Performance - what is it? Let's try to understand
You walk down the street and suddenly you see twosculptures, frozen and seemingly lifeless. Someone puts the coin in the hat, lying here, on the sidewalk, and the sculptures come to life. They perform a dance or make some kind of movement, characteristic for the characters they represent, and then freeze again. The performance is not over, as long as the sculptures are here, it continues, it simply went into a static form.
"Performance? What is it? "You ask. This is one of the trends of modern art. It arose in the sixties of the last century, when stereotypes broke down in all areas of human life: art, politics, social and interpersonal relations. Many new trends in philosophy, cinematography, visual arts, music appeared just then. As for contemporary art, at the same time, there appeared currents similar to the direction of "performance art" in the form of representation - actionism, happening and others. What do they have in common, and how do they differ?
To begin with, let's look at the performance - what is it? This is a short artistic or theatrical action that takes place at a given moment in a given place and is produced by the artist himself or by a group of participants. From the theater it is distinguished by the fact that the participants in the performance do not play the learned and rehearsed roles of others. They act within the framework of the character or group of characters they portray, they "live" it. Written roles they do not have, but the plot, as a rule, is present. Another distinguishing feature of this trend of contemporary art is the central role of the person who represents it. If someone has a question: "Performance - what is this?" - you can safely answer that this is primarily the perfomansist himself, his body, gestures, additional attributes in the form of costumes, props and other expressive means. This is the main difference from fine art, where the object of representation is a canvas or a sculpture. In addition, unlike classical art, the perception and understanding of the performance does not require special intellectual preparation, it is designed for any passerby who looked, was surprised and went on without thinking about how to classify this action, who was its founder and what will be effects.
The closest associates of this kind of representation -actionism and happening. We already know about the performance that this is a theatrical action of the artist, which does not pursue any specific goals and does not require the direct participation of the public. This is its main difference from happening, which is possible only with the active participation of the public. Happening is only "conceived" by the artist, and what happens in the end depends on the spectators-participants.
Actionism - a direction in contemporary art,which focuses attention not on the fruit of creativity, but on creativity itself, on the process of creating a certain work of art. The artist draws in public, the musician - steps on the musical pedals, and music sounds from under his feet and so on. Gradually, actionism underwent changes and merged with politics and shocking. Today we see a lot of disgraces, called "artistic actions". One of the most famous and resonant of them - the "trick" of the group Pussy Riot in the Cathedral of Christ the Savior. It was a protest action carried out through musical and visual means (multi-colored tights on the head, the use of musical instruments, the recitation of certain political texts). Therefore, the girls believed that they were doing the action in the spirit of actionism, what was the result of that, we know.
Described directions (actionism, happening,performance) in art are perceived in different ways. Both supporters and opponents give weighty arguments in favor of their positions. Perhaps the only worthy judge in this dispute will be the time that will put everything in its place.