Admittedly, one area of conceptual contemporary art that I infrequently explore and struggle to comment on is Performance Art. In 2014 the Walker Art Center curated a performance art exhibition that showcases black artists and their contributions to this unique creative medium. Radical Performance was the first large-scale retrospective of its kind. Curator Valerie Cassel Oliver stated it was more than a retrospective, it was a living history documenting the process of artistic creation. The show presented an interdisciplinary representation of performance art from light, sound, dance, and sculptural performance that provided a unique commentary on the creative process. What I didn’t realize is that performance art is often used as a catalyst for developing concepts that are used in more traditional artistic expression. Think of it as a kinetic brainstorming session.
The Walker show ended in January, but this video featuring Valerie Cassel Oliver explains the evolution of this exhibition and the impetus behind Radical Performance.