Amy Bryzgel
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in Performance art in Eastern Europe since 1960
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Artists working in Central, Eastern and Southeastern Europe during the communist period adopted performance art as a free-form, open-ended means of expression. Performance art gave voice to concepts, relationships and actions that otherwise would not have been possible in the official realm of art or in the public sphere. In the post-communist period, artists continued to embrace the experimental nature of performance. Performance art created under the communist and post-communist systems manifests other points of continuity as well. Just as East European artists working under communism faced potentially severe repercussions for actions deemed politically or otherwise subversive, so, too, have their post-communist successors, as the controversy surrounding Pussy Riot, among other examples, attests. The fact that performance art continues to be relevant in the region attests to its lingering efficacy in both the world of art and the public sphere.

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