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Performance-Art in Eastern Europe (1950-1990): History and Theory

Final Report Summary - PERFORMEAST (Performance-Art in Eastern Europe (1950-1990): History and Theory)

The project has compiled an overview of the historical and transnational development of performance art (performances, actions, happenings) in Eastern Europe during the dictatorship and has also made visible buried and forgotten artistic works.
Performance art was not only the subject of research, but was also analysed as a practice of exploring performative practices in politics, society and (performance art) historiography.
We have completely redeveloped two fields of research: On the one hand the development of performance art in Eastern Europe from performative poetry. We were able to show this research in the international exhibition “Poetry & Performance. The Eastern European Perspective” (Zilina, Belgrade, Zurich, Dresden, Wroclaw) and in numerous publications. On the other hand, we have opened up the state and secret service view of performance art in Eastern Europe through intensive archive research in the former secret service archives. We were able to present the international exhibition and publication "Artists & Agents. Performance Art and Secret Services".
All other research results - publications, workshops and exhibitions - related to the four following research fields.

1. History writing in and of Eastern European performance art (self-archivisation, self-commentary, self-theorisation, reperformance as part of the artistic process)
2. Specificity of practice in Eastern European performance art (connection between poetry and performance, subversive affirmation, pair-performance)
3. Interrelationships between artistic action and state actions against the underground (surveillance and „decomposition“ of performance art during the dictatorship period).
4. Transfer of knowlegde: translation, publication and exhibition of important material of and on Performance art in Eastern Europe