How to Create Performance Art – Part 2
Creating performance art is all about bringing an idea to life by using your own abilities and qualities. It can take just about any form whatsoever and this is one of the great things about performance art, the artists are not bound with rigid rules and century old doctrines. Performance art should be lively and engaging and that is where the audience plays a massive part. The audience is not there just to witness the art but to engage with it, to alter it, and to change the direction the art piece is going in.
Some performance artists begin their pieces by giving the audience a task, such as building a LEGO model. This action may have no direct influence on the art piece but engages the audience to feel that they have contributed to the art work in some way or fashion.
The audience is integral to a piece of performance art, and as a performance artist you should know exactly who your audience is. For instance, if you are performing your art on the street at a fringe festival or something you have no idea who your audience is. It may be people who haven’t got a clue what performance art actually is, and you will find it extremely difficult to get them to interact with your performance. If this is so you should peg back on the audience participation part and express your idea more in actions and words. If you have a paying audience, then they most likely are aware of performance art and are more than willing to interact with your performance. The piece should suit the moment, and if it does not then choose something else or move on to another location.
How long should a piece of performance art last? There is no defining time limit to a piece of performance art, it is a bit like asking how long should a piece of string be? But the longer your performance is will definitely change its meaning. No audience will sit through a four-hour performance all the way through, this means that different people will be popping in and out at different times. This will dramatically alter the whole dimensions of your piece, as different views and ideas are constantly changing. One of the most famous performance artists currently performing in the world is Chris Burden, one of his pieces lasted for five days when he was confined inside a locker. The impact from the first day to the last changed dramatically and the piece continually changed.
When performing your art you must continually ask yourself what you are doing and why you are doing it? Are you seeking to make your audience uncomfortable? Are you doing that? If you are not succeeding at what you set out to do you are not succeeding of bringing your idea to life. You must constantly challenge yourself to perform at the very ultimate of your limitations only then will your ideas cross over to the audience.