• Regenerating the Live: The Archive as the Genesis of a Performance Practice

    Author(s):
    Joseph Dunne (see profile)
    Date:
    2015
    Group(s):
    CityLIS, Library & Information Science, Performance Studies
    Subject(s):
    Archives, Performance and politics, Performance studies
    Item Type:
    Thesis
    Institution:
    University of Lincoln
    Tag(s):
    archives, documentation, Site specific theatre, historical re-enactment
    Permanent URL:
    http://dx.doi.org/10.17613/M6QM2M
    Abstract:
    Live performance lacks the durability of art practices such as photography, film and painting, and so definitions of ‘live’ acts have traditionally been formulated in terms of ‘transience’ and ‘disappearance’. In this context the archive and archival documents are often described as the antithesis of performance’s ontology. An archive’s primary function is to preserve material for future, undetermined uses, whereas a live event is temporary and cannot endure as ‘itself’ outside of the temporal-spatial zone it unfolds in before an audience. Yet archival documents are intimately imbricated in the creation of live acts. This can be seen in all performance practices, from written plays in the dramatic theatre, to the assemblage of materials used in devised performance, to the ways sites are framed as sources of historical knowledge in performance reenactments. By examining the role documents play in performance practice I argue that archival materials have the potential to act as the genesis for live acts. The archive’s generative function makes performance a potential method of historical research, where documents can help engender an interactive reciprocity between spectators and the past. The archival mode of performance practice I advocate in this thesis requires spectators to become participants inside the performance sphere, just as historians participate in the writing of historical discourses in the archive.
    Metadata:
    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    7 months ago
    License:
    All Rights Reserved

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