Marina Abramović's The Artist is Present, 2010, Museum of Modern Art, New York. Abramović sat silently opposite museum visitors for eight hours a day for three months, a total of 750 hours.[1]
The artist Abel Azcona during The Death of The Artist at Círculo de Bellas Artes de Madrid

Endurance art is a kind of performance art involving some form of hardship, such as pain, solitude or exhaustion.[2] Performances that focus on the passage of long periods of time are also known as durational art or durational performances.[3]

Human endurance contests were a fad of Depression-era America from the 1920s-1930s.[4] Writer Michael Fallon traces the genre of endurance art to the work of Chris Burden in California in the 1970s.[5] 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).[6]

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.[7]

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.[8] 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.[9]

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.[10] 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.[11] 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.[12]


Tehching Hsieh spent a year in this cage in his studio in One Year Performance 1978–1979 (Cage Piece).

See also


  1. ^ Elizabeth Greenwood, "Wait, Why Did That Woman Sit in the MoMA for 750 Hours?", The Atlantic, 2 July 2012.
  2. ^ For artists in endurance performances "[q]uestioning the limits of their bodies," Tatiana A. Koroleva, Subversive Body in Performance Art, ProQuest, 2008, pp. 29, 44–46.
  3. ^ Paul Allain, Jen Harvie, The Routledge Companion to Theatre and Performance, Routledge, 2014, p. 221. Other terms include duration art, live art or time-based art.

    Beth Hoffmann, "The Time of Live Art," in Deirdre Heddon, Jennie Klein (eds.), Histories and Practices of Live Art, Palgrave Macmillan, 2012, p. 47.

  4. ^
  5. ^ Michael Fallon, Creating the Future: Art and Los Angeles in the 1970s, Counterpoint, 2014, p. 106: "Burden's performances were so widely observed that they took on a life beyond the artist, helping create a new art genre, 'endurance art' ..."
  6. ^ Emily Anne Kuriyama, "Everything You Need to Know About Chris Burden's Art Through His Greatest Works", Complex, 2 October 2013.
  7. ^ Andrew Taylor, "Tehching Hsieh: The artist who took the punches as they came", Sydney Morning Herald, 30 April 2014: "Don't try this endurance art at home. That is Tehching Hsieh's advice to artists inspired to emulate the five year-long performances he began in the late 1970s."
  8. ^ Thomas McEvilley, "Performing the Present Tense – A recent piece by Marina Abramovic blended endurance art and Buddhist meditation," Art in America, 91(4), April 2003.
  9. ^ a b c E. C. Feiss, "Endurance Performance: Post-2008", Afterall, 23 May 2012.
  10. ^ García García, Oscar (July 12, 2013). "The artist Abel Azcona will remain locked up for sixty days without light". Contemporary Art Platform. Retrieved January 14, 2020.
  11. ^ Guisado, Paula (August 17, 2013). "An artist ends up in the hospital after 42 days emulating life in a placenta". El Mundo. Retrieved January 14, 2020.
  12. ^ Corroto, Paula (June 16, 2019). "Abel Azcona: "I feel more a prostitute's son or mentally ill than an artist"". El Confidencial. Retrieved January 14, 2020.
  13. ^ Miriam Seidel, "Pioneer Of Endurance Art To Give Lecture", Philadelphia Inquirer, 3 December 1998.

    John Perreault, "Lady Gaga Rejected by Marina Abramović, Plus MoMA Sound", Artopia, 13 September 2013.

