Specialized courses offered periodically on specific aspects of the art of the
modern and contemporary world. Courses are normally research-led topics on an
area of current academic concern.
May be taken more than once for credit with different topics.SUMMARY


 The course introduces performance art from the
early 20th-century to the present day, through a chosen series of case studies.
It examines the multidisciplinary nature of performance art tracing it
back to the first Futurist experiments and Dada cabarets of the 1910s,
analyzing its developments over time, and concluding with the current debates
and practices in the field. The course explores the evolution of a time-based
media that includes diverse elements – such as live presentation, physical
movement, relational experience, and impermanence – which offered artists an
alternative way of expression to the permanence of painting or sculpture. The
course further analyzes performance art in relationship to other performative
disciplines such as theatre, dance, video art, fashion, the digital world and
addresses key subject areas of contemporary art including happenings, body art,
feminist practices, institutional critique, relational aesthetics and social



Performance in visual art, can be defined as artworks
that are created through live actions performed by the artist or other
participants that can be both spontaneous or scripted. While the term
‘performance art’ only became used in the 1970s, the history of performance
begins in the early 20th century.


Across institutions and biennials, project spaces, and
even the commercial sector, a turn towards performance is emerging more than
ever within the contemporary art landscape. Following a slow but
steady pace, throughout time, performance went through a rapid
development, being considered an opportunity to experiment with different forms
of live-ness, which gave the chance to many artists to express ideas
impactfully to an audience.

At the same time, performance art has destabilized our traditional modes
of thinking about art and its perception, while questioning the systems of
power underlying the museum and the art market. This course explores how
artists have used performance as a meaningful artistic tool that has had a big
impact on the social-psychological pathways that connect the spectator to an
artwork, and an artwork to an exhibition space. Using case studies ranging
from the 1910s to the present day, it examines how the time-and site-specific
experience of performance art is translated into the world. Different
practices in performance art will lead us to understand how performance is
a way of engaging directly with social reality and the politics of identity, in
the past, and in current times.

 Class presentations and discussions will be
supplemented by videos and readings. Interconnected assignments will give
participants the opportunity to theoretically and creatively reflect on the
course content.


Course image caption:
Adrian Piper, Catalysis III, 1970. Photo by Rosemary Mayer. Collection of the Generali Foundation, Vienna, Permanent Loan to the Museum der Moderne Salzburg. © Adrian Piper Research Archive Foundation Berlin and Generali Foundation