” Allan Kaprow’s performance art attempted to integrate art and life. Through Happenings, the separation between life, art, artist, and audience becomes blurred. The Happening allows the artist to experiment with body motion, recorded sounds, written and spoken texts, and even smells. One of Kaprow's earliest Happenings was the "Happenings in the New York Scene," written in 1961 as the form was developing. Genres Performance art genres include body art, fluxus, happening, action poetry, and intermedia. Some artists, e.g. the Viennese Actionists and neo‐Dadaists, prefer to use the terms live art, "action art", intervention or "manoeuvre" to describe their activities. These activities are also sometimes referred to simply as "actions"