Performance Art - Essay

Performance Art - Essay

erformance art is a process of using the body as subject matter. The work of art is presented physically to a proactive audience, challenging the traditional values of a static artwork where the audience is passive. The relationship between the artist, artwork and audience is very important and significant in the success of a performance and the publication of the message. Some artists who communicate their message through performance are, Mike Parr, Marina Abramovic and Linda Sproul.

Performance artist Mike Parr is renowned for his often controversial and confronting performances that test the limits of body and mind, specialising in self mutilation and sharp objects. In the performance piece 'Close the Concentration Camps' at the Monash University Museum of Art in which he used self inflicted visible harm to display his pain in protest against Australia's treatment of refugees and asylum seekers.

The performance involved Parr sitting silently for five hours with his eyes, ears, nose and lips sown together with the word 'alien' branded into his thigh, as a declaration of his support for the asylum seekers in Australian detention centers. He was positioned in the gallery beneath enormous black lettering reading, 'Close the Concentration Camps.'

No one was to speak to him and he was to respond to no one. His artwork became a subjective need for expression as he makes a strong comment on the political aspects of the world and injustice. By sewing his face he had become an object of art and the stitching represented the lack of freedom, sight and speech given to those in detention centers, 'I want o use the language of my body art to make the strongest possible statement in support of the detainees" states Parr. Parr's artwork had become an expression of the solidarity and empathy he felt towards the detainees, this emphasized in the use of the text 'alien' which was written on his thigh. Parr had become the artwork and therefore by this concept had blurred...

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