Performance in its historical context
DOI link for Performance in its historical context
Performance in its historical context book
This chapter presents an overview of the more theatrically oriented aspects of performance studies, which deals with the historical work. Except for the manifestations, the history is essentially the history of twentieth-century avant-garde theatre, and historians and theorists of performance art have generally followed RoseLee Goldberg in viewing it within that tradition. The chapter briefly outlines the shape of alternative tradition. Theatre scholars and historians have generally placed happenings and later performance art in the tradition of the theatrical avant-garde, looking back, as the author has been doing, to futurism, dada, and surrealism. In Germany, from the 1870s onward, in the aftermath of the Franco-Prussian War, huge outdoor spectacles were given in many locations, recreating historical and legendary events and mixing historical figures with mythic and allegorical representations. A key event in the history of modern performance was the presentation in 1959 of Allan Kaprow's 18 Happenings in 6 Parts at the Reuben Gallery.