Endurance art is a kind of performance art involving some form of hardship, such as pain, solitude or exhaustion. Performances that focus on the passage of long periods of time are also known as durational art or durational performances.
Writer Michael Fallon traces the genre to the work of Chris Burden in California in the 1970s. Burden spent five days in a locker in Five Day Locker Piece (1971), had himself shot in Shoot (1971), and lived for 22 days in a bed in an art gallery in Bed Piece (1972).
Other examples of endurance art include Tehching Hsieh's One Year Performance 1980–1981 (Time Clock Piece), in which for 12 months he punched a time clock every hour, and Art/Life One Year Performance 1983–1984 (Rope Piece), in which Hsieh and Linda Montano spent a year tied to each other by an eight-foot rope.
In The House with the Ocean View (2003), Marina Abramović lived silently for 12 days without food or entertainment on a stage entirely open to the audience. Such is the physical stamina required for some of her work that in 2012 she set up what she called a "boot camp" in Hudson, New York, for participants in her multiple-person performances.
The Nine Confinements or The Deprivation of Liberty is a conceptual, endurance art and performative work of critical and biographical content by artist Abel Azcona. The artwork was a sequence of performances carried out between 2013 and 2016. All of the series had a theme of deprivation of liberty. The first in the series was performed by Azcona in 2013 and named Confinement in Search of Identity. The artist was to remain for sixty days in a space built inside an art gallery of Madrid, with scarce food resources and in total darkness. The performance was stopped after forty-two days for health reasons and the artist hospitalised. Azcona created these works as a reflection and also a discursive interruption of his own mental illness, mental illness being one of the recurring themes in Azcona's work.
Beth Hoffmann, "The Time of Live Art," in Deirdre Heddon, Jennie Klein (eds.), Histories and Practices of Live Art, Palgrave Macmillan, 2012, p. 47.
John Perreault, "Lady Gaga Rejected by Marina Abramović, Plus MoMA Sound", Artopia, 13 September 2013.