Talk:Performance art

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Performance art[edit]

The current entry here actually better describes "performing arts". Performance art is a more specialist term that refers to performance that is connected to the "fine arts" (painting, sculpture etc), and particularly to the avant-garde and postmodernist traditions in Western culture. That said, it is a sod to define and so I won't try now. But feel free to nag me if you want and I'll get round to it (unless someone else does). Ireneshusband

I've tried to improve it but, as you say, it's a sod to define. Feel free to hack it around as you see fit. --Camembert
Good work. Well done! -- Ireneshusband 07:28, 30 May 2006 (UTC)Green tickY
There's also an article entitled Introduction to Performance Art in Wikiversity which offers some additional insights. --gdm (talk) 19:11, 5 January 2010 (UTC)Green tickY


I hope my pic does illustrate performance art! That's what I've heard this kind of outdoor art called. If I'm wrong, I'll remove it. -- Adrian Pingstone 21:32 Mar 23, 2003 (UTC)

Yep, that's performance art alright. --Camembert

Actually, it is hard to know if that is performance art (in it's lineage within the history of art) or a form of street theatre. Who is the artist?

(cutting it) I suppose that's true - I think it's a fair enough picture to illustrate the article though, at least until we get one of Acconci or somebody... --Camembert

Cabaret Voltaire[edit]

Also your link to Cabaret Voltaire as an early form of performance art erroneously connects to the 1980's band called Cabaret Voltaire, who are not performance artists but musicians. The original Cabaret Voltaire, was a mutli-disciplinary cabaret and is considered an early precursor to contemporary performance art. It began in Zurich in 1916.

No, I think that link is correct - if you look at their article, you'll see it says "Their earliest performances were dadaist-inspired performance art". We could probably do with one to the other Cabaret Voltaire though - I think there's an article on it somewhere, but I can't seem to find it for the minute. --Camembert
(Found it --Camembert)

Sorry, I have no idea who the artist in my picture is, I just came across him while on holiday in Paris.
Adrian Pingstone 09:06, 26 Sep 2003 (UTC)

new picture for contemporary performance art[edit]

The quality of this picture is not great but I think it serves well as a picture for this article: the work in itself is a question on what performance is (danger? real feelings?) and how it can be documented and how this documentation is an altered view of what the real thing was. If I can get a better photo of this work, I will post it.

List of performance artists[edit]

I have concerns that the list of performance artists in this article is an easy target for sneaky vandalism. I'd like to propose categorizing everyone on this list as Category:Performance_artists, and removing the list. Any comments? -- Norvy (talk) 05:10, 30 August 2005 (UTC)

It looks like that category has been around a while. But I think the proper wiki format is an article of the list. Here are some other examples:

Clubmarx 23:58, September 4, 2005 (UTC)

The specific problem I have with a list is that people may add someone who doesn't belong, and those who actually follow that person won't know about it, because nothing happens to their page. But I would support breaking it out to a List of performance artists, if you think it's needed. -- Norvy (talk) 00:40, 5 September 2005 (UTC)

I have taken a leaf from Wikiwizard Krash who moved a list of magicians from the foot of Magic (illusion) to a new article titled List of magicians - I have just created a stub List of performance artists to which I have moved the list from Performance art. Hope it makes sense!thegirlinwhite 22:31, 30 September 2005 (UTC)

performance art[edit]

hi there. i am with you about the invidious business of listing artists - vanity does seem to be the criterion for inclusion for some of the entries. perhaps editors such as yourself need to use a simple rule of thumb - perhaps if google does not draw a result on an entry or there is no press file at that person's wiki or web site then they are perhaps a candidate for deletion?

i think it would less of a clutter to follow your suggestion of lists appearing in categories - but even THESE would need pruning along the above lines.

i also note with disappointment that the pictures used are of street entertainers. perhaps we should upload images of marina abramovic, hermann nitsch or joseph beuys? otherwise there is the danger of bathos in that the text is fine but undermined elsewhere.

the authority on this area of arts practice is generally regarded to be lois keidan of british cultural research insitute live arts development agency.


tgiw thegirlinwhite 11:30, 7 September 2005 (UTC)

Image moved[edit]

I have moved to Street theatre as this kind of presentation is not "Performance art" as defined in this article, but street entertainment, carried out by actors, not artists. Tyrenius 23:54, 30 April 2006 (UTC)


Performance art also appears to be the best way to refer to proffesional wrestling. Whilst it barely qualifies as art due to the low-brow nature, the use of this term seems to be necessary to mitigate the offense caused by labelling it as staged to a completely different degree than sport. If this could be added near the bottom, or a better term found, it would deflame the debate at that page, where this article is bizarely the first link. 20:59, 8 October 2006 (UTC)

