Performance art

From ArticleWorld

Performance art is often mistaken with Performing Arts. While the second one refers to types of performances, the first one does not. It is art, where all the actions of a group of performers (one or more) is what makes the work of it. This translates in the fact that it can virtually happen at any time and at any place. There are four elements that are a must have and they are:

  1. Time
  2. The body of the performer
  3. Space
  4. Relationship with an audience

Performance art is often unscripted and unconventional, and relies heavily on visual aspect of a show.


Performance art has a long history behind it. It was first started around 1960 by artists such as Hermann Nitsch and Vito Acconci. Many specialists even consider the beginning of the 20th century as the starting point of this activity. The Renaissance is considered the inspiration behind the movement although there are indications that it pre-dates that era.


When talking about the actual performance of the performance art there are many things that can happen. Any action that can be categorized as art that is performed in any way can be referred to as being performance art. For example, one may recite a poem in front of his friends. This is a case in which the body of the one telling poetry is used in a space and at a particular time. It will create a relationship with an audience (the friends) thus making this simple reciting into performance art, as it has all its elements. Genres that are considered to be performance arts include:

  • body art
  • action poetry
  • intermedia
  • fluxus

Performance art is about taking a show to the people directly. An examples of a performing art can even be standing still in a position without moving for several minutes or even hours. The possibilities are endless and rely on human imagination.