Performance and Text

At a first glance it may appear as if performance art resists incorporating text, avoids using it, while insisting on being primarily a visual art and non-verbal form. However, text in a spoken form has been part of the performance art history since its emergence as an artwork – from Dada and futuristic proto-performances, happenings of Allan Kaprow, to performance lectures, such as those by Tero Nauha.

At the same time one can say that, in most instances, the relationship of performance art and text in a spoken form is rather reserved. Despite that, words and sentences do appear in performances – cut into a body; formed in sand on a floor; drawn on a wall; distributed as printed statements. Similarly, text is also part of the creative process; as a concept, the work’s annotation, summary of notes to be inserted into the final work or at the end; as a manifesto, history and theory handed over in a form of a book, lectures, or articles. In addition, in a less literal sense, performance itself could be viewed as a kind of cultural text with certain content which may be decoded and “read” by viewers.

The last SPA event this year focuses on both the narrow as well as the broader understanding of the relationship between performance and text. The evening will also offer a launch of a publication featuring short articles of various authors on themes presented and discussed at the previous SPA events.

The December SPA guest is a Belarusian-Russian collective, Rabota, established in 2014 by artists Marika Krasina and Anton Kryvulia. Since the very beginning of their collaboration the artists have considered their life as a performative readymade. They continuously use circumstances as a plot, and personal belongings, and photo-video documentation asa materials for creating performative installations and procedural objects. In the focus of Rabota’s performances appears theautonomy and political aspect of the phenomenon of presence.


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In 2021, all events at ALTA are free! ●


During the pandemic, we did not have the opportunity to meet you in person and open ALTA to the general public. Now that we can do it, we want to be even closer to you. We decided that we would not collect any entrance fees for our programs in 2021, so that really everyone could come. Culture to all!