I don't think professional wrestling fits the definition. Performance Art is by definition innovative, challenging, and non-commercial. Professional wrestling does, however, fit into the broader category of Performing Arts.--gdm (talk) 19:24, 5 January 2010 (UTC)

"Unreferenced" tag[edit]

My last edit summary should have read "added 'Unreferenced' tag," but I accidentally hit the Enter key before I was finished. I know that there is a source cited, so the tag isn't entirely accurate (it says that the article does not cite any sources), but one source is hardly enough for this topic. Skiasaurus (talk) 15:00, 11 May 2008 (UTC)

controversies of performance art[edit]

I think that the performance art wiki page should have something mentioning the controversies related to some art works. Like, we should mention things where artists were arrested for their works or where artists went against certain societal laws. Do you know any art pieces like this and can you talk about them some more; perhaps even add them to the page? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Dracothejuggler (talkcontribs) 04:58, 6 May 2010 (UTC)

Doors are open, you just must find an acceptable source to refer to.--Fluss (talk) 10:20, 20 March 2011 (UTC)

Online performance art[edit]

Since we are in an era of technology and the internet I think it is important to mention performance art from an online theme. One thing that comes to my mind about online performance art is youtube celebrities and how these people create "performance art" for their online audience. Although there is one more difference with online art which is it has the ability to be more mediated, and the artist can edit his/her work more than if it were done offline (although maybe that isnt the case with live blogging/art).Dracothejuggler (talk) 06:08, 6 May 2010 (UTC)

Good point, full ACK. Someone who can put some lines about that, with reference to a good source?--Fluss (talk) 10:17, 20 March 2011 (UTC)

Klein's Leap Into the Void[edit]

wasn't simply a performance, the final image (currently used here to illustrate performance art) is actually a photomontage, so perhaps it's not an ideal choice. See the WP article on Klein, —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:41, 19 June 2010 (UTC)

I agree. It should be removed. --Iwoj (talk) 05:54, 17 September 2010 (UTC)
Though the argument, it was not "simply a performance", because the image, according to Sunday Times July 22, 2006, is a photomontage, hits an important point, removing the image would have been nonsense. "The image, which has had a lasting influence on performance art, was expressive of Klein’s intent to explore the metaphorical void central to his work, a neutral zone free of prior prejudices" (Sunday Times July 22, 2006). Art is not an undertaking of "simply the truth". The image ins not "simply an image". It shows a conceptual work of a visual artist, consisting of the mental image of the leap, presented on the stage of photography, utilizing the limited technical possibilities in the year of production. In principle comparable are other conceptual performance scenes produced for the stage of photography, like the images of Rudolf Schwarzkogler. I agree, it does not show a performance in the conscious meaning of the word around 1970. Nevertheless, it shows an influential conceptual forerunner of such performance art.--Fluss (talk) 07:52, 20 March 2011 (UTC)
That's all very interesting but at the moment this piece isn't even mentioned in the article. Likewise, the caption currently describes it as a performance which it is not. It's a photomontage and a piece of conceptual art. It should be removed unless it is discussed in the article with sources that describe it as an influence on performance art. freshacconci talktalk 14:58, 20 March 2011 (UTC)
The leap into the void is called performance by renowned art institutions. Please read here. The present article follows a broad definition of performance art, even including performance art close to theatrical performance. We have to do with a lot of different understandings of performance art here. I will respect the broader understandings, though I inform about performance art in its narrower sense too. When I begin to base the history part of the article on sources, most likely it will refer to Yves Klein as a forerunner too. - While the distinction between conceptual forerunners and conscious performance artists will be mentioned more clear than now.--Fluss (talk) 17:03, 20 March 2011 (UTC)
I'm not opposed to the inclusion of the Klein image. It's an important work. However, there is no explanation for it currently and the caption describes it as a performance. For the uninitiated, it appears the photo is literal, that it is a documentation of a performance. As an encyclopedia, we need to assume the reader is not familiar with the work or with advanced art theory. freshacconci talktalk 17:06, 20 March 2011 (UTC)
Understanding your reasons, I'll take the Leap off the introduction. You might place another one there. Any other suggestion of you is acceptable for me also. --Fluss (talk) 17:37, 20 March 2011 (UTC)
My changes below the image and at Yves Klein in the text of the article may not be the last word, but you see, I try.--Fluss (talk) 17:59, 20 March 2011 (UTC)Green tickY

Images of contemporary works[edit]

We need some more contemporary images besides just Stelarc, which is a very specific kind of performance work. However, it really should be an artist established as a performance artist first (as opposed to someone working primarily in other media), someone who is notable and preferably not an older artist. freshacconci talktalk 16:08, 8 November 2010 (UTC)

Abramovic added.--Fluss (talk) 09:39, 20 March 2011 (UTC)


I developed the german article Performance (Kunst) during the last years and intend to upgrade the english article performance art as well. - Respecting differences in the understanding of performance art in the anglo-american and the continental european context. In the next weeks or months, the article might go through transitional stages which might provoke your critique. I see critique as a valuable source for joint development. To save us of the confusion with different incommunicative editors, please show your critique on this discussion page. By the way, I love to reference to sources.

