Video: 5 Endurance and Performance Artists Keep reading to learn more about their life, practice and work: 1. Matthew Barney (1967) is an American artist who works in sculpture, photography, drawing and film. Barney was recruited in 1985 to play football at Yale University, where he planned to go into pre-med while also studying art. After graduating, he moved to New York, where he worked as a catalog model, to finance his early career as an artist. Check out: The Cremaster Cycle, a series of five films described as "one of the most imaginative and brilliant achievements in the history of avant-garde cinema." -Jonathan Jones (The Guardian) 2. Vito Acconci (1940) is an American designer, landscape architect, performance and installation artist. He studied literature and poetry, receiving a MFA from the University of Iowa. He worked as a poet, editing 0 TO 9 with Bernadette Mayer in the late 1960s. Acconci transformed himself to a performance and video artist in the late 1960s, using his own body as a subject in photography, video and performance. His work is marked by confrontation and Situationism. Check out: Centers (1971) A 25 minute film of Acconci pointing at the camera. 3. Marina Abramović (1946) is a Serbian and former Yugoslav performance artist based in New York. Described as the "grandmother of performance art," She's been creating art for three decades, and is credited for pioneering a new notion of identity by bringing in the participation of her observers. Check out: Rhythm 10 (1973) Her first performance in Edinburgh, she laid out 20 knifes and played the Russian game, in which rhythmic knife jabs are aimed between the splayed fingers of one's hand. Each time she cut herself, she picked up the next knife. After cutting herself 20 times, he replayed the video tape, and tried to recreate the same movements and mistakes, merging past and present.
In an interview published in 1998, Abramović described how her "mother took complete military-style control of me and my brother. I was not allowed to leave the house after 10 o'clock at night till I was 29 years old. ... [A]ll the performances in Yugoslavia I did before 10 o'clock in the evening because I had to be home then. It's completely insane, but all of my cutting myself, whipping myself, burning myself, almost losing my life in the firestar, everything was done before 10 in the evening."4. Tehching (Sam) Hsieh (1950) is a Taiwanese-American performance artist. One of 15 children, he dropped out of high school and started to paint and create performance pieces after his compulsory military service in Taiwan. He moved to New York, where he worked as a dishwasher and cleaner for four years. Check out: Any of his one year performances. One Year Performance 1978–1979 (Cage Piece): Hsieh locked himself in a wooden cage, where he did not allow himself to talk, to read, to write, or to listen to radio and TV. A laywer notarized the entire process. Everyday his loftmate delivered food and removed waste. One Year Performance 1980–1981 (Time Clock Piece): Every hour on the hour, Hsieh punched a time clock and took a single photo of himself. The photos were compiled to a 6 minute video. He shaved his head before starting the piece, so the growing hair reflects the passage of time. One Year Performance 1981–1982 (Outdoor Piece): Hsieh spent an entire year outside in New York City, with only a packbag and sleeping bag. He did not enter any building or shelter (including cars, trains, airplanes, boats, or tents). Art / Life: One Year Performance 1983-1984 (Rope Piece): Hsieh was tied to Linda Montano with a 8-foot-long (2.4m) rope. They had to stay in the same room, but were not allowed to touch each other. One Year Performance 1985–1986 (No Art Piece): Hsieh did not make any art. No seeing art, no speaking about art, no entering museums or galleries. 5. Emma Sulkowicz is an American fourth-year visual arts major at Columbia University in New York City. Check out: Mattress Girl (2014/5?) a life-sized doll modeled after Sulkowicz, who can "take her place in future interviews and answer insensitive or upsetting questions on her behalf."