Performance Art Impact

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Impacts of Performance Art
Artistic movements have become essential in providing criticisms to improve society. The Family Fang, by Kevin Wilson, depicts an abnormal family’s artistic journey, which consists of many happenings. Caleb and Camille, along with their two children, Buster and Annie, perform many public (and controversial) happenings that they consider art. The family relates to artist Chris Burden, who in real life performs shocking works of art. His most famous performance is Shoot. In this act “Burden [stands] in a gallery and [orders] a male colleague to shoot him” (Jones 130). Similarly, the Fang’s also do a performance called Shot, in which Caleb shoots his mentor. The Fang’s performance Shot, and Chris Burden’s performance,
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After Hobart is shot in the courtyard, “[Caleb] [is] unsure of …how significant the damage [is]” (Wilson 188). This implies that “if not for dumb luck,” the outcome could have been deadly (Wilson 189). The effect of a shooting in a work of art brings in an element of seriousness, which the artist may have intended, but the risk is also increased to a point where it may not be worth doing. Although Hobart has a brush with death, “he [becomes] one of the most talked about artists of the decade” (Wilson 190). Considering the poor planning which went into the act, it seems like a miracle that Hobart manages to survive with only moderate injuries. It also seems odd considering such fame would result from an intentional act of violence. Similarly, after the shooting involving Burden, scholar Frazer Ward suggests, “Burden [is] [known] as the artist who shot himself” (116). The label also results in “tabloid publicity that most artists never have to deal with” (Ward 116). Shoot is a success, in the sense it brings fame and attention to both artists. Inevitably, with fame, comes criticism. Immediately after the shooting involving Hobart, the police chief criticizes this new form of art saying “you just cannot go around shooting people” (Wilson 189). Besides criticism, there were legal troubles associated with the shootings. Caleb was under threat of spending time in jail, which…show more content…
The goal for Caleb is to help Hobart obtain fame, as he “[did not] [produce] anything noteworthy in years” (Wilson 186). There are many ways to obtain fame; however, the chosen method is to shoot Hobart. Such a radical idea takes many people by surprise, which results in a greater public exposure. Caleb’s idea of shooting Hobart is supported by the statement “art, if you [love] it, [is] worth any amount of unhappiness and pain” (Wilson 190). This statement can be interpreted as one can go to any length to make art, which is exactly what Caleb does. Likewise, Burden suggests getting shot “[is] something to experience” (Burden qtd. in Ward 118). He also mentions that “[everyone] watches [shootings] on TV everyday” (Burden qtd. in Ward 118). The comment implies that Burden attempts to criticize television due to its vast depiction of violence, by showing the public what it looks like to get shot in real life. Also, Ward suggests that Shoot may be influenced by the Vietnam War (118). Ward describes Burden “as a kind of martyr, whose self-victimization mimics, in protest, the brutality of the war” (119). Here, the purpose can be interpreted as Burden is trying to condemn the war by shooting himself (Ward 119). Going to great lengths to get shot depicts that Burden is passionate about the cause, and this links to Caleb’s statement of doing
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