The Changing Nature Of The Artwork With Specific Reference To Perfomance And Installation Artists, Mike Parr And Ken Unsworth.

1748 words - 7 pages

Throughout its existence, the artwork has gone through several evolutions and modifications to its physicality as well as with its relations to the world and the audience. Beginning with such simplistic intentions as cave paintings for communicative purposes, to pieces of work made only for aesthetic and decorative purposes, to entire productions involving the audience, the environment and the time into the artwork. The practices of Installation and Performance art have been the fundamental starting point for these such changes. Artists such as Mike Parr and Ken Unsworth (listed in their fields respectively) recognize and accept these changes and interpret them in their artworks.Art began around 15 000 BC, often favouring drawing over colour in forms such as cave paintings. There have been changes from emphasis on geometrical shapes such as mosaics and arches, religious and gothic-based, in which art evolved from it's two dimensions and was practised in sculpture format, the Victorian and art Nouveau-influenced craft movements in which art became decoration through to Dada in which the art was taken off the canvas - new materials and exhibiting practises were used to encourage stronger responses from the audience. Subject matter had changed from communicative, to aesthetic, to political, social and emotional.Dada was the jump-off point for performance art. The origin is said to be found in 1917 in Zurich, where several notable Dadaists, spoke nonsensical words to complement nonsense acts to protest the Great War and the importance of art in general: "...No more cute art in frames, no more static art that only makes the Philistines richer."An integral part of the ritual of performance art is it's ephemerality - it is not static like most artworks. After it is finished nothing will be the same again and nothing is left. Performance art is described as unprecedented and because of its originality, it is difficult to censor. It is very relevant to its time because of the short period of time needed between the process of conception and performance and political, social and philosophical views can be explored in-depth such as in the 1970's and in the 1980's in which "Queer Theatre" was founded in which homosexual issues were dealt with. It occupies an environment with specific objects and actions for a specific amount of time and because of the brevity and intent of the artwork, everything present has a meaning.Performance art also brings another change to the world of the artwork - the role of the audience. It is made to be watched and experienced in the moment specifically for those who witness it, therefore, the audience has a much more integral part. As the audience is generally small, there can be much interaction between them and the artist and the experience is much more direct and the message is more vigorously felt because of the proximity and actuality of the piece. What happens on stage can affect the audience and the artist more directly...

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