London, United Kingdom

Understanding Contemporary Art: Performance Art

online course
when 28 April 2021 - 2 June 2021
language English
duration 5 weeks
fee GBP 195

Developed in collaboration with Barbican, this six-week online evening course at Guildhall School of Music & Drama will offer a thorough guide to performance art, from its experimental roots to contemporary interdisciplinary practices, looking at its increased prominence within contemporary art.

The course will present a whistle-stop survey of artists using performance as a creative practice, whether live or carefully documented, spontaneous or meticulously planned. It will address themes including theatricality, humour, protest, identity, sexuality, the body, ritual, dance, architecture, and the spoken word. It will also explore the different ways that museums, galleries and organisations approach commissioning, exhibiting and collecting performance work.

Ages 18+
Wednesday evenings on 28 April, 5, 12, 19, 26 May and 2 June 2021

Course leader

Louise O'Kelly is an independent curator based in London. In 2015 she founded Block Universe, London's leading international performance art festival and commissioning body, with the mission to create a platform and support structure for a new generation.

Target group

- Anyone aged 18 or over with a passion for or interest in contemporary art and who wants to understand more about performance art.
- No previous knowledge is required.

Course aim

You can expect to learn about:

- 20th century historical roots of performance including the Futurists, Dada cabarets and the Bauhaus
- Performance as protest across Latin America, Eastern Europe and the US
- Interdisciplinary practices, including postmodernism with a specific focus on scenes in New York, London and Tokyo
- Performance and technology, from video through to virtual reality
- Relationship to the audience: commissioning, exhibiting and collecting live works
- Contemporary trends in performance

By the end of this course you should have:

- A solid understanding of main movements in the history of performance through to contemporary practices
- An understanding of different modalities of performance, conceptual and critical approaches to thinking about performance
- An ability to speak confidently about and analyse performances that you see, with an in-depth understanding of good practices for working with the medium, including commissioning, exhibiting and collecting

Fee info

GBP 195: £195