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2017/02/02

How punk inspired my work in live art

Wang-ChuyuAnthony Roberts realised that experimental, counter-cultural art practices, especially those of performance art, epitomised everything that punk was about: they brought together fashion, politics and art, they were artist-led and autonomous, they gave voice and visibility to the disenfranchised, marginalized and silenced. At the time, performance art seemed to me to be anti-hierarchical, involving audiences as equals and placing them at the centre of the work. It was art with an attitude, that could be done anywhere, and made with a distinct DIY or lo-fi aesthetic. It was art that rewrote the rules, that didn’t seek, or even want, permission from the authorities to exist, and found ways to bypass the gatekeepers of culture.

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Beijing artist Wang Chuyu being moved on by the police as he waits to greet the Queen during the Live Art UK China Live tour in 2005. Photograph: Wang Chuyu