From its Futurist and Dadaist origins to the body art of the 1970s and more recent developments in the genre, the history of Performance art is oriented around a fairly consistent set of elements: movements, speech, the body, impermanence, audience participation. But artists have also produced installations and performative objects for their performances, whose status becomes ambiguous once the action is over. Not to Play with Dead Things pays overdue attention to these frequently orphaned props of performance art, documenting works from the 1960s to the present by artists as diverse as Richard Jackson, Paul McCarthy, Roman Signer, Mike Kelley, Franz West, Jim Shaw, Guy de Cointet, John Bock, Spartacus Chetwynd, Catherine Sullivan and Erwin Wurm. Not to Play with Dead Things asks: are these objects relics of their own making? And is their hybridity a kind of resistance to the streamlining of art?