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Performance Art History: The Playlist

Hesta Prynn A.jpgIn this weekly column, MC/DJ Hesta Prynn pairs pop culture stories with an original playlist.

Performance Art is no longer just something you pretend to understand during your Freshperson year at Oberlin. Suddenly it's the buzzterm dujour and stars from Jay Z to Lady Gaga have declared Marina Abramović's performance art bandwagon the performance art bandwagon to jump on. In honor of the form having it's moment in the blogosphere spotlight, this week's "Five n Five" gets the conversation started with Five Performance Artists You Need to Know.

1. Marina Abramović -- "Picasso Baby" by Jay Z

The "grandmother of performance art," Abramović has been performing for nearly forty years and is best known for her "endurance" piece entitled The Artist Is Present. In this piece she sat silent at a table at MOMA for 736 hours and 30 minutes. Viewers were invited to sit opposite her. This piece is the template and inspiration for the "Picasso Baby" video.

Related Music Video: "Picasso Baby"

2. Carolee Schneemann -- "FYR" by Le Tigre

Schneemann's work dealt with topics related to the body, sexuality and gender. In 1975 she created what became arguably her most famous piece, Interior Scroll, which included the artist reading a speech from a scroll she removed from her vagina.

Related Off-Broadway Play Inspired by Schneemann's Work: The Vagina Monologues

3. Tehching (Sam) Hsieh -- "Color of My Soul" by Pretty Lights

Hsieh's works deal with time and struggle. In his One Year Performance series he spent a full year dealing with one of the following constraints: locked inside a cage, punching a timeclock every hour on the hour, tied to another artist with an eight foot rope, remaining completely outdoors, or making no art at all.

Related Film: One Year Performance 1980 - 1981

4. Andy Warhol -- "Your Life is a Lie" by MGMT

Warhol's entire life eventually became an ongoing multimedia project. His Factory churned out physical works in addition to a cast of characters, many of whom have become New York City legends.

Related Film: I Shot Andy Warhol

5. Pussy Riot -- "Style I Bring" by Northern State

The eleven-ish woman feminist collective staged a performance at Moscow's Cathedral of Christ The Savior to protest the close link between ties between church and state in Russia. Three members of were arrested (two remain behind bars) and a political firestorm has resulted. Many Americans support the collective while many Russian's are appalled by the overt feminism and criticism of religion.

Companion Documentary: Free Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer

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