Re-enacting Early Video Art as a Research Tool for Media Art Histories
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This paper will discuss re-enactment as a relevant tool for practice-based research to investigate pioneering video performances and video artworks from the 1970s and 1980s from a theoretical, art-historical and curatorial point of view. Since the early 2000s, the re-enactment of artists’ performance has been growing as an art practice internationally and has been investigated in several studies and exhibitions. In this paper, I will propose that the re-enactment of early video artworks can open up critical analysis on the original work—its nature, form and content—as well as on collective and personal memory and mediation. Re-enactment becomes a research tool that investigates the nature of video which was at the time a relatively new medium. Re-enactment informs the research into the original piece, its documentation, the relationships between the artist and the body, the work and the viewer. It investigates the effects of analogue video over the viewer and the artist in comparison with the digital video employed in the re-enactment and its documentation. The paper will analyse case studies from the research projects REWIND, REWINDItalia and EWVA (European Women’s Video Art in the 70s and 80s).
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