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Body Issues in Performance Art: Between Theory and

Praxis
Andrea Pagnes
1. STATEMENT ELEMENTS
Performance Art is a culture bound. It is always related to the specificity of a particular context, situations
and circumstances. It is a discipline that moves along the interface that exists between an action that just
refers to itself, and a live art work intended not just as a mere corpus of actions, but mainly as possible
instrument of expression and communication, aimed to create or decipher a particular experience.
This could be possible only by producing meanings. Only meanings give actions a sense: lacking in
meaning, any performance actions would lose its impact, and be scattered, poorly becoming a mere end,
an empty joke.
The performer is outside of any usual or pre-ordered language; the performer sees things from many
different perspectives, through a magnifying glass. Paradoxically, its as though the performer doesnt
belong to the human condition and, moving towards mans essence, first of all the performer sees the
action itself (and the need to act) as a barrier. Instead of seeking first to know i.e. the mans name, its as
though the performer establishes immediately a silent contact with the essence within (him/herself) and
then, turning towards that other species of things that for him/her are actions (touching them, feeling
them), the performer discovers that there is a specific tenuous light, a particular affinity with the earth, the
sky, water and all those things that are. Not knowing how to use them as a sign of some aspect of the
world, the performer sees in the body, which acts, the image itself of one of those aspects.
A performance, live or recorded, is life itself: it is primarily real. It stimulates memory activation,
sentiments, instinctual feelings and the most intimate beliefs of who is participating. However, to achieve
an inner shifting, a transfer of the Being to another dimension (real but not ordinary) in his appearance, it
is necessary to communicate differently but thoroughly through gestures or primary actions,
establishing a relation between performer and spectator with no obligations or forced intentions. Actually,
performer and spectator are interdependent to each other, and, in different measure, reciprocally
impressionable. Thus, while body and soul, movement and perception are evident proofs of reality, at the
same time they are a laboratory of memory and representation. For that, a performance is really valuable
when it arrives to investigate territories where ethic and aesthetic find their common ground.
Impermanence, identity, transfer, emotions, denial, introspection, idealization, division of the inner Self, its
intimate essence in relation to the others, the objects and the surroundings: to perform within these topics
means to move on that edge separating the realm of reality from the Utopias one.
During a performance the many different sensorial perceptions shape an itinerary that evokes non
ordinary stimulations, at the same time offering a whole range of information to awake the inner sight, and
to realize what it may be the ineffable that everyone carries inside himself. The (human) Being exists
essentially for the interaction of three fundamental factors: the biological sphere, the social-ecological
one, and the inter-psychic one. In the reality, when one or more of these areas get in conflict with another
one, the human being, to protect itself from the loss of inner balance and the crisis that follows, tries to
find remedy by using defensive devices. Everyone does. Nevertheless, there is something inside each
one of us that seems to be still impossible to define in precise words, but it exists and acts: someone calls
it mystery, some others psychic-spiritual experience.
The term action, comes from the Latin word actionem (nom. actio), from the pp. stem of the verb agere,
and from the pp. stem of the later activare. It means the state or process of doing; to set in motion; to
operate and organize activity to accomplish an objective; the causation of change by the exertion of
power or a natural process; a movement, a manner of movement or a series of movement; a behaviour, a

conduct (also habitual). In some other cases the term action can indicate to urge, to drive, to chase, to stir
up.
Hence, with particular reference to performative action, it is necessary to consider a priori the performer
as primary element action-maker of the action itself with performers performing body. However,
whether the presence of the performers body has to operate and act within the action itself, and in which
measure it must be visible, perceptible, and tangible to be said performative action, it is not precisely
defined yet.
To analyze the idea of the body as essential element of any performative action, and investigate the
possibility of action and representation on the surface of the so-called visible body, it is maybe useful to
revisit some specific cultural prodromes about the word body.
For instance the Arab culture states three different expressions to define the word body: Gesem,
Gesed and Beden. These three terms are clearly specified in what they refer to and in how, consequently,
they indicate the three single, distinct elements (or bodies) by which the body is subdivided:
Gesem- is the body-body, the concrete biological, mechanical substance, the tangible, anatomical
structure, which consists of flesh, bones, muscles, blood.
