What is performance art?

Below is a list of M:ST’s National Performing Partners with live links to the websites of their subsequent organizations and festivals, followed by a reading list to provide further information   regarding performance art; its histories, contexts, and motives. Files accessible online are linked to their source, others are noted as being available online through JSTOR or physically through M:ST’s library.

Got anything to add? Please let us know at info@mstfestival.org!

National Performing Arts Presenters

Visualeyez Edmonton, Alberta

LIVE Biennial Vancouver, British-Columbia

Biennale d’art performatif Rouyn-Noranda, Québec

Art Nomade Saguenay, Québec

RIAP Québec

7a11d Toronto, Ontario

Open Space Victoria, British-Columbia

FADO Toronto, Ontario

Queer City Cinema / Performatorium Regina, Saskatchewan

Je-st Moncton, Ontario

Viva! art action Montréal, Québec

AxeNéo-7 Gatineau, Québec

Galerie SAW Gallery Ottawa, Ontario

Neutral Ground Regina, Saskatchewan

Galerie du Nouvel Ontario Sudbury, Ontario

Online Reading Material

Auslander, Philip The Performativity of Performance Documentation

Austin, L  Lectures I and II from how to do things with words.

Barber, Bruce  Sentences on Littoral Art and Paragraphs on Littoral Art

Bateman, David  Performance Art as Cultural Effacement

Becker, Carol  Afterthoughts: Stilling the World

Bishop, Claire  Participation

Bishop, Claire  The Social Turn: Collaboration and its Discontents

Blessing, Jennifer  Rrose is a Rrose is a Rrose: Gender Performance in Photography

Butler, Judith  Performative Acts and Gender Constitution

Case, Sue-Ellen  Towards a Butch Femme Aesthetic in Lesbian and Gay Studies Reader.

Cleto, Fabio  Camp: Queer Aesthetics and the Performing Subject

Critical Art Ensemble  Electronic Civil Disobedience

Debord, Guy The Situationists and New Forms of Action in Politics of Art in the Situationist International Anthology.

Debora, Guy  Theory of the Dérive

Feral, Josette  Performance and Theatricality: The Subject Demystified

Fried, Michel  Art and Objecthood

Friedman, Ken with Owen Smith and Lauren Sawchyn  The Fluxus Performance Workbook

Fusco, Coco  The Other History of Intercultural Performance

Goldberg, Rosalee Performance Art: From Futurism to Present

Gomez-Pena, Guillermo with Roberto Sifuentes and Lisa Wolford Away From the Surveillance Camera of the Art World: Strategies for Collaboration and Community Activism

Gomez-Pena, Guillermo Ethno-Techno: Writings on Performance, Activism, and Pedagogy

Gonzales, Anxo Abuin  Dramaturgies of Excess and Heterological Theatres

Houston, Andrew.  Site-Specific Performance: The ‘Thirdspace’ of Canadian Theatre

Jackson, Shannon.  Professing Performance: Disciplinary Genealogies

Johnson, Dominic  Ron Athey’s Visions of Excess: Performance After Georges Bataille

Jones, Amelia Dis/playing the phallus: male artists perform their masculinities

Jones, Amelia and Andrew Stephenson  Performing the Body, Performing the Text

Jones, Amelia. ‘Presence’ in Absentia: Experiencing Performance as Documentation

Kaye, Nick Site-Specific Art: Performance, Place and Documentation

Kaprow, Allan  Essays on The Blurring of Art and Life edited by Jeff Kelley

Kaprow, Allan  Happenings in the New York Scene

Kaprow, Allan  The Legacy of Jackson Pollock

Kaprow, Allan  Some Recent Happenings

Kester, Grant  Conversation Pieces: Community and Communication in Comtemporary Art

Kirby, Michael  ‘The New Theater’ in Happenings and Other Acts

Krauss, Rosalind. Video: the Aesthetics of Narcissism

Kwon, Miwon One Place After Another: Site-Specific Art and Locational Identity

Lebel, Sabine  Camping Out with the Lesbian National Parks and Services

McCarthy, Kevin F  The Performing Arts in a New Era

Munoz, Jose  Disidentifications

Neislony, Boris  Performance Chart

O’Donnell, Darren  Social Acupuncture

Paterson, Andrew James  Performative Impulses in Lux: A Decade of Artists’ Film and Video

The Performance Group  Group Dionysus in 69

Powell, Benjamin D. and Tracey Stephenson Shaffer  The Haunting of Performance Studies

Reason, Matthew  Archive or Memory? The Detritus of Live Performance

Schechner, Richard   Introduction to Performance Theory

Schechner, Richard  Introduction to Performance Theory Online Excersises and video links.

