"Archiving" Performance: "Reenacting" Creativity

Carmela Cutugno


The ephemeral material which constitutes performance certainly does not make it neither an easy object of study, nor even a subject that offers itself for an immediate dialogic treatment or one aimed at ‘saving’ it. Several attempts try to ensure that performance ‘remains’, that does not ‘disappear’, that does not vanish consuming itself in the very act of its manifestation. Among the most successful experiments that have played with the many facets of the ontology of performance there is certainly the reenactment, which can be considered as a valid form of ‘archiving’ performance. In fact, precisely because it is able to respect, perhaps more than other ‘saving’ attempts, the ontological characteristics of performance itself, its specific codes and its particular structures, the reenactment results at the same time also a smart and innovative way to try to do historiography in the field of performance. From the reenactments done by Marina Abramović to the performative anthology by Clifford Owens, performance has been able to ‘save itself’ by ‘self-archiving’, meaning by giving the re-performance and its aware differential variance, the task of doing so.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.6092/2240-5380/4.2014.2


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