Performance - what is it? Try to understand


2018-03-17 22:21:13




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performance that isYou walk down the street and suddenly see the two sculptures, frozen and seemingly lifeless. Someone puts a coin in the hat lying there on the sidewalk, and the sculptures come alive. They perform a dance or do some movements specific to the characters they represent, and then re-freeze. Performance (performance) is not over until the sculpture here, he continues, just moved into static form.

“a Performance? What is it?” you ask. This is one of directions of contemporary art. It appeared in the sixties of the last century, when it broke down stereotypes in all areas of human life: art, politics, community and interpersonal relations. Many new currents in philosophy, film, visual art, music appeared then. With regard to contemporary art, at the same time, there is a flow, similar to the direction of the “performance art" form submission – action art, happening and others. What they have in common and how do they differ?

performance art

To begin To understand performance - what is it? This is a short artistic or theatrical action that is happening at the moment in this place and produced by the artist or group members. From the theatre it is distinguished by the fact that the participants of the performance do not play are learned and rehearsed the role of others. They operate within them portray the character or group of characters, “live” it. Written roles, but the plot, as a rule, present. Another distinctive feature of this direction of modern art – the Central role of the person representing him. If someone has the same question: “Performance – what is it?” - we can safely answer that it is primarily up to perfomances, his body, his gestures, and additional attributes in the form of costumes, props and other means of expression. In this lies the main difference from the visual arts, where the view object is a painting or a sculpture. In addition, unlike classical art, perception and understanding of the performance requires no special intellectual training, it is designed for any passer-by who looked surprised, and went on, not thinking about how this action is to classify who was its founder and what are the consequences.


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Close associates of such performance-action art and happening. We already know about performance that is theatrical artist and non-specific objectives and not requiring direct participation of the public. This is its main difference from happening, which is only possible with the active participation of the public. Happening only “brewing” by the artist, and what happens in the end depends on the audience-participants.

The Action-the direction in modern art which focuses not on the fruit of creativity, and creativity, the process of creation of a work of art. The artist draws in the audience, musician – comes to musical pedals, and from under his feet, the music and so on. Gradually, the action has undergone changes and merge with politics and outrageous. Today we see a lot of ugliness, called “artistic actions”. One of the most famous and resonant of them – “trick” the group Pussy Riot in the Cathedral of Christ the Savior. It was a protest action, carried out through music and visual means (multi-colored pantyhose on their heads, the use of musical instruments, recitation of certain political texts). So the girls believed that act in the spirit of action, what came out of it, we know.performance art

Describes the direction (action art, happening, performance) in art are perceived differently. Both supporters and opponents give strong arguments in favor of their positions. Probably the only decent judge in this dispute will be the time that will put everything in its place. Let's wait…

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Alin Trodden - author of the article, editor
"Hi, I'm Alin Trodden. I write texts, read books, and look for impressions. And I'm not bad at telling you about it. I am always happy to participate in interesting projects."

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