Performance Art is an interesting and diverse field attracting many artists who yearn to
literally „put themselves into their art‟.
During the 1900s diverse methods of performancewere trialled by artists questioning the Establishment as society transitioned rapidlythroughout the century. In the 60s and 70s the Post-Minimalist Movement included aplethora of Performance and Body Artists. Carolee Schneemann, Joseph Beuys and AnaMendieta were three very dissimilar artists who all used performance to express theirdeeply personal concerns. The burgeoning of what came to be known as Postmodernthought disputed the assumption of ultimate knowability and fixed meaning and gave riseto subjective personally constructed realities. All three artists demonstrate the use of theiralternative realities through their performances. In my personal work I am extremelyinterested in the symbolic and subconscious meanings and how action and words createmeaning and belief. This essay is an introduction to set the stage for the second essay inwhich I intend to examine Performativity, the way in which language and non-verbal actscan arbitrate in human activity to create reality.