• What is a Real Document, Anyway?

    Joseph Dunne (see profile)
    Archives, Theater, History
    Item Type:
    Conference paper
    Conf. Title:
    21st Century Performance and Research
    Conf. Org.:
    University of Malta
    Conf. Loc.:
    Conf. Date:
    9-11 March
    archives, libraries, theatre, Theatre and history
    Permanent URL:
    Documents, those materials that are reproducible and ostensibly ‘non-live’, are ubiquitous in the everyday to the degree that the experiencing and recording of life has become a tangled process. What follows the other – the act or its record? The many projects and writings that have emerged in recent years concerning the role documentation practices play in performance processes has resulted in a vital critique of how the live medium is not antithetical to but is indeed imbricated with archivalism. The Real time live performances unfold in can be understood as a temporal manifold that exists in records, the animate bodies of the performers, and in the memories of the audience. Documentation is now a fundamental part of our contemporary experience, leading some commentators to claim that “we are all archivists now”. If this is true then what dramaturgies can be constructed to embrace this aspect of the Real? What would a performance based on the practices and principles of archiving look like? In this paper I will consider the potential documents generated from performance have for engendering spectators to participate in a networked dialogue that stretches beyond any one event. I posit that such a practice would present a challenge to the authority of mediated events deemed of historical significance (however this judgement is determined) by placing documentation practices within a fictive framework, thereby demonstrating the level of artifice that is present in our perception of Reality.
    Last Updated:
    7 years ago
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