Performance Works of Artists in the Decades after Minimalism

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In this essay I will analyse performance works, particularly by female artists in the decades after minimalism. How they used both the literal body, and participatory art as a vehicle to communication contemporary art practice. Evaluating the affects these works have had on contemporary art practice.
The role that minimalism played in the advent of performance art
Minimalism’s greatest contribution to performance art was its dismantling of metaphor, the creation of a purely self referential art, an art that didn’t refer to anything outside of itself. Minimalisms banishment of the figure and its reinscription of the body back onto the viewer set the groundwork for an explosion of performance art. The main catalysts for this being women artists in the 1960’s. For these artists who were already under represented within art, the banishment of the figure was a complete anathema. This wave of feminist artists was the main stimulant for performance art.
The body in or on the terms of post minimalism would have to be a literal body without illusionistic terms. As Yoko Ono put it, “tackling art making with my entire body.” The question they asked was a confrontation with the successful dismantling of metaphor that predated them. On what terms could the figure return? This presence of the literal body could only lead to the performer.
From the 1960s to the end of the 1980s artists such as Yoko Ono, Chris Burden, Carolee Schneemann, Marina

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