ABSTRACT

This chapter provides an overview of performance art as an artistic genre, as well as salient examples of performance art history from the 1960s to the early 2000s. After briefly introducing some avant-garde movements that are often considered performance art precursors, the chapter focuses on how feminist performance art and performance by artists of colour and sexual and gender minorities has served to question Western ways of understanding the body and identity. The chapter also introduces concepts such as site-specific performance, durational performance and extreme body performance. The chapter ends by discussing the status of performance art as a commodity in the contemporary art market.