I do not work for a performance group or individual or gallery. I know many aspects of the theme as an insider and worked backstage with or for well known performers, but I have enough art history and scientific degrees at hand, to keep a good distance to the subject. I do not intend to bring the article to top quality, but I will shake the items in the article into a time-line, differentiate better between forms and origins of performance art, explain the impact of artists, who arthistorically left tracks (no list), and finally update to the first decade of the new century. If nothing stops me inbetween.

Someone correcting my english grammar and style really would make me happy.--Fluss (talk) 09:39, 20 March 2011 (UTC)Green tickY

The paragraph Performance is partly redundant to what has been said earlier in the article, partly it can be included in different parts of the paragraph "History" which I want to extend to a more detailed history anyway.--fluss (talk) 15:06, 22 March 2011 (UTC)Green tickY

The restructuring of the content according to a timeline reveals that except content referring to the 60s and 70s the article had nothing about further developments of performance art. I deleted some dubious unreferenced redundant sentences and will include more precise material piece by piece, to make the article readable as a short overview about performance art.--fluss (talk) 15:51, 22 March 2011 (UTC)Green tickY

Contributions to an update of the article from the seventies until now, referencing to good sources, are highly welcome. If you are experienced or don't mind my editing, please directly write to the article, otherwise please suggest such material here.--fluss (talk) 08:42, 23 March 2011 (UTC)Green tickY

Actually the article only speaks about performance art that happened more than 20 years ago. Green tickY Furthermore it is US-centric. At least the last works of Marina Abramovic should be mentioned Green tickY and maybe a word about Matthew Barney and others. I might add european scene content slowly, and a bit about performance art from asean regions. I am happy, if you are faster.--fluss (talk) 11:56, 23 March 2011 (UTC)

The basic upgrade has been done by Modernist and me. Further development welcome.--fluss (talk) 13:28, 6 May 2011 (UTC)

HA Schult -- Undue Weight[edit]

I've recently been working on the article on HA Schult and noticed that the original author of that article added a significant amount of new material about this German artist in this WP article on performance art.[1] While Schult is a performance artist and notable enough to warrant his own WP article, I am not convinced that he is recognized to a sufficient degree to warrant 2 separate paragraphs in this historical article, if any mention at all. From what I can see, he has been given more text in the article than any of the other more significant artists mentioned.

As a guide for balance, I've consulted (not exhaustively albeit) a few English-language articles that deal with the history of performance art as a primary theme, (e.g. [2][3][4] and I see no mention of Schult's name. My concern is that Schult is a relatively minor figure in the history of performance art (as reflected by his virtual absence from all English languages sources dealing with this broad subject) and that by devoting so much (any?) text to Schult, it exaggerates his role and prominence in performance art history; essentially elevating him to the head of the line. The relevant policies and guidelines pertaining to these issues are: WP:UNDUE, WP:ADVOCACY, WP:SELFPROMOTE, WP:BALANCE, WP:FRINGE, and WP:PUFF.

If Schult is to be included in this article at all, the decision should be based on whether or not he is prominently mentioned in the most reliable academic texts on the history of performance art, and the weight given should mirror that of the academic sources, . Rhode Island Red (talk) 23:44, 15 August 2012 (UTC)

