Venice - Official Collateral Event

Body and Soul. Performance Art – Past and Present

Palazzo Pisani

13 May 201726 Nov 2017

At its inception, performance art was a reaction to the postwar crisis in conventional mediums. Faith having collapsed in long-established forms such as painting and sculpture, creativity ricocheted back onto the artist’s own body. Some observers considered this a liberation, part of the period’s expansion of artist materials and methods. Others wondered if it reflected a more fundamental crisis in the institution of art itself, a sign that art was exhausting its resources.

Developed in the wake of Minimalism, performance art shares qualities with process art, which investigated common materials and mundane, repetitive activities. Many first-generation performance artists were attracted to task-based activities, in contrast to the highly choreographed and ritualized actions of traditional theatre and dance.

In “Body and Soul: Performance Art – Past and Present,” eight performance artists—some historically renowned, others emerging—appear in live performances and in video or photographic documentation of their earlier actions. The pioneering figures VALIE EXPORT, ORLAN, Nicola L, and Carolee Schneemann have long used their bodies to express concerns related to gender, femininity, personal relationships, and politics. Their innovations were both formal and thematic, directly confronting mid-20th-century gender inequality and social repression. The exhibition’s younger participants, building on that heritage, address the performance art canon itself (Derrick Adams), cultural fragmentation and multiple identities (Aisha Tandiwe Bell), paternity and the cycle of life (John Bonafede), and the contestation of social roles and dynamics of bodily expression (Katarzyna Kozyra).

Thanks to the bold innovations of the first generation and the sustained conscientiousness of today’s practitioners, performance art is not an “outsider” form of art anymore. Whereas art performances were looked upon in the ’60s and ’70s as oddities, sometimes being mistaken for instances of pathological acting-out or political demonstrations, artists today consider performance a standard, highly effective tool. The Zeitgeist changes, but the immediacy, interactive nature, and theatricality—as well as visual excitement—of performance art have prevailed throughout time.

Promoted by Rush Philanthropic Art Foundation, New York and with the support of KANIBAL Films Distribution, Paris, France; INVENTA TECHNOLOGIES EUROPE AG, Switzerland and UNPAINTED art fair, Munich.

  • Body and Soul, exhibition view, 2017 Body and Soul, exhibition view, 2017

Related Artists

Curators

Elga Wimmer

Special Events

Destination: Venice
Where: Palazzo Pisani
Type: Opening
Admission: Free

Opening of “Body and Soul. Performance Art – Past and Present”

Destination: Venice
Where: Palazzo Pisani
Type: Preview
Admission: Free

Preview of “Body and Soul. Performance Art – Past and Present”

Destination: Venice
Where: Palazzo Pisani
Type: Performance
Admission: By Invitation Only

Orlan: “Masks [Maschere]”

Destination: Venice
Where: Palazzo Pisani
Type: Preview
Admission: Free

Preview of “Body and Soul. Performance Art – Past and Present”

Destination: Venice
Where: Palazzo Pisani
Type: Performance
Admission: Free

Itinerant performance by Nicola L: “The Blue Cape of Evolution in Venice (Homage to Pierre Restany)”. The performance starts from Palazzo Pisani, Piano Nobile, and moves across Piazza San Stefano.

Destination: Venice
Where: Palazzo Pisani
Type: Performance
Admission: Free

Aisha Tandiwe Bell: “trick out this trap”

Destination: Venice
Where: Palazzo Pisani
Type: Performance
Admission: Free

Aisha Tandiwe Bell: “trick out this trap”

Destination: Venice
Where: Palazzo Pisani
Type: Performance
Admission: Free

Aisha Tandiwe Bell: “trick out this trap”

Destination: Venice
Where: Palazzo Pisani
Type: Performance
Admission: Free

Derrick Adams: “I Crush a Lot, Communicating with Shadows (Hammons)”

Destination: Venice
Where: Palazzo Pisani
Type: Performance
Admission: Free

Derrick Adams: “I Crush a Lot, Communicating with Shadows (Hammons)”

Destination: Venice
Where: Palazzo Pisani
Type: Performance
Admission: Free

John Bonafede: “Holding Pattern”

Destination: Venice
Where: Palazzo Pisani
Type: Performance
Admission: Free

John Bonafede: “Holding Pattern”

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Contacts & Details

OPENING:
tue, wed, thu, fri, sat 2:00 pm - 7:00 pm

CLOSING DAYS:
sun, mon

ADMISSION:
Free

ADDRESS:
San Marco 2810 Venice, 30124 Italy