Il sito della Tate ha attivato una serie di materiale documentativo sulle storia delle performance, molto pratico e funzionale. In queste pagine sono percorsi gli ultimi decenni di questa importate pratica artistica.
Performance at Tate: Into the Space of Art maps the previously little known history of Tate’s engagement with performance over the last 50 years.
In the 1960s performance was seen as fundamentally different from the sort of art that could be collected or shown within art museums. It was live, and its ephemerality challenged entrenched notions of art based on artistic skill, medium specificity and market value. But today performance has come to be seen as part of a set of strategies available to contemporary artists, one that is not inherently different from other art forms and not at all beyond the bounds of what a museum can and should present to its publics. Performance—as live actions and repeated, captured and collected iterations—has become a major acquisition and display priority for Tate and other art museums around the world.
To map and investigate this shift in the place of performance in relation to art museums Tate launched in 2014 a two-year major research project in partnership with the University of Exeter with the support of the Arts and Humanities Research Council. The project set out to trace the evolving nature of performance practices since the 1960s, as seen through Tate’s own history.
Now published on Tate’s website, Performance at Tate: Into the Space of Art is a multi-layered exploration of the place of performance art and performativity in the museum. The lead essay by Jonah Westerman argues against seeing performance as a medium or genre and urges that it should be understood instead as an interrelated set of questions about how art relates to its audiences and the wider social world. The publication also provides many detailed case studies of individual art works and events, together with an interactive timeline. Bringing together previously little known audio, films and videos, photographs, and museum documents drawn from Tate’s Archive, the project reveals the richness and depth of the gallery’s engagement with performance over five decades, offering new insights into the museum’s role in framing and interpreting performance.