Gesed- is the mind-body; the brain; for the Latins- intelligenzia: the mental structure, which
supports and controls the Gesem (body-body).
Beden- is the psyche-body, the psychosomatic element of soul movements and true, transparent
and subtle emotions, which equally can express themselves through the Gesem (body-body), and
also influence Gesed (body-mind).
The three bodies reciprocally influence each other.
It is consequential that a specific question arises when someone try to analyze a particular, performative
action, in order to understand which of these three bodies is more helpful and suitable to try and give the
action a precise definition.
Of course the action pertinent to the Gesem (body-body) is easily perceptible and clearly definable; but
what happens if the action is due to the use of Gesed (mind-body) and/or Beden (psyche-body)? Can
these two bodies be in action without having an obvious, visible output (expression) on the Gesem (bodybody) surface? How can we perceive them?
The task for any artist, which works with/through the artists own body, as material for
representation/action, would have always be to achieve a natural equilibrium and balanced strength
between those three bodies. Hence, during an actual performance, it may happen that the spectators do
not visually perceive any action of the Gesem (body-body), but it will be always important to remind that in
those moments the Gesed (mind-body) and Beden (psyche-body) of the performer are somehow set in
motion, and that they are actually working and making action.
If these three subtle bodies are elements that belong to the performers body once it is activated to
operate during any performative action, they consequently interfere with all the following categories,
which should be properly analyzed as aspects of the three bodies of the performer, not just as an artist,
but more, as human being.
When our senses allow us to go beyond the materialistic schemes of ordinary things, we activate a
different scale of inter-connective messages and impulses, which interacting between one each other
lead to achieve a more pure and non hyper-structured way of communication aim to evoke associations
and to generate concrete modifications that refer to something different. For example a ritual dynamic
can activate and indicate different processes of social relation, provided that it is not invasive or
constrictive: it is simply used like invisible instrument of recognition.
Inside someones own Self, intimately, privately, everyone realizes how much humble, harmonious, non-acritic, passive someone can be, and mostly is.

Similarly, remembrances, ideas, actions and interventions: when they find a common ground to flow
together, they can give birth to an experience both individual and collective at the same time. An
experience that is civil, social, primarily poetical as part of a creative process, that is finally the result of an
aesthetic course, a process of making which carries within clearness and significance.
An art action interferes with the limits of human abilities, objective or subjective. A prolonged effort can
efficiently test these limits, once it is guided by consciousness, patience and decisional ability of the
performer. In this way it is possible to create a flux of lasting energies throughout physical and real
images that the body being inside a given space implements in a fixed period of time. The becoming
itself turns to be a practice focused on exploring and finding new codes of expression and relation, so that
possible truths and reality can interfere to transform into something unusual but strongly perceivable.
Images produced by the mind, dreams or visions, change throughout clear physical actions, and as
mediators of the ineffable become pure impressionable sensuality. More than the five human senses,
the heart is the foremost sensor that allows an individual to look inwardly and profoundly, so far to get a
more pure and concentrated perception of the many possible configurations in the scheme and in the
configured system of the things.
To understand and comprehend is a question of profound feeling and flow of energies: it represents the
extreme limit of any artistic process; as well as, in the same way, it happens when an intuition occurs for
the activation of the memory, may it be genetic, collective or individual. For this, it is required an effort of
whole empathy, between being and surroundings, as well as a deep comprehension of what does mean
entropy throughout physical, mental and spiritual perception at the same time.
2. PERFORMANCE ART: A SOCIAL ROLE BETWEEN ETHICS AND AESTHETICS
Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing there is a field. I will meet you there.
-Rumi
In his prophetic Six Memos for the Next Millennium, Italo Calvino enhances Lightness, Quickness,
Exactitude, Visibility, Multiplicity and Consistency as indispensable qualities to cherish literature. It can be
considered a definition or, better, a six-faced metaphor that can also be easily applied to economy,
Internet and media communication and, specifically, to Art, interactive Performances and Art Action.
