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What is performance art?
PAUL PANHUYSEN

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Performance art is time-based visual art.

It is an exploded theory that art is made for eternity. Presenting art on a temporal basis in a process of performance takes away this perpetual aspect of art.

Human beings have various senses of perception, and in daily life they use these senses simultaneously to get a correct impression of what's going on around them. Art can be expressed in images, words, sounds, music, smells, taste, movement, motion, touch and so on. All the senses are useful to express ideas, sentiments and feelings. It is only natural and normal that art broke through the borders of the traditionally divided artistic disciplines. This has opened up new territories for the arts. The development of technology offers the artists new media of expression. Photography, cinema, video, television, audio recording, kinetic technology, computers, internet and so on are provoking the creative energy of artists. With all the new media it becomes every day more interesting to go back to the roots of art in a simple performance, where the artist directly communicates with his audience, using his voice, producing sounds, playing with visual props, moving around aware of the space and the situation, expressing what he wants to tell.

When I think about this, I am convinced that performance art must always have existed, already thousands of years ago. It must be the first artistic discipline ever developed by men and animals as well.


June 2000 / August 2011

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