Emancipation from the Medium
(Aesthetic Practices, Hybridization)
17 until 19 June 2022
Performance art has long been an artistic genre in its own right that is rendered powerful by its own intermediacy. So does it actually need its own venues, or is it destined to remain stuck in the cracks between traditional genres?
Performance art shuttles back and forth between disciplines. It grew out of cross-border forays from the fine arts, theatre, dance, music, and literature – but also outof stand-up. Performances are often articulated in the language of the genre that gave rise to them, and take place in that genre’s ancestral habitat. Whether it is an exhibition space, concert hall, club, theatre, dance stage, or the public space, each has its own reception traditions, just as the conditionalities of the genre are always in the air and hence implicit in the performance, too. The production conditions, in other words, can vary considerably. Performance art has also had to be self-reliant, growing out of, and drawing inspiration from, the most diverse subcultures and the most diverse artistic, social, and political discourses. Avantgarde, Pioneer, Digital Nerd.
The number of different attitudes trying to re-invent performance art and leave their stamp on it while disregarding the rules is perplexingly large. As annoying as they may be at first, these shifts and changes of focus are what enables the genre to change. For all their different traditions, questions, and aesthetic practices, all disciplines know and use the performance concept, which really does break down barriers. Where are there parallels? What do we have in common?