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.


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