Performance Art, its «Documentation», its Archives — on the Need for distinct Memories, the «Quality of blind Spots» and new Approaches to transmitting Performance Art

by art historian and freelance curator Irene Müller

published in /04 Revista de História da Are, Instituto de História Da Arte, Faculdade de Ciências Sociais E Humanas - UNL Performing Documentation in the Concervation of Contemporary Art, 2015


Archives must be both actively appropriated and initiate action in order to remain culturally relevant as a medium of transmission. This applies to all archives but especially to those concerned with performance art. The project ‘archiv performativ: a model for the documentation and reactivation of performance art’ at the Institute for Cultural Studies in Zurich focused on the question of how to provide access to material from performances in order to facilitate the representation and understanding of this art form. This article illustrates two examples and with reference to archival and performance theory highlights some possibilities for dealing with both the medial diversity and the subjective ‘voices’ transmitting a performance. Furthermore the evaluation of the polyphony represented by different artefacts is also discussed.

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