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beginnings, making again, making new, nuts & bolts

Research questions, contexts and methods


What happens if I repeat a performance that is 5 years old? How has time impacted on my understanding of the piece – do I still believe what I did then? If this is autobiographical performance how does knowing what I know now and have lived since change the work? Can I stand in both place simultaneously?

What is the relationship between process then and process now? Using the documentation of the making of the original can I remake the work following the same instructions/method/process? How will my responses to the tasks have changed and what might that reveal?

What role does archive/document/documentation having in re-making or in reflecting on the original? What might this reveal about documentation and how might it impact on ways of documenting now?
What is the function of repetition in this? I am intrigued by the idea of the work as a text, like a play, can this work be reproduced in this way and if not, why not?

how do I feel now about how I felt then? How can I make new by making again?

I may also be asking: what is love? what does it mean to be with you? How has sex/love/relationships changed for me in the last 5 years? (is personal still political?) How does other work I’ve made sit in this then and now timeline? Is it still a feminist performance (for me or the person watching, was it then? is it now? what has changed?)

Repetition (sameness & difference)
Memory (& time)
Autobiographical Performance
My practice and work

 And so it is crucial up front to signpost the difference between ‘document’ (the unintentional traces, detritus, residues left over from practice as research in the form of coffee cups, cigarette butts and the hair, skin and sweat of our bodies that may later be identified as important by the archaeo-archivist) and ‘documentation’ (the intentional desire to create the indexical sign out of which meaning may be revealed)

Piccini and Rye, p35, PaR in performance and screen


Examine the past; interrogate what’s left from previous performances (including audience memory?)

Repeat processes of making using existing notes as a template or guideline

Repeat by attempting to reproduce exactly previous performance. 

Note the differences and the similarities

Respond through reflecting on then & now; how do I feel now about how I felt then? How can I make new by making again?
Examine documentation of other artist’s work – can I remake this? Research other artists interested in repeating performance.
Re-perform at regular intervals for an audience.

…. lots of doing and reflecting on doing and doing again…… don’t forget to remember content and meaning of the originals; its not all form and function.


One thought on “Research questions, contexts and methods

  1. ‘performance’ disappears (it is forgotten in some way) – I need to perform as part of the process of research to keep the ‘liveness’ in the relationship present….?

    Posted by gemmaalldred | September 16, 2011, 12:54 pm

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