Concepts of performance in fine art reflect key processes in music therapy. Music therapy enables practitioners to reframe patients as performers, producing new meanings around the clinical knowledge attached to medical histories and constructs. In this paper, music therapy practices are considered in the wider context of art history, with reference to allied theories from social research. Tracing a century in art that has revised the performativity of found objects (starting with Duchamp’s “Fountain”), and of found sound (crystallised by Cage’s 4′ 33) this paper proposes that music therapy might be a pioneer methodology of “found performance”. Examples from music therapy and contemporary socially engaged art practices are brought as potential links between artistic methodologies and medical humanities research, with specific reference to notions of Aesthetics of Care.
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