The term itself, "Performance Art" arose in the 1980's. However the concept has been around for much longer. The first time I've traced it's widespread use is by the Futurism movement in 1909. Throughout the history of modern art, used as a means to "shake up the existing establishment". Performance Art usually in front of a live audience. Early form called Happenings in the 60's.

Art movements that incorporate Performance Art:

Artists who practiced Performance Art include:

Alfred Jarry

Futurism (1909-1933)

Dada Movement (1916-28)


Pop Art


The 60's and after

Venues where Performance Art was presented include:

Related nodes:

Sources: Goldberg, RoseLee, "Performance Art: From Futurism to the Present", Thames and Hudson, NY, 1979-2001 Friedman, Ken, Editor, "The Fluxus Reader", John Wiley and Sons, West Sussex, 1998. Hendricks, Jon, "Fluxus Codex", Harry N. Abrams, NY, 1995. Last Updated 02.08.04

The art of performing seemingly non-sensical actions, in order to appear avant-garde.

These actions should make the least amount of sense possible, and ideally, should contain an element of whimsy.

Objects are an important part of Performance Art. They should preferably be unrelated to the action you are performing at the time, or, alternatively, you can make a statement by having none at all. Objects can be thrown, eaten or caressed as part of effective Performance Art.

Costume is crucial. While it is true that three international treaties have banned lycra leotards, they are the ideal outfit for the Performance Artist. You are guaranteed to look terrible, and this will add to your mystique.

Finally, the voice is the Performance Artist's best friend. Random noises are best, but spoken word will do in a pinch. If you can sing - don't. You will look like a busker, and this is not arty at all.

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