Performance Art

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Performance art, also referred to as “body art” or “live art,” is a time-based form of contemporary art that takes the human body, both as a material entity and in its relation to the cultural politics of gender, sexuality, race, and class, as the primary medium of creative expression. This entry examines the history of performance art from its roots in the modernist movements of the historical avant-garde to its emergence as an autonomous art form during the 1960s and 1970s and to the mainstreaming of performance in contemporary art in the twenty-first century. It pays special attention to the ways in which feminist art and queer performance have turned the human body into a site for the traversal of aesthetic experience, for the affirmation of the agency and subjectivity of minority groups, and for the enactment of progressive personal, social, and political change.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Wiley Blackwell Encyclopedia of Gender and Sexuality Studies
EditorsNancy Naples
Place of PublicationMalden/Oxford
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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