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Course: modernisms 1900-1980 > unit 12, performance art: an introduction.
- The Case for Performance Art
- Shiraga Kazuo, Challenging Mud (Doro ni idomu)
- Marina Abramović: The Body as medium
- Marina Abramović: What is performance art?
- Marina Abramović
- Marina Abramović, The Artist is Present
- Mierle Laderman Ukeles, Cleaning the museum—maintenance art
- Bill Viola, The Crossing
- Vito Acconci
- Gordon Matta-Clark, Splitting
- Unlock Art: Frank Skinner on Performance Art
When Art Intersects With Life
Historical sources, action & contingency, the private made political, where is it, don't try this at home.
- RoseLee Goldberg. Performance: Live art since the 60s, New York: Thames & Hudson, 1998, page 20.
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Visual and Performing Arts Essay
Visual and performing arts entail arts that artists are chromatic in nature created for conveyance through body and voice. As such, it includes arts that can be presented in forms of drawings, crafts, photography or any type of architecture. This implies that during presentation these forms of arts are accompanied with spoken words, music, dances and other musical instruments. The individuals who perform before the audience could be actors, dancers, magicians, or singers. To enhance creativity and interest of audience, the performers could perform with stage make-up and costumes. Based on these, the enthusiasts of the work contribute to the realization of fan and joy from the performance. In addition, when the artists present live performance before an audience, this form of art is called fine art. Nevertheless, this form of art culminates to visual and performing arts (Laban & Ullmann 2011, p.35). As a result, visual and performing arts are crucial for the participators and the society as a whole.
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In my opinion, visual and performing arts entail multiple experiences for the creators, performers and audience members. For a creator, visual and performing arts should be captivating and interesting for the audience to enjoy it. This implies that one needs to adopt creativity and innovation with respect to artistic work. Meanwhile, the performer has to exploit their talents to win the hearts of audience through unique and interesting items. On the other hand, the audience member always anticipated to observe or hear what is fascinating and attractive. Through this act, one is motivated to spend his or her time and money for the arts. This unique expectation and roles of the art members is very crucial and has to be addressed appropriately at each level (Curtis et al. 2012, p.6).
The study of visual and performing arts is very crucial for the success in the industry. Through the knowledge and skills gained, one can be able to identify the evolution of the industry and make projections of audience desires in the future. Based on this notion, creativity and innovation will be stimulated that is bounded within expectations of the audience. As a result, one will flourish, and the industry will grow and expand in the right direction. Similarly, the knowledge gained through the studies enables one to understand the regulation and policies that govern the artistic industry. For this reason, one will be knowledgeable, and contributed in the industry suitably (Laban & Ullmann 2011, p.79).
There are multiple reasons for human creation or participation in the visual and performing arts. Initially, talent and innovation drives the creators in the artistic work. Based on these vital elements, creators venture into the industry to entertain and offer fun to prospective audience. The aftermath of this leads to significant income that allows one to flourish and grow with the growth of the industry. For the participators such as audience and sponsors, they get entertained while contributing to talented individuals (Curtis et al. 2012, p.8). These crucial interconnections lead to the growth of a desirable society that values human contribution.
Visual and performing arts contributions influence immensely our societies. In this case, the artistic works done by creators usually depict the real life situations. In an entertaining manner, they portray what happens in reality. As a result, the audiences gain vital tips of life and ways of handling them. Through the process of projection and reiteration of life experience, people can cope with challenges and learn means of appreciating themselves. Similarly, most artistic work present essential skills that are expected from an ideal society by differentiating what are right from wrong. As a result, a desirable society is realized.
Curtis, D. J., Reid, N., & Ballard, G. (2012). Communicating Ecology Through Art: What Scientists Think. Ecology and Society , 17 (2), 6-8
Laban, R., & Ullmann, L. (2011). Choreutics . Hampshire, UK: Alton.
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Performing arts (such as traditional music, dance and theatre)
The performing arts range from vocal and instrumental music, dance and theatre to pantomime, sung verse and beyond. They include numerous cultural expressions that reflect human creativity and that are also found, to some extent, in many other intangible cultural heritage domains.