Undue weight? In Germany, HA Schult is reckoned among "the most important performance artists of our time". See Nico Schröter, Kai Giesler and Philipp Kohde, LOVE LETTERS BUILDING - Postfuhramt Berlin Mitte - ein Denkmal im Sog von Werbung und Marketing (Technische Universität Cottbus, 2002), p. 6. See also the many bibliographical references to publications on Schult's work in John Gray, Action Art: A Bibliography of Artists' Performance: From Futurism to Fluxus and Beyond (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1993), pp. 237-38. By the way, Schult creates performances at the cost of millions of dollars. For the immense costs of the "Crash" happening on Staten Island, New York, see Colin Naylor, Contemporary Artists (St. James Press, 1989), p. 850. For the privilege to install 1000 "trash people" on the Great Wall of China, he had to pay 4 million marks. See Flash Art, 231, 2003, 73. See also this American PhD thesis that states on p. 9 that Schult laid out the large sum of four million marks for the exhibition of his "trash people" on the Great Wall of China. In Cologne, a happening staged by Schult involving "19 luxury cars worth a total of over 4 million marks (1.8 million dollars)" caused what was described as the world's most expensive traffic jam. So much for the importance of this "relatively minor figure in the history of performance art". Wikiwiserick (talk) 19:20, 16 August 2012 (UTC)
Yes, undue weight. Please directly address the issues I raised. The material in question has been removed pending resolution of this issue. You seem to be on an WP:ADVOCACY campaign to rewrite the role of Schult in art history and to exaggerate his significance.[5] Rhode Island Red (talk) 20:26, 16 August 2012 (UTC)
I have reincluded the short references to Schult. It is only your personal opinion that Schult has no importance as a performance artist. The academic sources cited above show that he is reckoned among the most important performance artists of our time. Wikiwiserick (talk) 01:25, 17 August 2012 (UTC)
Kindly address the issues raised above instead of arbitrarily reverting.[6] Edit warring is not the solution here. Thank you. Rhode Island Red (talk) 15:35, 17 August 2012 (UTC)
The issues raised above have been addressed, as I have cited academic sources supporting the view that Schult is an important German performance artist. Wikiwiserick (talk) 11:15, 18 August 2012 (UTC)

etymology of "performance art"[edit]

When and by whom was the term "performance art" first used? This would be helpful in understanding the historical context of the 1960s, when I believe the term first came into art world use. (As well as the relationship with earlier concepts such as "happening", with which performance was often contrasted at the time - even if the present article is confused on the subject) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:29, 16 September 2013 (UTC)


Isn't "ritual" the ancestor of performance art? Kortoso (talk) 18:11, 8 October 2013 (UTC)

Interesting idea. If you have a citation for that suggestion in a good source, you can put it up as "[Author] has suggested that..." FourViolas (talk) 02:19, 10 October 2014 (UTC)

Durational performance[edit]

"Durantional performance" refers to performance art pieces which endure long enough for their length itself to be a significant component of the message.

Examples are Tehching Hsieh's One Year Pieces (one is mentioned on this page, more on his page); many of Marina Abramović's works, including The Artist is Present mentioned on this page, Ragnar Kjartansson's The Visitors currently in art-world discussion (installed at Boston's Institute for Contemporary Art, reviewed in the New York Times, etc.), and John Cage's composition As Slow As Possible (currently undergoing a 639-year-long performance).

I think it's noteworthy enough to get a section on this page, or its own page. The phrase is often used, with or without further clarification, in reviews of the above and similar works, and there are paragraphs about durationality in texts on performance art. There are Wikipedia pages for subtopics of durational performance, such as As Slow as Possible, Tehching Hsieh, and Marina Abramović Institute.

I'm new to Wikipedia protocol. Should I make the page and submit it for review, or let people kick it around here for a while, or what? FourViolas (talk) 02:05, 10 October 2014 (UTC)

Wow—looks like Mattress Performance (Carry That Weight) has single-handedly shifted common usage to "endurance art". Durational art and duration art now redirect there. FourViolas (talk) 23:28, 19 February 2015 (UTC)

Of course[edit]

Without fail wikipedia trys to get nudity on every page possible lol. WikiOriginal-9 (talk) 14:27, 14 November 2014 (UTC) (talk) 09:35, 9 February 2016 (UTC)

Merger Discussion[edit]

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section. A summary of the conclusions reached follows.
The result of this discussion was Don't merge Mduvekot (talk) 22:33, 31 January 2016 (UTC)

Request received to merge articles: Endurance art into Performance art; dated November 2015. Discuss here. GenQuest "Talk to Me" 22:57, 28 November 2015 (UTC)

  • Oppose. Endurance art is a category of performance art that seems notable and distinctive enough for its own article. SarahSV (talk) 23:09, 28 November 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose per SV and my comments in the section above. GNG is met, and the subfield is of distinct interest. FourViolas (talk) 15:32, 29 November 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose Performance art covers a particularly large field of artistic activity; while Endurance art focuses on a specific aspect of performance, needing it's own article...Modernist (talk) 16:29, 29 November 2015 (UTC)
  • Support "endurance art" exists on a continuum with "performance art". The term "endurance" is merely descriptive of a facet of some performance art, and even in that use the term is somewhat fanciful. Despite being applied the term does not set aside a distinct type of art hence the existence of a separate article is misleading. Feats of endurance are not accorded the status "art". The article endurance art suggests that David Blaine and Tehching Hsieh are engaged in similar pursuits. I don't think they are. Bus stop (talk) 06:37, 2 December 2015 (UTC)

The above discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.