Today artists and performers are increasingly developing a need for new instruments, and new ways of
thinking about their work. Concepts, like Daniel Golemans emotional intelligence an indispensable
attitude, an alternative and potential complement to traditional technical and rational abilities , social
intelligence and eco-intelligence are carefully evaluated and kept in high esteem.
Unexpected structural models emerge from this scenario, like the network organization in which each
performance artist can be not a mere virtual link, but more a real knot within a greater valuable-creation
system, one that requires, new models of expression as well as strategic approaches. To implement this
actual status, qualities such as, transparency, flexibility, and pneumaticity (already codified by Getulio
Alviani to conceive lighter and more liveable spaces in his Manifesto Sullo Spazio Pneumatico, Milan,
1967) are essential to indicate what is the necessary capability of being adherent and/or adaptable to
many different present situations and places discreetly.
Performance Art world is becoming progressively oriented toward networking globalization and innovation
of communication. This idea is an increasingly vast concept that is being applied already to technology, as
well as to internal political end economical processes and contemporary society too. Hence also the
performers role is changing: by becoming increasingly less an actionist of reputed and supposable
nonsense, and increasingly more a communicator of things once considered impossible, the performers
work helps to accomplish these things in a better and clearer way.
Strategy of action and vision setting, clarity in the definition of objectives and possessing extreme
reactivity to the unpredictable, are ineluctable qualities which a contemporary performer must have within

the working area, between commitment and pleasure, in order to search for a balance capable to match
with the needs of new work realities.
The urgency of a greater communication between the inside and outside of the system has always been a
social need that follows from its origins, between exaltation and oblivion, until reaching the current
overwhelming of data, which seems always near to explosion.
Out of this perspective, art actions become expressions of a language that has made understatement its
credo, also to face those streams that treat art results as if they were mere bits of information or
superfluous products. For instance, the manifested need to investigate the interface existing between
living space and people, to act transparently according to ideas and feelings, using art action itself as an
intelligent skin capable of mutating the physicality of the body into a dream matter, a tool for inner data
activation, amplifies and reverberates the identity of a communication between performers and the others,
outlining new indications about how to live this life, using carriers of meaning precisely addressed to
evoke what is stored in our memory, which exists but often seems somehow forgotten: the ineffable.
3. THE LAWS OF COMMUNICATION: SPACE, TRUTH AND BODY IN ACTION
In our modern times, it has originally been Heidegger who related art and language in an unusual way. To
consider Art as a tool for a profound reflection onto reality, the nature of things and their laws, was the
beginning of assuming new responsibilities towards times changes complexity for mankind.
Since then Art has started to offer to mankind new, unexpected and more concentrated ways to look at
the realm of the things. Looking at reality from different perspective brought Man back to that same reality
equally transformed with it, or in open contrast and conflict.
The same notions of space and truth move throughout different level and degrees, intermingling
continuously between the real and the virtual. However space is an original, primordial phenomenon that
might provoke some sort of fear too.
Actually space can offer itself as a limit, something that cannot be overcome and that doesnt allow to go
further: a challenge both for language and thought. The concept of space has an evocative power. It put
our mind in the position to claim for other concepts such as to widen (also metaphorically), to clear or to
create a void in order that something can happen like a proper event (not container of contents, but
content to contain contents; examples of which are Frank Ghery Gugghenheim Museum, John Utzon
Sidney Opera House, and Le Corbusier Chapel of Ronchamp). This also to say that places where an
individual is born and growth are important because they affect to some extent in the formation of
character and personality, they determine, in the words of Lorenz, a kind of imprinting.
Truth, in art, is not an experience to be imposed to Man like the objects evidence. Far less, it is not even a
sentence, a verdict, a ruling or a declaratory judgment. It is a delicate encounter, connected much more to
the atmosphere and the environment than to the presence: it is a combination, a gathering and
convergence of occasions and situations.
Joseph Beuys indicated very well the fact that contemporary art has ingrained inside itself the tendency to
destroy tradition. Nowadays there are different forms of culture: every person can surely develop his/her
culture on his/her own. That means that every person, as free human being, is capable to make, produce
and have his/her own culture. Every person can have a canon, although that persons point of view will
always be partial.
