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Perform, Repeat, Record

Live Art in History

Bringing together contributors from dance, theater, visual studies, and art history, Perform, Repeat, Record addresses the conundrum of how live art is positioned within history.  Set apart from other art forms in that it may never be performed in precisely the same way twice, ephemeral artwork exists both at the time of its staging and long after in the memories of its spectators and their testimonies, as well as in material objects, visual media, and text, all of which offer new critical possibilities. Among the artists, theorists, and historians who contributed to this volume are Marina Abramovic, Guillermo Gómez-Peña, Rebecca Schneider, Boris Groys, Jane Blocker, Carolee Schneemann, Tehching Hsieh, Orlan, Tilda Swinton, and Jean-Luc Nancy.

652 pages | 34 color plates, 30 halftones | 7 x 9 | © 2012

Art: Art--General Studies

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The ephemeral nature of performance art has made its inclusion in the art historical record particularly difficult. Among the many challenges is the tendency to use a single photograph to stand in for a temporal event, which unintentionally corrupts memories of the live performance. This impressive volume edited by performance art experts Jones and Heathfield features essays that articulate key concepts and challenges. Recommended.


“One of the first scholarly texts to attempt to address how live art, as an ephemeral, often subversive, embodied act, becomes incorporated into history. . . An important kicking off point in what is a burgeoning arena of discourse.”


Perform, Repeat, Record offers valuable—and at times long overdue—critical perspectives on issues of historicization and documentation of performance art.”

Drama and Performance Studies

“[A] broad and thoughtful investigation of how the history of performative art should be documented and studied….The book covers a particularly international scope, with essays devoted to performance art in the U.S., Western Europe, South America, China, the Middle East, Australia, and the Soviet Union, including a timeline of Soviet and Post-Soviet performance and another of performance historiography–that is, surveys and re-performances. The final section records eleven conversations between scholars and performance artists, including Carolee Schneemann, Tehching Hsieh, Ron Athey, Janine Antoni and Marina Abromavic…. The book will be very useful for scholars of performance and can serve as an introduction to the history and questions around the field for performance artists themselves.”

Table of Contents

The Now and the Has Been: Paradoxes of Live Art in History
      Amelia Jones
Then Again
      Adrian Heathfield

Theories and Histories
      Amelia Jones
1. The Performativity of Performance Documentation
      Philip Auslander
2. Dead Mannequin Walking: Fluxus and the Politics of Reception
      Hannah B. Higgins
3. The Viral Ontology of Performance
      Christopher Bedford
4. Can Photographs Make It So? Repeated Outbreaks of VALIE EXPORT’s Genital Panic Since 1969
      Mechtild Widrich
5. Macular Degeneration: Some Peculiar Aspects of Performance Art Documentation
      Mónica Mayer
6. History and Precariousness: In Search of a Performative Historiography
      Eleonora Fabião
7. Performance Remains
      Rebecca Schneider
8. Not as Before, but Simply: Again
      André Lepecki
9. The Prosthetic Present Tense: Documenting Chinese Time-based Art
      Meiling Cheng
10. Progressive Striptease
      Sven Lütticken
11. Repetition: A Skin which Unravels
      Jane Blocker
12. Art in the Age of Biopolitics: From Artwork to Art Documentation
      Boris Groys
13. The Interstices of History
      Angela Harutyunyan, et al
An Unofficial Timeline of Socialist and Post-Socialist Performance
      Angela Harutyunyan, et al

      Adrian Heathfield
14. A Text on 20 years with 66 footnotes
      Tim Etchells
15. Faith Wilding, Waiting and Wait-With
16. Lynn Hershman and/as Roberta Breitmore
17. We Are Formatted Memories
18. Franko B and Kamal Ackarie, Don’t Leave Me This Way
19. Make Me Stop Smoking
      Rabih Mroué
20. The Personal Evolution of the Performance Object (Or, What to Do with Leftovers)
      Nao Bustamante
21. Cai Yuan and J.J. Xi, Mad for Real
22. Hayley Newman, MiniFlux
23. Daniel Joseph Martinez, Call Me Ishmael or The Fully Enlightened Earth Radiates Disaster Triumphant
24. Multiple Journeys: A Performance Chronology
      Guillermo Gómez-Peña
25. Attending to Anthony McCall’s Long Film for Ambient Light
      Lucas Ihlein
26. ReCut Project
      Ming-Yuen S. Ma
27. Assuming a Migrant Woman’s Identity
      Tanja Ostojić
28. Barbara Smith, Intimations of Immortality
29. Santiago Sierra and the "Contexts" of History
30. Reconstruction2
      Janez Janša
31. Documents of Chinese Time-based Art: Three Impressions from Three Fragments
      Meiling Cheng
32. Both Sitting Duet and Cheap Lecture
      Jonathan Burrows and Matteo Fargion
33. Aftermath: The Performance / Installation Nexus
      Blair French
Timeline of Ideas: Live Art in (Art) History, A Primarily European-US-based Trajectory of Debates and Exhibitions Relating to Performance Documentation and Re-enactments
      Amelia Jones

      Adrian Heathfield
34. Interior Squirrel and the Vicissitudes of History
      Carolee Schneemann and Amelia Jones
35. I Just Go in Life
      Tehching Hsieh and Adrian Heathfield
36. The Maybe: Modes of Performance and the "Live"
      Tilda Swinton and Joanna Scanlan
37. Photography as a Performative Act
      Shezad Dawood and Amelia Jones
38. Do it Again, Do it Again (Turn Around, Go Back)
      Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard, with Andrew Renton
39. Touching Remains
      Janine Antoni and Adrian Heathfield
40. Reverse Martyrologies
      Ron Athey and Dominic Johnson
41. The Live Artist as Archaeologist
      Marina Abramović and Amelia Jones
42. Every House Has a Door
      Lin Hixson and Mathew Goulish
43. Alliterations
      Mathilde Monnier and Jean-Luc Nancy
      Introduction and Translation: Noémie Solomon
44. Intangibles
      Hugo Glendinning, Adrian Heathfield, and Tim Etchells

Author Biographies

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