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Definition of PERFORMANCE ART
: a nontraditional art form often with political or topical themes that typically features a live presentation to an audience or onlookers (as on a street) and draws on such arts as acting, poetry, music, dance, or painting
Art form that arose in Europe and the U.S. in the 1960s. The term describes an art that is live but operates outside the traditional conventions of theatre or music. Early examples represented a challenge to orthodox art forms and cultural norms by creating an ephemeral art experience that could not be captured or purchased. By the 1970s performance art was used as a general term to describe a multitude of activities, including happenings, body art, actions, events, and non-matrix theatre. Prominent performance artists have included Joseph Beuys, John Cage, Dennis Oppenheim, Yoko Ono, Nam June Paik, Meredith Monk, and Laurie Anderson.