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Visual Performance Studies Presents: Andre Lepecki
February 23, 2012 @ 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm | Cowell Conference Room
Temporalities of Reenactment: A Speaker Series, 2011-2012
Performance Studies, New York University
Not as Before, but Again: Reenactments and “Transcreation”
The recent retrospective of the work of Marina Abramovic at MOMA in New York brought to wide public attention the phenomenon of what she called the “reperformance” of her earlier work, which had only existed until then as one-time events recorded on film. Bringing this ephemeral performance work into the museum space as a live artifact raised consciousness of a broader trend currently taking place in contemporary dance, theatre, film, video and performance art. Reenactment raises questions of the differences between reconstruction, revival, adaptation, reinvention, quotation, amplification, and the kinds of temporalities these strategies to recover past performance signify. But beyond the terminological questions, issues of artist identity, authenticity, and history emerge in direct relationship with performative documentary activity. The question of the event and the document become dramatically foregrounded. The question of trauma and catharsis in relation to reenactment is salient as became clear in our first seminar with Chip Lord and Magaret Morse.
Reenactment of the work of one artist by another has been a form of contemporary creativity in theatre, film, dance, and performance for some time, but has been gaining momentum as a major trend of artistic production and research. Clearly, it evokes the connections of historiography and interpretation to art making that documents the past in a non-literal or even paradoxical yet exacting and rigorous way that evades certain mimetic conventions. It is time to ask what sorts of temporality are deployed in reenactments, and how new sorts of temporality reframe notions of documentation, reconstruction/reinvention, citation/quotation, and amplification of an earlier work or event in the contemporary moment.
This year-long speaker series will present artists and scholars specializing in this area of contemporary creativity.