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Performance Art - Essay Example

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Art is continually evolving. Various events and circumstances often affect it and often generate various changes and improvements. Wars, famine, poverty, drought, and other events have often had an impact on art, and have often driven artists into fits of inspiration with various masterpieces…
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Performance Art
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Performance Art

Download file to see previous pages... This paper shall focus on performance artists and how they have been affected by various incidents and happenings. It shall highlight performance artists Marina Abramovic, Yoko Ono, and Stuart Brisley. This paper is being carried out in order to review the impact of performance art on art itself, and how these artists have impacted on the evolution and development of art in general. Each artist’s personal and professional history will first be presented, followed by a description of their significant work or performance art. Their more significant work/s shall then further be described or discussed in relation to significant incidents in their lives. Body Performance art refers to a performance which is exhibited to an audience; the performance may or may not be scripted, or it may also be carefully orchestrated or even spontaneous (Carlson, 1996, 3). In some cases, it may be performed live or taped with the performer being absent or present. It may include the situation which involves the four basic elements: time, space, performance’s body or presence in a media, and the relationship between the performer and the audience (Carlson, 1996, 4). It can happen anytime at any venue for any period. The performance of the artist exhibits the artist’s particular work of art. Three performance artists who have had a significant impact on art and on performance art shall be depicted in this essay. Marina Abramovic was born in Belgrade, and is based in New York as a Serbian performance artist (Stiles, et.al., 2008, 3). Her career first started in the 1970s and since then, she has been active in the arts for more than three decades. She has mostly been known for her performance art, exploring the relationship of the performer and the audience, the possibilities of the mind, as well as the limitations of the human body (Stiles, et.al., 2008, 5). She is considered to be the ‘grandmother of the performance art.’ In one of her earliest performances, she sought to evaluate rituals and gestures, using knives and tape recorders, jabbing the knives between her fingers and each time she cut herself, she would use a different knife (Stiles, et.al., 2008, 4). In this performance, she was able to review the mistakes of the past and her previous attempts. In this performance, she sought to understand the state of consciousness of a performer and how it was actually possible to push him into actions which he could never normally do (Stiles, et.al., 2008, 6). In her next work, she considered how to create the energy caused by extreme body pain. In this performance, she cut off her nails, toenails, and hair and tossed it into a flaming star (Richards, 2009, 6). She considered these acts of purification as against the political traditions of her past; with the star representing the communism that dominated her home country for many years. To culminate her performance, she leapt across the flames into the centre of the burning star. She however passed out from lack of oxygen, but it took a while for her audience to realize such unfortunate circumstance (Richards, 2009, 7). This incident implied how physical limits can also limit performance; in this case, her passing out limited and curtailed her performance and what she wanted to convey in her art. For the years that followed, she also attempted to test the state of consciousness and whether it could also be made part of a performance (Westcott, 2010, 18). In her performance, she took a pill used by catatonic patients. This pill caused her to go into seizures and other uncontrollable movements (Westcott, 2010. 13). She recalls that while she did not have any control over her body, her mind was clear and lucid and she could observe what was actually ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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