Performance takes for itself these body practices, and put it back in the context of our contemporary and urban societies. It expresses a dematerialization process of the object, so as to benefit to the art action. The artist's body, sounds and gestures become materials of an art potentionally interactive with the public.
If performance consists of presenting a piece of art in the process of being made, it also has its own history: Futurisme, Dadaism, then Fluxus, and today action or sound poetry, new images, dance, experimental music, body art, new technologies, Rock and Roll or new european cultures. The official history still today considers performance as a phenomenon linked with the 60's. Though, performance exists more and more, and it seems obvious that artists use their bodies more and more in their work. It is now time to stop considering the performance phenomenon as a "marginal art", as it is marginalized only if compared with other forms of art, which are very often the execution of institutionalized criterions. Performance breaks up with the art tradition, requests direct action and leads to numerous debates; it debunks the barriers and let us check the existence of the academic art.
Hard to define, it is an "open-work art", as Umberto Ecco understands it: there is no unitary model: it is a chameleon art, which adapts and modifies.