The article presents a brief history of Polish performance art – from its birth in 1978 to the present. The first part focuses on its roots and those aspects which shaped its present state. Artists during the communist regime separated themselves from politics keeping in mind how art was used in social-realism. The second part focuses on the period 1989-2000, when artists started to move different topics, but the form in which they were expressing their stance remained “classic”. After 2000, some artists became art activists and use performance art strategies in fighting for social change. Another new issue is the emergence of contemporary performance artists – choreographers. These shifts cause a conflict between artists in a discussion about the definition of performance art and the role of art and artists in society, especially in the context of art education which tends to preserve the “traditional performance art” model.
From the very beginning, performance art has been anti-institutional and counter-cultural. Because of that performance artists tended to look for other channels to achieve visibility, often intentionally avoiding it. Since the late 1960s performance art has been exhibited in independent art spaces, at festivals organized by other artists, as well as in public space as guerrilla actions. This paper discusses a subjective selection of the most interesting socially or politically-engaged performances, which at present have taken the form of perfoactivism, functioning outside the art market and popularly understood art institutions. This article is also a review of criticism around artivism, focused on writers such as Gregory Sholette, Boris Groys, Grant Kester, and Claire Bishop.
Performance art emerged out of the rebellion against art institutions understood in
a colloquial meaning of the word – i.e. museums, collectors and commercial galleries.
Performance artists of the 70s tried to work “outside of the system” – hence the
extreme cases such as performances for no or very limited audience by Chris Burden
(Transfixed, 1974), Vito Acconci (Photo Piece/BLINK, 1969), or private action by
Linda Montano and Tehching Hsieh (One Year Performance, 1983–84). In America,
it was a time when official art places were contested (I avoid the word: ‛institution’
deliberately) – the protests organized by the Art Workers’ Coalition and women
organizations against the closed circuit of white, male, heterosexual art of selected
artists. The fact that performance art does not need sophisticated infrastructure
fosters its existence in an alternative circuit. That circuit is predominantly also
independent financially because festivals, meetings and shows have happened in
many places of the world almost without any budget. From the very beginning artists
have founded independent institutions (such as Franklin Furnace gallery set up in
New York in 1976 – today it exists as an archive deposited in the Pratt Institute)
or art magazines (such as the Avalanche in New York). In USA performance artists
organized themselves around some concrete art spaces. […]
The whole text was published in the Annales Universitatis Paedagogicae Cracoviensis. Studia de Arte et Educatione vol. 12 (2017) and is available at: https://www.academia.edu/36886728/The_network_of_performance_art_festivals_as_an_independent_art_institution_a_historical_survey
Sztuka performance od początku była antyinstytucjonalna i związana z kontrkulturą. W swoim wykładzie powiem o performance’ach zaangażowanych społecznie lub politycznie, które obecnie przyjęły formę tzw. perfoaktywizmu. Zaprezentuję jego najciekawsze według mnie przejawy od końca lat 60. XX wieku do współczesności. Tytuł wykładu nawiązuje do tekstu autorstwa Lucy Lippard. Przeanalizuję też krytykę artywizmu dokonaną przez polemizującego z Gregorym Shollettem Borisa Groysa (za Walterem Benjaminem i Guyem Debordem), Granta Kestera i Claire Bishop.
Po ponad 50 latach istnienia tego rodzaju sztuki jest on wciąż wśród szerokiej publiczności uznawany za nowość, a krytycy i historycy sztuki wciąż zmagają się z odpowiedzią na pytanie: co to jest performance?
Podczas wykładu opartego na projekcie „What is performance art?” i „Timeline of performance art” realizowanego za pośrednictwem portalu http://livinggallery.info spróbuję odpowiedzieć na to pytanie słowami samych artystów-performerów.
Festival Nahých forem se zabývá otázkami nahoty a práce s tělem v umění performance. Nahota je v umění přítomná odjakživa, proto se stala předmětem úvah teoretiků a historiků umění. Kenneth Clark ve své knize The Nude zjistil, že být nahý jednoduše znamená svléknout se, zatímco akt je umělecký žánr. […]
The review was published at: http://artalk.cz/2018/03/13/nahota-jako-normalni-stav-ani-krasna-ani-oskliva-ani-erotika-ani-senzace/
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.