How Does Performance Affect the Understanding of ‘Art’?

Keywords: performance, medialization, role of the audience, comparing arts


 The article attempts to discuss some aspects of the impact of performance on the con­ceptual distinctions concerning art. This issue is very broad, which is why the starting point is the achievements of performers from the 1970s, when the concern with the theoretical context was particularly visible. At the beginning, the views of the participants of the international conference I am organized in Warsaw in 1978 are analyzed, and later texts by Rosalind Krauss and Anne M. Wagner, referring to various activities of Vito Acconci. The article concludes with an attempt to confront the theoretical consequences of sculptures and performances by Robert Morris.

Contemporary attempts at confronting artistic fields may evoke associations with the Renaissan­ce concept of art competition (paragon), but they have a different purpose. The current situation of art is characterized by its indeterminacy. It escapes generalized approaches. However, I belie­ve that an analysis of partial analogies and differences may prove to be an important justification for maintaining the concept of ‘art’.


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