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ARTH209: 20th Century Art

Unit 12: Performance   Like Installation Art, Performance Art engages more senses than sight alone. Unlike traditional theater, it is often presented in art spaces such as museums, galleries, and studios. It may also make use of public spaces, factories, warehouses, or private homes. Performance Art may or may not have a clearly identifiable plot or narrative; it may encourage audience participation; it might include a number of different media such as live performers, painting, music, writing, video, or dance. In other words, there are virtually no limits on the creator’s imagination. Similarly, the artists’ reasons for producing Performance Art vary greatly. Performance artists may attempt to break down the barriers between art and life or between public and private experience; their works may shock the viewer into new perceptions of the social situation; or performances may engage viewers in multisensory experiences.

Unit 12 Time Advisory
Completing this unit should take approximately 1 hour.

Unit12 Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:
- explain the differences between Performance Art and traditional theater; - identify and discuss the goals of specific Performance artists; explain how Performance Art works relate to the spaces in which they are presented, how they affect the relationship between the work of art and the viewer, and how they redefine the function of art and the role of the artist; and - identify the contributions of specific individuals to Performance Art.

  • Reading: Khan Academy’s SmartHistory: Dr. Virginia B. Spivey’s “Performance Art: An Introduction” Link: Khan Academy’s SmartHistory: Dr. Virginia B. Spivey’s “Performance Art: An Introduction” (HTML)
     
    Instructions: Read this essay as an introduction to the history of Performance Art and to the issues involved. The essay explains how Performance Art differs from traditional theatrical productions and why it is considered one of the visual arts.
     
    Reading the essay should take approximately 15 minutes.

    Terms of Use: This resource is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareALike 3.0 United States License. It is attributed to Khan Academy. 

  • Web Media: PBS: Art21’s “Laurie Anderson” Link: PBS: Art21’s “Laurie Anderson” (Flash)
     
    Instructions: Click on “Read More” to read the one-page essay. Then click on “Play” to watch a video in which Laurie Anderson discusses the importance of place in her work.
     
    Reading the essay and watching the video should take approximately 15 minutes.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Reading: Khan Academy’s SmartHistory: JP McMahon’s “Vito Acconci’s Following Piece” Link: Khan Academy’s SmartHistory: JP McMahon’s “Vito Acconci’s Following Piece” (HTML)
     
    Instructions: Read this essay. Note the way that Acconci’s Following Piece incorporates public space and tries to break down the barrier between art and real life.
     
    Reading this essay should take approximately 15 minutes.
     
    Terms of Use: This resource is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareALike 3.0 United States License. It is attributed to Khan Academy. 

  • Assessment: The Saylor Foundation’s “ARTH209 Unit 12 Quiz” Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “ARTH209 Unit 12 Quiz” (HTML)
     
    Instructions: Complete this assessment to gauge your understanding of the topics covered in this unit. The correct answers will be displayed when you click the “Submit” button.

    Completing the quiz and reviewing, if necessary, should take approximately 30 minutes.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.