I am incubating a very, very short abstract right now for a workshop at CATR. It is only 150 words with a little bit of extra room to describe the historical material I would like to bring to the workshop. I am working on the questions above but this kind of brevity is a real bitch!
Anyway from Rebecca Schneider's Performing Remains "...we are not entirely comfortable considering gestic acts (re)enacted live to be material trace..."(39). Yeah. What she said. I don't have a letter, or old photograph that I want to create a research performance. I have the memory of my body participating in a 1812 Battle reenactment. I have photos of my body doing this but mostly a memory. Schneider points to the privilege of literature in the archive in that documents are considered evidence or a record and that often the reenactment are seen as lesser, or not as 'real'. Her book serves as counterpoint to this privileging of the written, tangible or linear. And I agree with her. Reenactment is a useful and productive record of history...but should you explore a performance through performance?