Temporalities of Reenactment: A Speaker Series, 2011-2012

The recent retrospective of the work of Marina Abramovic at MOMA in New York brought to wide public attention the phenomenon of what she called the "reperformance" of her earlier work, which had only existed until then as one-time events recorded on film.  Bringing this ephemeral performance work into the museum space as a live artifact raised consciousness of a broader trend currently taking place in contemporary dance, theatre, film, video and performance art.  Reenactment raises questions of the differences between reconstruction, revival, adaptation, reinvention, quotation, amplification, and the kinds of temporalities these strategies to recover past performance signify. But beyond the terminological questions, issues of artist identity, authenticity, and history emerge in direct relationship with performative documentary activity. The question of the event and the document become dramatically foregrounded. The question of trauma and catharsis in relation to reenactment is salient as became clear in our first seminar with Chip Lord and Magaret Morse.


Reenactment of the work of one artist by another has been a form of contemporary creativity in theatre, film, dance, and performance for some time, but has been gaining momentum as a major trend of artistic production and research.  Clearly, it evokes the connections of historiography and interpretation to art making that documents the past in a non-literal or even paradoxical yet exacting and rigorous way that evades certain mimetic conventions.  It is time to ask what sorts of temporality are deployed in reenactments, and how new sorts of temporality reframe notions of documentation, reconstruction/reinvention, citation/quotation, and amplification of an earlier work or event in the contemporary moment.


This year-long speaker series will present artists and scholars specializing in this area of contemporary creativity.



Wednesday, October 26 at 5:30pm in the Cowell Conference Room

The Eternal Frame: An Artist's Reenactment of the Assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

A Screening and Conversation

Chip Lord, Emeritus, Film and Digital Media, UCSC

Margaret Morse, Film and Digital Media, UCSC


Wednesday, November 9 at 5:30pm in the Cowell Conference Room

Re-Enactment and Site-Specific Performance

Martin Puchner, Drama, English, Comparative Literature, Harvard University


Thursday, January 19th at 5:30pm in the Cowell Conference Room

Memory and Mass Performance

Kimberly Jannarone, Theater Arts, Digital Arts and New Media, History of Consciousness, UCSC


Thursday, February 2nd at 5:30pm in the Cowell Conference Room

Reenacting the Dances of Mary Wigman

Fabian Barba: Independent artist, Belgium

A recording of this talk can be found at:



A Lecture Demonstration (Studio A-105, Theater Arts Center)

Friday, February 3rd at 2pm


Thursday, February 9th at 5:30pm in the Cowell Conference Room

(Un)Covering Artistic Thought Unfolding

Maaike Bleeker, Theatre Studies, Utrecht University

A recording of this talk can be found at:



Thursday, February 23 at 5:30pm in the Cowell Conference Room

Not as Before, but Again: Reenactments and "Transcreation"

Andre Lepecki, Performance Studies, New York University

A recording of this talk can be found at:



Wednesday, April 18 at 5:30pm in the Cowell Conference Room

Documentary Reenactment

Jonathan Kahaha and Irene Luzstig, Film and Digital Media, UCSC


Events of Related Interest

VPS Director Mark Franko's KZSC 88.1 radio interview with Nada Milijkovic

On January 9th, UCSC Professor of Dance in the Theatre Art and Director of the Center for Visual and Performance Studies Mark Franko came onto Artist on Art to talk about the current speaker series, Temporalities of Reenactment happening the entire 2011 to 2012 school year.

Mark's interview in full is available for viewing at:  http://www.artistsonart.net/category/artist-interviews/