‘Performance has always been a way for the artists to express idea through live gesture, breaking the barriers of conventional and more established art form, therefore it has been through performances that art movement such as Cubism, Dadaism first attempt to express their ideas, before they made object.’ (Performance art, RoseLee Goldberg).
Performance Art is a discipline which showed up in the 70’s. It was form of protestation from artists against the gallery system, putting itself as one of the conceptual art and it’s characterised by an art that can not be sold, bought, or speculated.
In order to help us to understand the project, our tutor Nigel Grimmer shown us the work of different artist such as documentary ‘The Artist is present’ by Matthew Akers (2012) about the artist Marina Abramović.
‘Marina Abramović is a New York-based Serbian performance artist who began her career in the early 1970s. Active for over four decades, she has recently begun to describe herself as the “grandmother of performance art”. Abramović’s work explores the relationship between performer and audience, the limits of the body, and the possibilities of the mind.’
Through my personal research I saw many performances by Marina Abramović and I deeply understand her Art as we belong to the same culture/mentality/tradition.
‘Four Performances’, 1975-1976, http://ubu.com/film/abramovic_four.html
1.Art must be beautiful, Artist must be beautiful.
2.Freeing the voice
3.Freeing the memory
4.Freeing the body.
‘Seven Easy Peaces’, 2007, http://ubu.com/film/abramovic_seven.html
‘For Seven Easy Pieces Marina Abramović reenacted five seminal performance works by her peers, dating from the 1960’s and 70’s, and two of her own, interpreting them as one would a musical score. The project confronted the fact that little documentation exists from this critical early period and one often has to rely upon testimony from witnesses or photographs that show only portions of any given performance.
The seven works were performed for seven hours each, over the course of seven consecutive days, November 9 –15, 2005 at the Guggenheim Museum, in New York City. Seven Easy Pieces examines the possibilities of representing and preserving an art form that is, by nature, ephemeral.’
“About the public … I do not want the public to feel that they are spending time with the performances, I simply want them to forget about time.” Marina Abramović, 2005
Balkan Erotic Epic, 2006, http://ubu.com/film/abramovic_balkan.html
‘Through eroticism, the human attempts to make himself equal with the gods. In Balkan folklore, men and women sought to preserve indestructible energies through the use of the erotic. They believed that erotic energy was something non-human that could only come from higher forces.
Various explicit acts were performed for a variety of purposes; to promote the growth of crops, to heal a sick child, to protect against evil spirits and so forth.
Abramović’s interest lies in what can be learned from these ancient traditions viewed now in a contemporary context.’
Dangerous Games, 2008, http://ubu.com/film/abramovic_dangerous.html )
‘In a small house with oversized furniture, located in a rice field in Asia, some children wearing army clothes and weapons, start playing war, creating between each other two armies and using children’s toys, laser weapons, machine guns and helicopters. Slowly, as the game progresses, they start imitating war scenes as seen on TV, such as negotiations and death scenes. At the end of the film, the children are coming out of the house and they deposit their weapons in front of it. The smallest child comes out in the end with a burning bramble stick in his hand and lights the pile of weapons. All the children leave while the pile is burning.
In over twenty countries around the world, children are direct participants in war. Denied a childhood and often subjected to horrific violence, an estimated 200,000 to 300,000 children are serving as soldiers for both rebel groups and government forces in current armed conflicts. Dangerous Games is a work of fiction.’
In 2014 I went on Marina’s Abramović performance ‘512 hours’ in Serpentine Gallery in London.
Yoko Ono through her ‘Cut piece’ performance asked to a whole audience to come one by one on the stage and cut a piece of her clothes and the performance stopped when the public wanted to.
Joseph Beuys (I Like America, and America Likes Me, 1974, http://ubu.com/film/beuys_america.html )
Also performative portraits of Rebecca Horn (Unicorn, 1972),Carolee Schneeman (Interior Scroll, 1975),Matthew Barney (Cremster 4, 1994 and Cremster 3, 2002),Claude Cahun (Self-Portrait, 1920), Rrose Selavy/Marcel Duchamp (Man Ray, 1921), Cindy Sherman (Untitled Film Still 13, series of 69, 1978), Gillian Wearing (Self-Portrait as My Uncle Bryan Gregory, 2003), Yasumasa Morimura (Doublenage, 1998) etc.
Generally in all performances are involved basics elements such as Time, Space, the performers’s body or through a medium and the relationship between the audience and the performer. But just because the performance is photographed doesn’t mean it wasn’t filmed. Photography often works hand in hand with videography when it comes to documenting performance art.