What issues are significant in the analysis and the practices of performance art, and how have they developed? Conflicting narratives of the history of the genre have developed in the US and Europe. These genealogies don't merely give an account of the art form-they also both enabled and delimited the work of artists and the ways that spectators view them. By examining and critiquing the dominant narratives of the history of performance art, I hope to offer alternative ways of understanding the significance(s) of the genre. I will take into account works that have been crucial to the field, attending to the multiple layers, voices and practices that lay within it.