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Article "Preserving the performativity of performance art while respecting ephemerality"

Abstract: This research explores the conflicts that emerge when applying recording and registration practices to performance art. Although the ephemerality of the actions is perceived as essential for this art genre, museum professionals and artists are often not in favor of the disappearance of all aspects of these artworks. The case studies in this article demonstrate that the ephemerality of the original performance artwork becomes even more considered when the performativity of the action is preserved through specific forms of fragmented documentation. This enables the survival and continuation of a performance artwork’s activating character, the embodied experience evoked, the work’s contingent meanings, and its continuous reinterpretations, such as through re-enactments.KeywordsPerformance art. Documentation. Ephemerality. Performativity. Re-enactment.

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