The risk, as well as the actual point of discussion, is that anything is frenetically consumed, therefore
becoming not ideological, but often folkloristic. However it cant be neglected the fact that people are
always somehow connected, tied to a profound common root, wherever they might be during the course
of the evolution: a root deeply grounded into the collective genetic memory. Consequently the idea of
anthropos is due to criterion of political, cultural, social, civil and territorial integrity, which means that it is
tied to a whole series of integrities that create the independence to be able to make a synthesis with a

certain weight and consistency. It is also for this reason that, in art, differences mostly exist because of a
matter of quality.
Therefore, when an action artist has clearly made the decision to use him/herself as a tool or, better, as a
mediator of expression and communication, s/he can do anything without firstly considering bodys
biological laws. To redesign or offer some of those that can be defined laws of communication, s/he must
always be responsible to use his/her body primarily for its metaphorical value, nullification, truth, having
always clear in his/her mind that when the body lies, it always confesses.
4. WHAT IS THE BODY
To be an action artist means to improve the Self-knowledge by investigating the cutting-edge existing
between what I want to do and what someone want to do of/about me. Therefore an action artist must
primarily recognized him/herself as a tool of his/her own work.
Often performance artists have mostly to deal with investigation of the Human Body throughout its own
reading, to focus on their own Body (and its own signs) as peculiar/predominant mean of communication:
the Human Body and its own ways of expression; Real Body Virtual Body Hybrid Body as pars
construens of art action; the Human Body and its own interactions with the others and within reality; the
Human Body interacting with auxiliary tools/media (video/sound technology and devices).
Conceptual Lines
It is more or less accepted that Performance Art cannot do without the human form.
The development of today performance art research has been motivated from the study of gesture,
posture and, the sound of silence, and progressed into different areas of body investigation. This is the
platform for a string of theoretical works in constant evolution and transformation. On the other hand, in
many live performances, of which the essence is not what is said or shown, but how and what is
communicated throughout the whole body as membrane of spirit, voice, sound, said or written words, and
video images are adopted only as vehicles for a poetry pure expression. Therefore it is consequential that
here the body is considered as an unknown landscape that invites one to explore its hidden
manifestation, while emotions, feelings, movements, and sensation due by them, are the unstoppable
flowing stream that traverses it.
To come to a range of whether solo or collective works/performances, it is must be always clear that more
than a technical one, it is an aesthetic control and a manipulation of space (holy but empty space at the
same time) that can drive both performer and the participant/spectator through creative and sensitive
imagery and body language, into an open confrontation to enrich experience. For this, also performance
art workshops are a fundamental practice once aimed to investigate principally human existential
conflicts, as well as the often hidden but truly existing relationships between humans and their
discomforts and diseases (social-psychic-spiritual) which derive from one each other.
Philosophers and researchers such as Bojana Kunst and Teresa Macr assert that the impossible body of
today is an extreme but however possible concept that deals with one of the most topical subjects in art,
science and humanities: the relation between the human body and a machine. Visionaries, fantasts,
philosophers, scientists and artists have imagined the impossible body as a machine, an automaton, a
model of a digesting duckling, Golem, a homunculus, an electrical soul, an engine, a wax figure, a
marionette, an iron woman, an Eve of the future, a glass man. All of these impossible bodies are subjects
of an extraordinary study that comprises a period from the birth of modern science in the 18th century
until the avant-garde artistic research of the 20th century and the new production of the beginning of the
21st.
In so far the contemporary body has been genetically modified and simulated by digital manipulations,
and, consequently, its organic boundaries completely re-designed. Hence, transformed into a place of
signification in progress, reshaped its meaning, now it must be considered not anymore as a mere object,
but a full fledged subject.

Actually, if we look at today Medicine, Science and Technology, we cannot avoid to accept ourselves as
witnesses of our own continuous bodily mutations and, by the way, are we really aware of our body
mutations through diseases and the consequent cures we look for fighting them? We really realize that
we walk only if to walk somehow hurts us.
