The Tate's glossery page describes the medium like this:
Art in which the medium is the artist's own body and the artwork takes the form of actions performed by the artist.With that said let's begin our journey into a Seoul subway ride that was anything but normal. Around 1pm the artists started to show up and eventually were a sizable group.
We had a set departure time, that of 2:06 pm and as we waited Eric briefed us on what to do.
Our train arrived and we sheepishly stepped into the train car. Actually, this was the moment I was most anxious for. How were a group of performance artists going to deal with the dilemma of a train full of unsuspecting people? But I knew one of the best traits of this art form is it's interaction with the audience. In this respect, I was full of excitement at the same time.
The artists above (from left) Gwen Atkinson, Brooke Carlson and Bianca Turalija, got the groove going on the train by letting the deep notes of the saxophone get everyone's attention. While he played Gwen spoke a poem in English, and when finished Bianca translated it into Korean.
While this was happening the artist, Mrat Lunn Htwann, was setting up his materials for his performance.
Immediately, the attention was on him as he set up slippers, a black furry swath on the subway chair and rope hung in the style of a noose.
During Mrat's set up / performance the sound artist, Sato Yukie was playing his guitar. I think the element of sound made by his guitar gave a nice narrative to what was happening. In some ways I think it helped soothe whatever nervous feelings people were having.
Mrat's performance was kicking off and soon he was found wielding an iron and interacting with the audience, by "ironing" them. It made for a lot of giggling on the train.
Jin Sup Yoon got in on the fun and added his own element with the iron.
But not all who were on the train that day could deal with this aspect of the performance art. One man, who was being interacted with by Mrat, had a go at him. He mostly used language as his choice of weapon and was very upset. Thankfully he was cooled down by the photographer, Young-il Kwon.
I'm going to make a video of this event and I believe I have a clip of this altercation, which can show just how powerful performance art can be.
Accompanying this crew of artists was "Tiger" from the group "Tiger and Bear." Their a duo of artists who have interpreted Korea in a very interesting way. The following, taken from their blog explains this better.
When James Topple and Colin Riddle moved to Korea, they had an idea to investigate how people have adapted
to the economic and social changes that have taken place over the past decades.
They would do it through the eyes of “Tiger and Bear,” important creatures in Korea’s mythology.
The results are fresh interpretations of modern-day Korea.” -The Korea Herald
At this point "Tiger" was doing his thing along with Mrat and then the artist, Park Juyoung started hers.
More "Tiger" prowling around the train...
At this point the artists gathered their things and met up with Eric. We were getting closer to Incheon and less people were on the train. After some time the artist, An Jung began her performance.
The PAISC event was definitely something I will always remember, as it was my first time seeing performance art in such a grand manner. I look forward to making the video and showing you guys what it sounded and looked like.
I hope this has sparked some interest in Performance Art and shows just how creative and dedicated artists of this medium can be.