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Live Art - Essay Example

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'The history of Performance art in the twentieth century is the history of a permissive, open-ended medium with endless variable, executed by artists impatient with the limitations of more established art forms, and determined to take their art directly to the public…
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Live Art

Download file to see previous pages... Modern performance art dwells on current political topics and tries to illustrate them employment various techniques. In this essay I will attempt to focus my attention primarily of the visual arts and how they passed through an evolutional process in the 20th century. Although I partially agree with the statement that Goldberg (2001) makes that performance art is a medium with endless variables, almost no barrier, crossing all known taboos, and eventually borders with anarchism, I will try to pose the contra-argument that those alternations are caused by the fast-revolving global cultural, political and social life and consequently is a process which barely faces intentional directions.
The term "performance art" was first used in the 1960's in the United States. Originally, the term referred to any live artistic event which engaged musicians, poets, film makers and so on (Goldberg, 2001). However, there were earlier forms of visual arts, for example the live performances of the Dadaists which was a combination of poetry and visual arts. Another example that Goldberg (2001) cites are the German Bauhaus, who established a theater workshop in order to examine the bonds between sound, space and light. Although, there were various other art performances the term hadn't been coined until the 1960s. By the 1970's the performance art idea spread as a worldwide acknowledged word which with the time began to be treated as a commodity - traded, advertised and sold (Goldberg, 2001). Consequently, the performance artists instilled in their art the direct contact with their audience through the public forum. This evolution of the performance art, eliminated the requirement to for galleries, agents and brokers to act as mediators between the artists and their audience. On one hand, this opened the art to the general public and aided the artists to maintain a more real contact with their admirers, on the other this process destroyed all aspects of the capitalism and gaining profits from the artists.

The main characteristics of the performance art are that:
It is in live;
There are no specific rules or guidelines, the art is experimental and if the artist says it is art, then it is;
It is not for sale, though there might be admission tickets or included film right;
It may contain painting or sculpture, music, dance, opera, film footage, poetry, dialogue, live animals, fire and everything that crosses one's mind;
It is a legitimate artistic movement and there are many institutions where it is taught as a degree course;
It is amusing, shocking, terrifying, entertaining and memorable.

The most memorable and affirmative definition that I found about visual art is, is given by Goodman (1982). The comments: "What we know through art is felt in our bones and nerves and muscles as well as grasped by our minds . . . all the sensitivity and responsiveness of the organism participates in the invention and interpretation of symbols (pp.198 - 199)." That is true about performance art is that it is influential, because it reaches everyone, because they can perceive it with their senses and react to the feelings that the art evokes in them. Goodman (1982) a philosopher most of all, notably remarks that visual art is riddled with "philosophic faults and aesthetic absurdities (p. 191)." We can refer the aesthetic absurdities to the quote that Goldberg (2001) stating that art in the 20th century resembles anarchy. If analyzed from a artistic point of view anarchy means performances combined ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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