Nevertheless, to investigate (or show, or demonstrate) only and just only which are the effects on the
human body of what it has been stated above, it is not the main subject. In fact Action Art is mainly a
research to explore and lead the vital capability of the body (at whatever condition it is left or subdue) to
interact with reality and become a true visual place in which and where meanings
(social/individual/spiritual) are produced.
The essence of this particular kind of work is not to produce new models or icons through some
demonstrative uses or arid performances of the human body, but through the body offering new possibility
to understand art as distinctive discipline that can lead us to a profound consideration about our destiny in
our time, beyond the same boundaries of body representation, and even beyond also what is in-rooted in
our collective imaginary, as it can strongly bring back to nature what our deceptive mind sees as hybrid,
synthetic, troubled, diverse, different.
Contemporary visual culture will obviously always be the common ground of recognition to investigate
where to follow the traces of human mutations and conflicts; cultural, spiritual, corporal. However, this
direction will necessarily lead us out of that configured space; it will invite us to enter into the real and
virtual space where each one of us live, into the so-called exhibition/production spaces of our own social
and hybrid bodies, the full space of body experience where the melting pot is a cosmogony that is
biological, analogical and digital: le lieu dhabitude of our daily life.
Analysis
Starting from the assumption that art manifests the invisible in the visible, suggests the possible by
confronting the impossible, opens unforeseen realms, bolsters that urgent desire to reintegrate art and
life, to reaffirm and re-identify with ones cultural roots, to reclaim lost or denigrated sources of knowledge,
to valorise the visual as opposed to the verbal in art, it is consequential to consider valid the following
hypothesis: for as the world spiritual condition improves, aesthetic quality will be increasingly valued.
According to this instance and considering aesthetics itself the basis of ethics, the performer (as creative
person in action) ethical core developed through art is very influential in the performers later ethical
choices. Where can one evade an uncomfortable truth without doing wrong? it is not only a question to
seek for a common sense, or to determine social issues and values; it is more a matter of personal
decision.
The ethics of the performer is outlined by different instances: which values should s/he determined
(normative); how an outcome can be achieved in specific situations (possibility); how his/her capability
develops in different situation; how his/her nature transforms (spirit/psyche); what indications people
actually abide by (action and representation); the retraction of his/her Ego, to work on the inner Self as
instrument of Self-knowledge.
A performer must not interpret something a priori assumed: a performer must act in accordance with
his/her nature to realise his/her full potential. In fact, according to Socrates a self-aware person must act
completely within its capabilities to their pinnacle, to become aware of every fact (and its context and
circumstances) relevant to his existence, if he wishes to attain self-knowledge (See: Encyclopedia of
Ethics, Lawrence C. Becker and Charlotte B. Becker, editors, 2nd Edition in three volumes, New York:
Routledge Press, 2002). Actually it is completely useless to imitate or interpret something a priori: this will
cause distraction both for the one that acts and the one that watches. A performance action is needed to
bring to discover and unveil the Self. Actually, to stir up and provoke emotions (inside us, inside the
others) it is primarily necessary to externalize what is hidden inside someones own heart, soul, and life
experience. Only in this way through the reconciliation with the inner Self is offered the opportunity to

re-establish a contact with the mystery that each one of us carries within him/herself. To reach this
condition the work must be silent, patient, concentrated, and meditative.
The issue of the question
What are human rights, and how do we determine them?
If someone else can make better out of his/her life than I can, is it then moral to sacrifice myself
for them if needed?
Without these questions there is no clear fulcrum on which to balance law, politics, and the practice of
arbitration, so the ability to formulate the questions are prior to rights balancing. For example, making
ethical judgments regarding questions such as Is lying always wrong? and, If not, when is it
permissible? is prior to any etiquette.
