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PRINT September 1977

Oskar Schlemmer’s Performance Art

IF PERFORMANCE WORKS HAVE ONLY recently been considered as “mainstream” art in their own right, the full range of certain earlier artists’ work has often been excluded in the name of art historical “correctness,” with its concentration on existing visual objects. Activities outside conventional categories such as painting and sculpture have largely been overlooked for lack of tangible objects to which to refer.

The history of performance, like a history of theatre, can only be constructed from scripts, texts, photographs and descriptions from onlookers. What was once to be seen, or to be heard, must now be reconstructed in imagination. Fortunately, from the Russian and Italian Futurists through to the present, there exists ample material in various forms, making a comprehensive review of performance history both possible and necessary.

One artist whose writings clearly indicate how he came

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