Performing the East: Performance Art in Russia, Latvia and Poland Since 1980
Performance art in Western Europe and North America developed in part as a response to the commercialisation of the art object, as artists endeavoured to create works of art that could not be bought or sold. But what are the roots of performance art in Eastern Europe and Russia, where there was no real art market to speak of? While many artworks created in the 'East' may resemble Western performance art practices, their origins, as well as their meaning and significance, is decidedly different. By placing specific performances from Russia, Latvia and Poland from the late- and post-communist periods within a local and international context, this book pinpoints the nuances between performance art East and West. Performance art in Eastern Europe is examined for the first time as agent and chronicle of the transition from Soviet and satellite states to free-market democracies. Drawing upon previously unpublished sources and exclusive interviews with the artists themselves, Amy Bryzgel explores the actions of the period, from Miervaldis Polis's Bronze Man to Oleg Kulik's Russian Dog performances.