  14. ^ Karen Rosenberg, "Provocateur: Marina Abramovic", New York Magazine, 12 December 2005.
  15. ^ a b c Jillian Steinhauer, "Two Weeks Into Performance, Columbia Student Discusses the Weight of Her Mattress", Hyperallergic, 17 September 2014 (citing Jon Kessler).
  16. ^ Paul Allain, Jen Harvie, The Routledge Companion to Theatre and Performance, Routledge, 2014, p. 15.
  17. ^ John Perreault, "Lady Gaga Rejected by Marina Abramović, Plus MoMA Sound", Artopia, 13 September 2013.
  18. ^ a b c Emily Vey Duke, Kevin Rodgers, "Two types of sacred: 1970s endurance art today", C Magazine, 22 June 2005.
  19. ^ "David Askevold". Retrieved 2017-07-23.
  20. ^ Zas Marcos, Mónica (October 18, 2018). "Abel Azcona offers a gun to those who fantasize about killing him in his latest performance". El Retrieved January 8, 2019.
  21. ^ Dierdre Heddon, "The Politics of Live Art," in Heddon and Klein 2012, p. 87.
  22. ^ Cindy Adams, "He'll stay awake the longest ever", New York Post, 5 December 2007.
  23. ^ Linda M. Montano, Letters from Linda M. Montano, Routledge, 2012, p. 185.
  24. ^ a b c Deepika Shetty, "Endurance art: Five memorable marathon performances", The Straits Times, 14 August 2013.
  25. ^ a b Karen Gonzalez Rice, "Sexing the Monk: Masculinity and Monastic Discipline in American Endurance Art Circa 1975", College Art Association Annual Conference, Chicago, IL, 12–15 February 2014.
  26. ^ Trout Monfalco, "Endurance Art – Six Hours is Too Long", Art Here and Now, accessed 24 February 2014.
  27. ^ The New York Times (15 September 2016). "What to See in New York Galleries This Week". The New York Times.
  28. ^ "Alive Someplace Better: EJ Hill's Horizontal Poetics by Amber Officer- Narvasa".
  29. ^ "Video: Studio Museum in Harlem Artists in Conversation".
  30. ^ "EJ Hill: In Conversation with Nicole Kaack".
  31. ^ "Tehching Hsieh: the man who didn't go to bed for a year". the Guardian. 2014-04-30. Retrieved 2022-11-18.
  32. ^ John Perrault, "Tehching Hsieh: Caged Fury", Artopia, 1 February 2009.
  33. ^ "Sorrow on repeat: Ragnar Kjartansson on endurance art", CBC, 20 January 2015; "Ragnar Kjartansson and The National A Lot of Sorrow ", Luhring Augustine.
  34. ^ "Celebrations abound for Vernors' 150th anniversary: Pop Art". Detroit News. Retrieved 2017-07-23.
  35. ^ "My Drinking Problem: Pumpkin Spice Odyessy". Eric Millikin. Retrieved 2017-07-23.
  36. ^ "Electronic Arts Intermix: Stamping in the Studio, Bruce Nauman". Retrieved 2017-07-23.
  37. ^ "Electronic Arts Intermix: Revolving Upside Down, Bruce Nauman". Retrieved 2017-07-23.
  38. ^ Ronson, Jon (2012-11-30). "Bryan Saunders: Portrait of the artist on crystal meth". The Guardian.
  39. ^ "Bryan Lewis Saunders Deaf". 2018-04-13.
  40. ^ "Bryan Lewis Saunders Draws While Being Tortured". 2014-12-23.
  41. ^ "30 days totally blind: Bryan Lewis Saunders". 2018-06-13.
  42. ^ Roberta Smith, "In a Mattress, a Lever for Art and Political Protest", The New York Times, 22 September 2014.
  43. ^ Hentyle Yapp, Verona Leung, "Revisiting performance art of the 1990s and the politics of meditation", Leap, 8 August 2013.
  44. ^ Putney, Dean (7 October 2015). "Internet man sits and smiles at camera for hundreds of hours". Boing Boing. Retrieved 17 February 2017.
  45. ^ A Quiet Desert Failure. Retrieved 2018-01-23.
  46. ^ A Quiet Desert Failure. Retrieved 2018-01-23.
  47. ^ "A Quiet Desert Failure, be patient, the desert is coming". Retrieved 2018-01-23.
  48. ^ "A Quiet Desert Failure". Retrieved 2018-01-23.
  49. ^ "A Quiet Desert Failure". Retrieved 2018-01-23.
  50. ^ "Guido Segni's A quiet desert failure". 2015-11-25. Retrieved 2018-01-23.

Further reading