Schechner, Richard  Six Axioms of Environmental Theatre

Schneider, Rebecca  The Explicit Body in Performance

Sholette, Gregory  REPOhistory

Sholette, Gregory  On Intervention

Smith, David   A Brief History of Dada

Smith, Richard Candida  Art and The Performance of Memory

Snider, Jennifer J  Art Administration as Performative Practice/Organizing Art as Institutional Critique

Stiles, Kristine  Performance Art

Thompson, Nato  The Interventionists: Users’ Manual for the Creative Disruption of Everyday Life

Wagner, Anne  Performance, Video and the Rhetoric of Presence

Wrights & Sights  A Manifesto for a New Walking Culture

Zabunyan, Elvan  Stratum and Resonance: Displacement in the Work of Renee Green


Other Reading

Barber, Bruce. Littoral Art and Communicative Action

Berger, Maurice. Performativity and Minimalism in Recent American Art

Beuys, Joseph. The Image of Humanity

Faber, Alyda. Saint Orlan: Ritual as Violent Spectacle and Cultural Criticism (available through JSTOR)

Findley, Karen. “The Constant State of Desire”
(available through JSTOR)

Fisher, Jennifer with Shawna Dempsey and Lori Milan. “Performance Art Out and About”

Forte, Jeanie. Focus on the Body: Pain, Praxis and Pleasure in Feminist Performance Art

Fraser, Andrea. “What’s Intangible, Transitory, Mediating, Participatory and Rendered in the Public Space”

Fusco, Coco. The Bodies that Were Not Ours and Other Writings

Garoian,Charles R.”Performing a Pedagogy of Endurance”
(available through JSTOR)

Gilroy, Paul. “The Negative Dialects of Conviviality” in After Empire

Graver, David. Violent Theatricality: Displayed Enactments of Aggression and Pain (available through JSTOR)

Gomez-Pena, Guillermo et al. “Crosscontamination: The performance activism and oppositional art of La Pocha Nostra”

Heathfeild, Adrian. Live: Art and Performance

Howell, Anthony. “Being clothing” in The Analysis of Performance Art

Hughes, Holly and David Roman. Solo Homo: The New Queer Performance

Jones, Amelia.  Body Art: Performing the Subject

Kaprow, Allan. “Household”

Knowles, Ric. Environmental Theater, in the Theater of Form and the Production of Meaning: Contemporary Canadian Dramaturgies

Levin, Laura and Kim Solga. Building Utopia: Performance and the Fantasy of Urban Renewal in Contemporary Toronto

Mars, Tanya and Johanna Householder. Caught in the Act: An Anthology of Performance Art by Canadian Women

Martin, Carol. A Sourcebook of Feminist Theatre and Performance: On and Beyond the Stage

Miller, Tim and David Roman. “Preaching to the Converted”

O’Bryan, Jill. Carnal Art: Orlan’s Refacing (available through JSTOR)

O’Dell, Kathy. Contract with the Skin: Masochism, Performance Art and the 1970s (available through JSTOR)

Parker, Andrew and Eve Kosofsky Sedgewick. Performativity and Performance

Phelan, Peggy. The Ontology of Performance

Pope L, William. “Sandwich Lecture”

Richard, Alain-Martin and Clive Robertson. Performance Art in Canada 1970-1990 (No longer in print, available through M:ST)

Robertson, Clive. “Performance as Still-Life”

Roth, Moira. “A History of Performance”
(Comprehensive Reading List, available through JSTOR)

Sayre, Henry. “The Rhetoric of the Pose: Photography and Portrait as Performance”

Ward, Tracey. “Extended and Prosthetic Bodies” in The Artist’s Body

Wark, Jayne. Radical Gestures: Feminism and Performance Art in North America (available through JSTOR)

Wark, Jayne. Roles and Transformations

Woodman, Francesca. “Self-Images: Transforming Bodies in the Space of Femininity” (available through JSTOR)