Jean Baudrillard in his book Simulacres et Simulation (Paris: Galile, 1985) theorised that signs and
symbols or simulacra had usurped reality, particularly in the consumer world. Post-structuralism and
postmodernism are both heavily theoretical and follow a fragmented, anti-authoritarian course which is
absorbed in narcissistic and near nihilistic activities. Nevertheless people in general continue to be more
comfortable with dichotomies (two choices). Actually, in ethics the issues are most often multifaceted and
the best-proposed actions address many different areas concurrently where the answer is almost never a
yes or no, right or wrong statement.
Relational and interactive actions are related to an ethics of care. In Performance Art topics such as the
ones that involve the mind and are relevant to that issue: respect, responsibility, development, character,
virtue and vice, altruism, egoism, disagreement, evolution, behaviour etc., are assumed with a value-free
approach to ethics which examines reality not from a top-down a priori perspective, but rather from
observations of actual choices made by agents in practice.
The performer is a poet (of actions) and an artist at the same time. He doesnt play or interpret: he gives
and delivers. His body and actions, the process of making them, are instruments of creative freedom.
Performers (poetic) actions are at once obligatory and at the same time un-enforceable. Anything for
him/her is a matter of consciousness and responsibility, Begeisterung und Wrde (enthusiasm and
dignity).
At the base of the performers work there are many elements/factors s/he must consider: to seek for
his/her own archetypes; to work on concentration, breathing, voice, sounds, body movements, objects, as
it is necessary to bring the soul impulses, the mind disposition and the spirit to a minimum degree, in
order to re-direct the Self to discover unknown territories, only relying on an absolute creative freedom; to
adopt and form a new own methodology (individual and/or collective); to search for the most profound,
primitive soul qualities; to discover what is useful for him/herself to externalize his/her own story; to
confront his/her own story with others, creating a non-casual synthesis of his/her own biography; to feel to
be connected; to search for mutual sharing (with the others and ones environment).
A performance artist final work mustnt be a narrative staging (mise en scne) or self-celebrative
representation, it must rather be a revelation from which a number of different experiences can be
organize trough mutual relationships, in order to express something different out of them.
Defining a possible grammar
For a performance artist it is necessary to get completely involved, directly and personally, to get off the
ground, to put the Self over the barrel, to bring into focus and undermine beliefs and prejudices, to
arrange, to tune, to compare, to confront, to offer, to sharpen, to bare, to uncover physically and
emotionally, to arrange, to put away, to tweak, to put at risk, to hazard, to lay it on the line, to hit for, to
strike down, to ground, to dump, to put on, to banish, to try out, to tax to the limit, to meet, to collect, to
edge and hive, to drop down, to hammer away at something, to get started, to break into, to sleuth and
get forth.

In this kind of work, narcissism and egocentrism are obstacles. In fact, if the performer is subdued by
personal ambitions during his/her particular work, he/shell never deepen one of the most profound
secrets of creativity: to see, understand and comprehend his/her own heart. The performer will never
become the man/woman of his/her own side if the performers heart is busy with other personal things
such as the desire of showing off, of becoming exceptional, unique etc. Actually it is the retraction of
performers own ego to allow him/her to be re-born as new Self. The psychic action that the performer
expresses is not just the result of a profound experience, neither a genial representation of the
performers inner life. It is the full concordance of the performers own inner imagination with the context
around him/her. In this moment performers private personality is put aside, forgotten and a range of
completely different moments emerge. It is out of these moments that performers new Self arises.
So far, to get close to truth, a performer must never be artificial, or pretentious, if so it is much better to
make mistakes. It often seems that today artists (and particularly action artists) are all doing a complete
useless job, but in all times people have always had a manifested need to make art. Therefore the task of
an artist is and will always be to question the presence of Man in this world, which is always more
than a condition.
Art is a constant, continuous research on Man, and to perform arises from the need to reflect on Man
problems and human relationships. When a performance artist acquires competence on humanity (which
means Poetry), then s/he can also approach and use technology in a right way. To understand technology
(its use and meaning) is a pure creative act as well. However it is also important to remind that an artist is
not a mere machine, but that s/he can only relate technological devices to him/herself, and vice-versa.
To understand and comprehend the external world is always part of an analogical process: individuals are
not softwares, and performance artists indicate many different similarities, and then they try to translate
them in many other different terms, always with their body language.
