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Writing performance : on relations between texts and performances

In art history, performance is categorized as performance art and defined as live-act. However, performance is no longer conceived of by artists as live-act only. Rather, the art of producing performances, according to artists, also includes considerations of their documentation and mediatization. In these contexts a paratextual perspective would enable considering documentation practices as part of performance art, which would also mean to acknowledge that performance is a practice associated with other practices that go beyond the enactment or staging which precedes or follows it. It is my claim that the potential of performance in visual art lies exactly in this ability to divest itself of a stable medial identity. This is to say that performance does not only have the practical need, but also the general potential to connect itself with other media, such as texts and audiovisual records. I think that contemporary performances in visual art cannot be viewed as distinct from the intermedial and paratextual issues with which they are connected. They engage, intermingle and enter into reciprocal relationships with these issues. So, I propose to understand performances in and through their relations to texts. Research by Lilo Nein

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