performance art as news.


Everyone is the audience in some way or another. Regardless of the medium in which we explore and are attracted to – e.g. Twitter, documentaries, and Snapchat discover feature – we are all participants in and observers of, media. Traditional media such as radio and newspapers are slowly becoming outdated, with 44% of Australian’s using other media outlets, (i.e. the internet) to source information, and 39% saying they don’t trust traditional news sources

With all this uncertainty surrounding the credibility of traditional news sources, people formerly known merely as ‘the audience’ – mindless, passive consumers – are turning to alternative news outlets they deem reliable; as well creating their own content to explore contemporary issues.

One of the most longstanding, interesting, creative, and insane forms of explorative content is performance art. This type of art is live, where the artist/s perform to an audience and involve them in their active discussion through movement and emotion.

Performance art has the ability to demonstrate immense meaning through sometimes confronting, controversial, and dramatic visual displays. However, it is through these non-traditional means that performance artists and their inclusive use of the audience can make larger political and social comments.

Marina Abramović is a famous performance artist renowned for her exploration of human emotions through daring pieces. By being so controversial, Abramović is able to catch people’s attention, thus gaining recognition for the themes which she explores. One of her most widely recognised ‘stunts’ was of the utmost simplicity, performed at the Museum of Modern Art in 2010…

She used this piece to make comment on the human connection, how nowadays people are so invested in themselves and their devices. By using this time to intensely engage with a complete stranger, Abramović and the audience defied the bounds of their societal context by removing external distractions and maintaining pure focus.

Her style contrasts to that of the traditional media, as she removes the barrier of a text-style medium to get her point across, using her body instead to create the same, if not a more powerful, message. Instead of reporting and writing about an issue, such as a growing concern in a lack of human connection, Abramović and the ‘audience’, actively demonstrate and combat the issue.

Another great example for those interested, is Yoko Ono’s ‘Cut Piece’, which explores people’s greed and ambition by placing Ono in complete vulnerability to the audience. The idea behind allowing people to cut off as much or as little amount of her clothes as they desired, demonstrated individual’s greed in a materialistic society.


Stay curious,



Author: rubytoohey

curious. inquisitive. thinker. creator. student.

4 thoughts on “performance art as news.”

  1. I thought it was so cool that you made a connection between the arts and news! I study creative arts theatre at UOW and the performing arts is becoming increasingly political, they call it the age of the ‘postmodern’. The bizarreness of live art is incredibly engaging and most of the time, like you said, is confronting and these types of methods send a strong message to the audience. Butoh is a abstract style of dance which was created on the basis of sending messages that help prevail justice for people who have been neglected due to human selfishness, if you’d like to check it out, it’s thought provoking and on the same kind of level that you make on art that comments on the news affairs.


    1. Thank you so much for your comment! I’m really glad you enjoyed and appreciated it. I will definitely check that out, that sounds really interesting thank you x
      Postmodernism is certainly interesting and I’m so pleased to see you make the connection based on your obvious passion in performing arts. I find it really interesting to see the political elements of performance art really come through to demonstrate an even more powerful message than that of just a newspaper. Thank you again xx 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hey Ruby,
    This is such a good site you’re producing! Really aesthetically pleasing and it definitely feels like you’ve got a theme happening. In this post your inclusion of current statistics was really informative and let the audience know what information you were trying to get across. The way you’ve looked at this topic and come up with performance art has really intrigued me. I wouldn’t have thought this way without coming across your blog but my mind has been forced out of it’s comfort zone and I feel enlightened. Your embedded YouTube videos and further explaining their relevance to the core topic has made the topic that much more user friendly.
    Thanks for giving me another way to look at journalism and news,

    Liked by 1 person

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