Moments. A History of Performance in 10 Acts :: March 8 - April 29, 2012 :: Opening: March 17; 4:00 pm :: ZKM | Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe, Lorenzstrasse 19, 76135 Karlsruhe, Germany.
Moments. A History of Performance in 10 Acts is an international live exhibition on the history of art performance in dance and fine arts. As an exhibition ‘in progress’, the project shows and develops new formats of museal presentation of live acts. The starting point is the interest in the processes of coming to terms with history in so-called re-enactments of historic performances, but which also comes to expression in the recently erupted controversy surrounding the museal presentability of performances by Joseph Beuys in photographic documentation. This is also reflected in the practice of a younger generation of performers and choreographs, such as in numerous historical appropriations and re-enactments. At the center of this is the ‘heroic’ period of the 1960s to the 1980s in which a radical (new) definition of the genre took place in the more intimate dialog between performance movements of fine arts and dance.
Moments develops new methodological and interdisciplinary formats of an active and not only museal representation of performance history. During the eight week duration of the exhibition project a scenic act around ten central stages of dance and performance history unfolds ? as witnessed by a group of experts invited to accompany and observe for the entire period ? before the audience. One of the key focal points is the performances and works by women who have consciously been thematizing, transgressing and critiquing the genre boundaries between dance, performance, and visual media since the 1960s. Here, they likewise reflect on the implicit male constructions of the gaze and the gestural logic of their colleagues.
The exhibition begins and ends in an empty space in which a lively exhibition display is built up in a permanent reciprocal movement between historical presence and medial documentation, museal re-presentation and scenic re-appropriation as well as new interpretation. A multiplicity of dialogically spirited situations emerge between performers, witnesses and public. Here, unlike more popular reenactments, recourse to history serves as a face à l’histoire, an active contrast of the historical and the present.
Among others, the artists represented in the exhibition will be Marina Abramovi?, Graciela Carnevale, Simone Forti, Anna Halprin, Reinhild Hoffmann, Channa Horwitz, Lynn Hershman Leeson, Sanja Ivekovi?, Adrian Piper and Yvonne Rainer. The artists themselves document their historical performances in exhibition spaces. In collaboration with colleagues from art and theory (Alex Baczynski-Jenkins, Nikolaus Hirsch, Lenio Kaklea, Jan Ritsema, Christine De Smedt, Gerald Siegmund, Burkhard Stangl, Meg Stuart) Boris Charmatz approaches the documented works scenically and develops on-site a live act in a laboratory situation around this central moment of performance history. The artist Ruti Sela will be documenting this artistic approach to the work of their predecessors by way of film documentaries and will produce a film in the actual exhibition context itself. A group of students at renowned European universities will be accompanying the entire process. Directed by the group Charmatz, and in collaboration with the ZKM | Museum Communication, new performative methods and actions of the mediation of historical performance will be presented to visitors.
A publication will appear at the end of the exhibition.
Curators and exhibition dramaturgy: Boris Charmatz, Sigrid Gareis, Georg Schöllhammer
Display Concept: Johannes Porsch