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Feminist Art of the 1970's

             In New York city an artist named Adrian Piper performed by herself in public by riding a bus with a towel stuffed in her mouth. This was known as feminist performance art. At one time or another performance artists borrow not only from traditional genres conventionally associated with performing arts, but also guerrilla theater, and religious rituals. Performance tended to be open.ended and less directive than conventional theater, but usually delivered a clearer political message. The performance artist who was usually the writer, producer, director, and actor, is first of all a visual artist. They could have little or even no training in theater arts. There performances were usually only presented once before a live audience. It could happen just about anywhere and could involve a whole city. The very vitality and strength of performance art was it unruliness. Blurring and otherwise problematizing the boundaries between life and art is one of the generating motifs in all performance art. So much art art activity in this century has been about questioning art's historical definitions and boundaries, this does not adequately explain the urgency and enthusiasm that so many feminist performance artists brought to this issue. Performance is a paradigm of feminism itself. In the seventies, performance art was everywhere. But what seemed to separate feminist performance was its creators' desire to communicate an alternative vision of themselves and the world the lived in.
             The most radical and provocative feminist art works to be developed in the 70's were done by feminists who portrayed the human body or used their own bodies in their creations. Ever since then, the body has been am image, an idea, and an issue of continuing significance in women's art. During the 70's women artist became acutely aware of the social and cultural idealizations of the female form. In both media and Western art.

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