"Performance" can also have another more specific meaning, however. Performance art is a kind of artistic activity that developed in the 1960s, although its precedents date back, at least, to the Middle Ages. The artists seek to find new ways to express a message and question the very notion of what is or is not artistic. For example, in How to Explain Pictures to a Dead Hare (1965), German artist Joseph Beuys closed himself in a gallery, with his head covered in honey, and whispered artistic explanations to the body of a dead hare. Nine years later, he closed himself in a room with a live coyote in I like America and America likes me (1974). The coyote is an animal native to the
In many cases, the intent is to break the "fourth wall." This refers to the barrier that separates the public and the artist. The goal of this break is to make the spectator part of the stage and a collaborator for the artist. For example, in Fluids, by Allan Kaprow, the public had to touch blocks of ice until they melted. Obviously, the piece had, among other elements, a playful purpose.
A "happening" is a kind of performance art in which the activity does not take place on a stage or in a gallery, but rather in an area that the artist invades. In Pose, for example, Kaprow proposed going to various sites where there were chairs (an office, for example), sitting down, taking a photograph and leaving the photograph at the site. This kind of performance art blurs the line between art and reality and tries to erupt into daily life and give it an unexpected artistic product.
Many times, the artist even inflicts physical damage in his performance. Such was the case with Chris Burden of the
Autor: Alejandro Carpio
Published: January 28, 2012.