Performance art is a relatively new category in the Young Artist Awards and has been awarded for only the fifth time.

I remember people saying in 2013, when it was first awarded, it seemed like an old-fashioned genre, associating it with happenings in the 1960s and stunts like Chris Burden nailing himself to a VW Beetle in the 70s.

They said it should perhaps be called “live art” instead, though this seems to be a category more in use in the UK and perhaps a little bit looser than “performance art”.

In some ways the genre was finally granted official sanction when Marina Abramovic (the grandmother of performance art) was given a retrospective in 2010 at the Museum of Modern Art, New York.

Performance art has always been interested in the possibilities of the body, often involving feats of enormous endurance. Many of Abramovic’s works are intense durational achievements stretching the limits of her body. There is, however, another kind of performance art that looks to the world itself, at the collective social body of beings, not only at the individual personal body. Read more