When technology becomes to be a part of the artistic and creative work, it is not mainly to transform it into
something spectacular or particular (here is the mistake), but mostly to ingrain it into different and more
various metaphors, which are always other ways of economic expression, in the sense of quickness and
synthesis.
Being contemporary means to bare and tune our own Self into something, and to deal at the same time
with one and the others own economical being and creative one.
Personally, I continue to believe that today has still more and more a sense to talk about (and re-consider)
the concept of social sculpture formulated by Joseph Beuys, in which society as a whole has to be
regarded as one great work of art (the Wagnerian Gesamtkunstwerk) to which each person can contribute
creatively.
Whoever produces something, that person does it with an aim, a goal, and the production it is never a
mere end in itself: it is always related to an object, that is production of something. On the contrary, an
ethic action (or moral too) is always an end in itself, because to act ethically is a goal, and the desire is
desire of reaching that goal. The goal of the production is something else from the production itself, while
the goal of the action matches with it: to act ethically for good is an end in itself.
Aristotle was the first to distinguish the actions of humans in two different forms (Ethica Nicomachea,
Book VI): the poisis, which is the direct action aimed to produce an object that is autonomous and
extraneous to the producer him/herself; and the praxis, which is related to actions that have sense of
themselves inside themselves. All moral actions, positive or negative, which are not aimed to a specific
production of objects, fall within the idea of praxis, which has been the predominant concept of the
meaning of the term action in all European languages. To act as practice, which in this case is the
equivalent term of morale.
Finally, a performance artist has also not to forget the importance to determine a style, as carrier of
precise qualities with specific meanings within themselves: a style that enables to define social, cultural,
spiritual values, that belongs to an individual as well as to an entire society.

Andrea Pagnes (Venice, Italy) has a Degree in Aesthetics, Diplomas in Art Critic, Social Theatre Acting,
and Creative Writings. He received the Robert Schuman Silver Medal (UE, 1990), the Millennium
Painting Award for his own country (2000) and the Storie Literary Prize (2009). He has been publishing
essays and prose works for several magazines, mainly working as independent curator and artist. Since
2006 he has been collaborating with Verena Stenke as VestAndPage in Performance and Video Art,
presenting their productions in Europe, US, Asia, South America, and giving workshops, lectures and
seminars in renown international cultural institutions.
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4. Calvino, Italo. Six Memos for the Next Millennium. New York: Random House/Vintage International,
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5. For a more thorough investigation, see: Goleman, Daniel. Emotional Intelligence. New York: Bantam
Books, 1995; Social Intelligence. New York: Random House/Bantam Dell, 2006; Ecological Intelligence.
New York: Random House/Broadway Books, 2009.
6. Concept already codified by Getulio Alviani to conceive lighter and more liveable spaces in his
Manifesto Sullo Spazio Pneumatico. Milan, 1967.
7. Heidegger, Martin. Poetry, Language, Thought, New York: Harper and Raw Publisher, 1971.
8. Kunst, Bojana. The Impossible Body Body and Machine: Theatre, Representation of the Body and
Relation to the Artificial. Ljubljana: Zaloba Maska, 1999.
9. Macr, Teresa. Il Corpo Postorganico. Sconfinamenti della performance. Milan: Costa & Nolan, 1996,
2nd ed. 2006.
10. Ocampo, Yuan MorO. Concept. JIPAF2000 program, Jakarta, 2000. Retrieved June 16, 2009 from
http://www.asahi-net.or.jp/~ee1s-ari/jipafcv.html.
11. See: Lawrence C. Becker and Charlotte B. Becker, editors, Encyclopaedia of Ethics, 2nd Edition in
three volumes, New York: Routledge Press, 2002.
12. Baudrillard, Jean. Simulacres et Simulation. Paris: Galile, 1985.
13. Aristotle. Ethica Nicomachea, Book VI. Note of the author: The present text is a revisited excerpt
resumed from the second part of the book: Pagnes, Andrea. The Fall of Faust Considerations on
Contemporary Art and Art Action. Florence: VestAndPage press, 2010.

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