Issues relating to the terms used in Czech "action art"
Source document: Opuscula historiae artium. 2011, vol. 60 , iss. 1, pp. 30-41
ISSN1211-7390 (print)2336-4467 (online)
License: Not specified license
Action art was one of the most important trends in Czech visual art in the 1960s and 1970s. Dealing with this type of art is complicated by its ephemeral nature, and also by the fluctuation of the terms that are used in the discussion about it. The very designation "action art" (akční umění) is itself not the translation of a recognised term, but rather a Czech variant, for which no English equivalent exists. Other key terms such as happening or performance, which have been adopted into the Czech language in their original form, are understood slightly differently in the Czech milieu. Furthermore, a series of individual variants in their uses and definitions exists. The text represents an attempt to demarcate their basic applicability, and at the same time to map out variations in how these terms are used by individual artists and critics in the Czech context in comparison with the American milieu from which they are taken.