Performance is live art, it is time based and it happens in a specific place. A performer (or a group of performers) by connecting a space, site and time, undergoes an action that is presented to the public. In very specific cases the public may not be present or the notion of a public may not be clear. The action itself can also be unspecific and the presence or absence of a performance artist may also be unclear. The essence of a performance shifts the attention of the spectator towards the process of creation. This process provokes spontaneous reactions in him/her, causes a strong tension and prepares the ground for direct encounter in which a physical, psychic and mental interaction is strongly experienced.
Performance art in its early stage, when it was on the margin of art practice, was presented in spaces that were of minor importance, degraded, abandoned and unimportant for commercial art ventures. In Poland the process was similar – performance artists avoided so-called official galleries that were institutionally controlled by censorship and politicians. However, performers through undertaking their counterculture actions were actually coming closer to existing institutions, galleries, theatres and clubs in order to continue more successfully in art. Having initially existed outside of a conventional frame, performance art unexpectedly became a mighty power, able to express important and critical statements.
The artists performing in Kalisz in November are some of the most interesting representatives of performance worldwide: Paweł Kwaśniewski, Irma Optimisti, Omar Ghayatt, Jeffery Byrd.