Michael Barrett, Biography

Michael Barrett teaches art history and performs extensively worldwide, including Austria, Czechia, England, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Netherlands, Poland, and Switzerland.

Barrett's research interests explore the transformative capacity of performance art in the context of the 21st century. By examining, assessing, and archiving specific locations, artists, and performances, his investigation seeks to understand how performance art continues to emerge as a revolutionary and influential force, challenging conventional notions of art, identity, activism, and pedagogy.

1. To examine the historical development of performance art, including its origins, evolution, and contemporary milestones.
2. To interpret the socio-political and cultural contexts in which performance art thrives worldwide.
3. To investigate the role of performance art in addressing issues of gender, race, sexuality, and social justice.
4. To analyze the relationship between performance art and other artistic forms, such as performance studies, performing arts, theater, and dance.
5. To assess the impact of performance art on contemporary art practices and its continued relevance today.

1. Conduct a comprehensive literature review to gather existing research and critical analysis on performance art.
2. Examine primary sources, including artists' manifestos, interviews, performance scripts, photographs, and video documentation.
3. Conduct in-depth case studies of influential performance artists and iconic performances.
4. Utilize a comparative analysis approach to identify common themes, techniques, and strategies used in performance art across different periods and cultures.
5. Engage with contemporary artists, scholars, and curators to gain insights into the current state of performance art and its future trajectory.

This research contributes to a deeper understanding of performance art's historical, social, and cultural significance in the 21st century. By shedding light on its revolutionary potential, it becomes a living history of today that enhances our appreciation of how art can challenge norms, provoke critical thinking, and inspire social change.

Selected solo and group exhibitions include:
Tinguely Museum, Basel, Switzerland; The Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, New York City; San Francisco Arts Commission Gallery; PSi #19 - Stanford University; Berkeley Art Center; Tucson Museum of Art; Quartair Initiatives for the Arts, Den Haag, Netherlands; Scope International, Basel, Switzerland; Galeria Michaela Stock, DOPUST 2016 – Vienna, Austria; Surface Gallery, U.K.; SOMArts, San Francisco; Las Vegas Contemporary Arts Center; Krowswork, Oakland; Raczej Galeria, Poznan, Poland; Hole of Fame Gallery, Dresden, Germany; Galerie Koppelmann Kunstwerk Nippes, KulturBunker, Cologne, Germany; Kulturzentrum Faust, Hanover, Germany; Studio: Ilka Theurich, Hanover, Germany; Kunstpavillon Burgbrohl, Germany; Kaskadenkondensator, Basel, Switzerland; Venice International Performance Art Week 2020, Your Mother Gallery, Singapore, and many more.