Performance art is a performance done to make a point about a cause or something that needs to be stood for in society. Performance may be either scripted or unscripted, random or carefully orchestrated; spontaneous or otherwise carefully planned with or without audience participation. The performance can be live or via media ,the performer can be present or absent. It can be any situation that involves four basic elements: time, space, the performer’s body, or presence in a medium, and a relationship between performer and audience. Performance art can happen anywhere, in any type of venue or setting and for any length of time. The actions of an individual or a group at a particular place and in a particular time constitute the work.
In 2015,Clayton Pettet, a 19-year-old gay art student at Central Saint Martins College of Arts and Design in London, announced that he would have sex in front of a crowd as part of a performance piece called “Art School Stole My Virginity.
The 120-strong crowd was shown into the gallery, which had chairs gathered around a small performance space. A video projected onto the wall showed a pile of bananas. A broom brush and a silver bowl of water were arranged delicately on a concrete floor.
Four topless people – one women, three men – marched out wordlessly, holding up signs that read “ANAL VIRGIN”. One of the men was Pettet; everyone else wore white shrouds. They were all in black pants, I guess because black goes with everything, including and especially performance art.
Scrawled all over Pettet’s body were words like “NSFW” and “TEEN WHORE”. Pettet scrubbed the words off him till his skin turned red. One of the boys grabbed him and started to cut chunks of his hair off. The crowd gasped. The woman daubed black paint on all over Pettet’s mouth.The audience was then taken to a room with a booth which was very, very small. Pettet was sat inside, still in his pants, with two piles of bananas in front of him.
The audience members were meant to pick up a banana and stuff it into Clayton’s mouth as a manner of the act and he would then snap the banana in half and tell them to leave. Most people expected him to have anal sex as a part of his performance art but all were shocked at what happened at the day of the performance.
“I think if people were expecting something else, it shows what they really wanted. They didn’t want an art piece, they wanted to see me have sex. If they came for the art, they wouldn’t be as disappointed — they’d know there were things to read between the lines for.” says Clayton Pettet.
It shows how people’s minds work and how they think of certain topics and in this case
‘Sex’ which is still quite a taboo in India and is frowned upon and this makes you question whether we would be able to read between the lines of a certain art work or go for the topic itself.