On performance art and such matters from my point of view

by Dorothea Rust

On performance art and such matters from my point of view

published in booklet «11th – 25th November Live Art 2011 Bangalore», Hg. Bengaluru Artist Residency BAR1, Smitha Cariappa Bangalore, 2012, S. 12–13


«When we talk about «Performance Art» we talk about a definition, but foremost it's a practice with human beings at the source and behind it. It’s most important that we witness, experience and do perceive ‹performance› as a singular and yet very diverse cultural and transdisciplinary practice. As such it can merge, cross and dissolve categories like dance, music, visual arts, theatre, literature to non-arts practices like social-, political-, community-work and much more –it's a way of thinking, an attitude towards life. The word ‹art› creates/frames it as a specific space of reflection.

There are no limits and codes to the use of time, space and material: so to speak performance can happen at any place (theatres, galleries, off-spaces, work-sites, public and private spaces etc.), at any time, in any durational length from a short moment to a year or more. And last but not least it has so much potential for surprises. Human bodies/beings in relation to society are vulnerable and unpredictable in their behaviour and (therefore) controlled by social rules and codes - the single human being/body is at the base a (very) political issue. As a performance artist I want to move into those gaps of rules and codes with the notion that human beings are as well capable for consensus, common understanding and empathy.

Through performance I like to create a space, where people feel physically present, very alive and experience a real immediate situation - where  we enter somehow into communication with one another  - sometimes this situation can become very precarious, sometimes very poetic, sometimes it’s common.»

Zürich, 15th January 2012