Phelan - If" r 390runOli I'1J I C ~~(J:r co(J CO"U:J:J< ~'1J 3:J a:T" Z(J en CD 0> Q =-~:J:3<""""""U

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Unformatted text preview: If"'.- r 390runOli I '1J- I C ~~ (J) :::r co (J) / CO '"U :::J :J '< ~ '1J 3 :J .-+ a. ::T ,(") Z (J) en CD 0> Q) =--~ ::J .:3-< """"" '"U ••••••• ~~ CD " ~ """"" CD ~ ~---o..~ :J (") CD 7 Theontologyofperformance: representationwithoutreproduction Performance'sonlylifeisinthepresent.Performancecannotbesaved, recorded,documented,orotherwiseparticipateinthecirculationof representations of representations:onceitdoesso,itbecomessome- thingotherthanperformance.Tothedegreethatperformanceattempts toentertheeconomY,..Qfreproductionitbetraysandlessensthepromise ofitsownontology.~rformance'sbeing,liketheontologyofsubjec- tivityproposedhere,becomesitselfthroughdisappearanc{'Q. Thepressuresbroughttobearonperformancetosuccumbtothelaws ofthereproductiveeconomyareenormous.Foronlyrarelyinthis cultureisthe"now"towhichperformanceaddressesitsdeepestques- tionsvalued.(Thisiswhythenowissupplementedandbuttressedby thedocumentingcamera,thevideoarchive.)Performanceoccursovera timewhichwillnotberepeated.Itcanbeperformedagain,butthis repetitionitselfmarksitas"different."Thedocumentofaperformance thenisonlyaspurtomemory,anencouragementofmemorytobecome pre~~.. Theotherarts,especiallypaintingandphotography,aredrawn increasinglytowardperformance.TheFrench-bornartistSophieCalle, forexample,hasphotographedthegalleriesoftheIsabellaStewart GardnerMuseuminBoston.Severalvaluablepaintingswerestolen fromthemuseumin1990.Calleinterviewedvariousvisitorsandmem- bersofthemuseumstaff,askingthemtodescribethestolenpaintings. Shethentranscribedthesetextsandplacedthemnexttothephoto- graphsofthegalleries.Herworksuggeststhatthedescriptionsand memoriesofthepaintingsconstitutetheircontinuing"presence,"de- spitetheabsenceofthepaintingsthemselves.Callegesturestowarda notionoftheinteractiveexchangebetweentheartobjectandtheviewer. Whilesuchexchangesareoftenrecordedasthestatedgoalsofmuseums andgalleries,theinstitutionaleffectofthegalleryoftenseemstoputthe masterpieceunderhousearrest,controllingallconflictingandunprofes- sionalcommentaryaboutit.Thespeechactofmemoryanddescription (Austin'sconstativeutterance)becomesaperformativeexpression Thelontologyofperformance147 whenCalleplacesthesecommentarieswith~ntherepresentationofthe museum.Thedescriptionsfillin,andthussupplement(addto,defer, anddisplace)thestolenpaintings.Thefactthatthesedescriptionsvary considerably-evenattimeswildly-onlylendscredencetothefactthat theinteractionbetweentheartobjectandthespectatoris,essentially, performative-andthereforeresistanttotheclaimsofvalidityand accuracyendemictothediscourseofreproduction.Whilethearthis- torianofpaintingmustaskifthereproductionisaccurateandclear, falleaskswhereseeingandmemoryforgettheobjectitselfandenter fuesubject'sownsetofpersonalmeaningsandassociations.Furtherher worksuggeststhattheforgetting(orstealing)oftheobjectisafunda- mentalenergyofitsdescriptiverecoveringJrhedescriptionitselfdoes notreproducetheobject,itratherhelpsustorestageandrestatethe efforttorememberwhatislost.Thedescriptionsremindushowlossefforttorememberwhatislost....
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This note was uploaded on 11/23/2009 for the course THEATER R1A taught by Professor Steen during the Fall '08 term at University of California, Berkeley.

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Phelan - If" r 390runOli I'1J I C ~~(J:r co(J CO"U:J:J< ~'1J 3:J a:T" Z(J en CD 0> Q =-~:J:3<""""""U

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