Life, Once More: Forms Of Reenactment In Contemporary Art
Edited by Sven Lütticken. Essays by Sven Lütticken, Jennifer Allen and Peggy Phelan.
These days, the term “reenactment” usually refers to live reconstructions of historic events, often of a military nature, performed by hobbyists. Civil War reenactments are the most popular in the United States, while European enthusiasts most often engage in recreations from the Napoleonic era. Visual art has its own versions. Recent years have brought many reenactments of historic performances from the 1960s and 1970s, works which otherwise would exist only in photos, videos, and text descriptions. But what exactly is being reenacted, and what is the effect of the representation? What meaning is resurrected out of this “doubling”? In the exhibition Life, Once More, contemporary works and texts by Mike Bidlo, Bik Van der Pol, Rod Dickinson, Omer Fast, Andrea Fraser, Robert Longo, Eran Schaerf, Catherine Sullivan and Barbara Visser reflect on these timely (and timeless) questions.