MuseumMinute

Performance Art

Here’s a topic I know very little about. Despite my background in classical music and musical theater, when it comes to performance art, I’m clueless.

I’ve seen some amazing performance art in my life – especially from the street art folks throughout Europe. Anyone who’s traveled “to the continent” has probably experienced the “stand still for hours at a time” version of street performance art. The best incarnation of this I ever saw was in Milan in 2001. I took a photo of this individual, but never scanned it.

Here is a photo from Barcelona (2008) and Chicago (2008) to give you the feel for some “typical” street art:

When it comes to performance art in a museum, however, I’m totally clueless. I’ve heard of installations of artists putting themselves on display, or of people kissing throughout the galleries, but I’ve always just waved my hand at it and said, “oh, artists”.

But curating a performance in a space is a pretty cool idea. How do you choose a performance? How does it fit in the space? What sort of experience will the visitors have? What does that say about the mission/vision/goals of the institution?

It’s pretty cool, once you start to think about it.

“Oh, artists”. 😉

Well, we were fortunate to witness some performance art while visiting MOMA. Two piano players, played while standing the inside of the piano. Neat!

How’d she do that?

They cut a hole in the piano (rendering two octaves un-playable) of course!

As a piano player, I can definitely appreciate the level of skill required to play backwards. As a crafty person, I definitely respect the level of creativity it took to develop this concept.

All in all, cool stuff.

What do you think about performance art?

5 thoughts on “Performance Art

  1. you should also check out “museum theater” which is interactive or non-interactive performance done in “traditional museums” to make them come alive.

    • Definitely. I feel a field trip in the works. Let me know what’s happening in your neck of the woods–who knows, maybe I’ll be able to check it out!

  2. Pingback: Tweets that mention Performance Art | Museum Minute -- Topsy.com

  3. The Museum of Natural History in LA has some amazing, realistic dinosaur puppets that like to wander around the museum once in a while and scare/delight the visitors.

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