Between documention and recreation: memories and transmissions of performance art and contemporary dance.
The transmission of contemporary performative and choreographic works raises lively theoretical, aesthetic, political, institutional, pedagogical, methodological or legal debates. Ephemeral artistic practices, engaging the body, carried out in the perspective of a relationship with an audience, performance and contemporary dance require modes of transmission that proceed both from the archive and from oral and corporal memory. This double register, whose terms are too often thought of in opposition, explains why performance art and choreographic works have until recently escaped the attention of heritage institutions that favour archival, documentary and material approaches to transmission.
This book explores the avenues that memory approaches to the archive can open up. Reenactments are approached as “performative archives” that establish a circulation between documents, bodies, scripts, experience accounts. As a full participant in the aesthetic functioning of the works and their revivals, documentation becomes a driving force for creation and generates multiple reactivations through exhibitions, performances and websites. From these re-evaluations emerge new ways of conceiving the histories of the living arts, whether they are hermeneutics of documents, historiographic laboratories within exhibitions, or memory productions at the heart of artistic practices. To develop, these practices require the invention of heterodox structures or the convergence of institutions devoted to material culture and those devoted to repertoires, without, however, ruling out the dissensus and friction that are essential for “complex thinking” about transmission phenomena.