Performance art is...

VENICE INTERNATIONAL PERFORMANCE ART WEEK artists answer to the question "What is Performance Art?"

All contributions are published in LADA's The Live Art Almanac Volume 4.


per•for•mance art [pə(r)ˈfɔː(r)məns ɑː(r)t]



  1. a shared extraordinary moment only fully experienced in the here and now.
  2. a moment of many facets of realities, blurring the boundaries between life and art.

Alexandra Zierle


  1. the best language to undermine and question the contemporary for its capacity to express the crucial truth of an action that takes place here and now, in which the 'actor' in the literal sense is simply him/herself.
  2. a form of knowledge.
  3. a therapy.

Francesca Fini


  1. the fight with the angel.
  2. a confrontation between ourselves, the occurance of the limit of our knowledge, and our becoming and pushing towards this limit.
  3. a fight that is a dance, in which we ourselves become the limit in its happening, and we dance our coming towards this limit.

Francesco Kiais


  1. the creation of a space which allows us to work on our limits, and to make free decisioins so that from the achievable the improbable can happen.

Gonzalo Rabanal


  1. my body asking your body questions.

Helena Goldwater


  1. a process which involves an artist through using his/her body to actualize his/her idea in real time and space. a) at times, during this process of searching, images of poetic significance are created.

Jason Lim


  1. an art from, like painting, drawing, writing, poetry, installation, video, photography, sculpture, architecture, object, theatre, dance, film, music.
  2. a way to express thoughts and ideas in an artistic manner, a tool to create art.
  3. located withing the broader field of action art, which historically emerged in Europe after the Second World War.
  4. the creative act of an artist in front of, or with, and audience at a certain place/space/site, and during a certain timeframe forming the centre of attention.
  5. during its live process, the artist and his/her actions are transformed into a generally readable sign.

BBB Johannes Deimling


  1. life in itself.
  2. not corresponding to any art form.
  3. emerging from the memory of the body.
  4. participating at the present moment as an anti-narrative with supreme coherence.

Macarena Perich Rosas


  1. a 'vessel' that frames, holds, marks and brackets an experience wherein anything can and does happen, where boundaries are blurred and traversed, portals are opened, where spaces, places and people are bridged.
  2. inhabiting the fabric of the live 'collective' moment, demanding presence, aliveness and self reflection from all 'participants' there and then.
  3. a 'space' to go somewhere else, to meet afresh, to re-envisage ourselves and our world, to journey to the edges of social, cultural, mental, emotional and physical boundaries.
  4. to experience performance art is to experience the edge of knowing, to depart and to arrive, to collectively meet bare and stripped in the wash of the fabric of possiblity and flux.

Paul Carter


  1. allowing for vulnerability, being present and achieving empathy.
  2. achieving a transformative potential within works through taking risks.
  3. performance artists are like alchimists turning dirt and tears into gold.

Rebecca Weeks


  1. since years I ask myself what is performance art, and still I don't know if a) it is an art. b) which are its limits c) if it has any limits.
  2. Maybe the answer to this question is the lack of answer.

Santiago Cao


  1. alive
  2. live
  3. life.

Snežana Golubović