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Master's Thesis: Creating Afterlives: Preserving Traces of Performance Art from a Museological Perspective

This research explores the conflict that emerges when applying registration practices into performance art. As the ephemerality of performance art is perceived as essential for this art genre, professionals (and sometimes artists) are not always in favor of its total disappearance. Documentation processes have the purpose of partially archiving the memory of these artworks, however, the forms of producing this type of information are not standardized because of the various forms that this art manifestation can have. Some of the strategies museums have been applying were explored during this research to enable enquiring about their compatibility with the nature of performance art. While documentation processes preserve traces of performances’ poetic, the form of perceiving and collecting this artwork as manifestations should not be attached to temporality, but as concepts that can be reinterpreted and have several versions throughout time.

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