Music is perhaps the most universal of the performing arts and is found in every society, most often as an integral part of other performing art forms and other domains of intangible cultural heritage including rituals, festive events or oral traditions. It can be found in the most diverse contexts: sacred or profane, classical or popular, closely connected to work or entertainment. There may also be a political or economic dimension to music: it can recount a community’s history, sing the praises of a powerful person and play a key role in economic transactions. The occasions on which music is performed are just as varied: marriages, funerals, rituals and initiations, festivities, all kinds of entertainment as well as many other social functions. Dance, though very complex, may be described simply as ordered bodily movements, usually performed to music. Apart form its physical aspect, the rhythmic movements, steps and gestures of dance often express a sentiment or mood or illustrate a specific event or daily act, such as religious dances and those representing hunting, warfare or sexual activity.
Traditional theatre performances usually combine acting, singing, dance and music, dialogue, narration or recitation but may also include puppetry or pantomime. These arts, however, are more than simply ‘performances’ for an audience; they may also play crucial roles in culture and society such as songs sung while carrying out agricultural work or music that is part of a ritual. In a more intimate setting, lullabies are often sung to help a baby sleep.
The instruments, objects, artefacts and spaces associated with cultural expressions and practices are all included in the Convention’s definition of intangible cultural heritage. In the performing arts this includes musical instruments, masks, costumes and other body decorations used in dance, and the scenery and props of theatre. Performing arts are often performed in specific places; when these spaces are closely linked to the performance, they are considered cultural spaces by the Convention.
Many forms of performing arts are under threat today. As cultural practices become standardized, many traditional practices are abandoned. Even in cases where they become more popular, only certain expressions may benefit while others suffer.
Music is perhaps one of the best examples of this, with the recent explosion in the popularity of ‘World Music’. Though it performs an important role in cultural exchange and encourages creativity that enriches the international art scene, the phenomenon can also cause problems. Many diverse forms of music may be homogenized with the goal of delivering a consistent product. In these situations, there is little place for certain musical practices that are vital to the process of performance and tradition in certain communities.
Music, dance and theatre are often key features of cultural promotion intended to attract tourists and regularly feature in the itineraries of tour operators. Although this may bring more visitors and increased revenue to a country or community and offer a window onto its culture, it may also result in the emergence of new ways of presenting the performing arts, which have been altered for the tourist market. While tourism can contribute to reviving traditional performing arts and give a ‘market value’ to intangible cultural heritage, it can also have a distorting effect, as the performances are often reduced to show adapted highlights in order to meet tourist demands. Often, traditional art forms are turned into commodities in the name of entertainment, with the loss of important forms of community expression.In other cases, wider social or environmental factors may have a serious impact on performing art traditions. Deforestation, for example, can deprive a community of wood to make traditional instruments used to perform music.
Many music traditions have been adapted to fit western forms of notation so they may be recorded, or for the purpose of education, but this process can be destructive. Many forms of music use scales with tones and intervals that do not correspond to standard western forms and tonal subtleties may be lost in the process of transcription. As well as music beinghomogenised, changes to traditional instruments to make them more familiar or easier to play for students, such as the addition of frets to stringed instruments, fundamentally alter the instruments themselves.
Safeguarding measures for traditional performing arts should focus mainly on transmission of knowledge and techniques, of playing and making instruments and strengthening the bond between master and apprentice. The subtleties of a song, the movements of a dance and theatrical interpretations should all be reinforced.
Performances may also be researched, recorded, documented, inventoried and archived. There are countless sound recordings in archives all around the world with many dating back over a century. These older recordings are threatened by deterioration and may be permanently lost unless digitized. The process of digitisation allows documents to be properly identified and inventoried.
Cultural media, institutions and industries can also play a crucial role in ensuring the viability of traditional forms of performing arts by developing audiences and raising awareness amongst the general public. Audiences can be informed about the various aspects of a form of expression, allowing it to gain a new and broader popularity, while also promoting connoisseurship which, in turn, encourages interest in local variations of an art form and may result in active participation in the performance itself.
Safeguarding may also involve improvements in training and infrastructure to properly prepare staff and institutions for preserving the full range of performing arts. In Georgia, students are trained in anthropological fieldwork methods as well as how to record polyphonies, allowing them to create the foundations of a national inventory by creating a database.
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