Summary: In this brief historical note, Goldberg outlines the artistic response to the political upheavals of the 1960’s. The general spirit of civic disillusionment offered the best conditions for the re-evaluation of art and its supporting social institutions. Not surprisingly, a new animosity emerged towards the objects of art and their claim to aesthetic pleasure. The farthest possible opposite, which many artists readily embraced, was found in conceptual art, which prioritized ideas, relations and experiences over traditional aesthetic categories. Goldberg sees performance art as a potent embodied application of these new artistic concerns, and thus as a rightful heir to conceptual art. Furthermore, each sub-genre of performance art – from body art to live sculpture to discussions and performative scripts – retains a conceptual core that finds its roots in that decade of strife and controversy.
Comment: This text offers a historical note on the relationship between conceptual art and performance art, and could be used in aesthetics classes focusing on either of those arts