The Artist as Archivist: Documenting Performance Art in Portugal

Cláudia Madeira, Fernando Matos Oliveira

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract

Abstract

In this short talk we seek to question the role and status of the personal archives that performers themselves have been building. Personal archives raise historical and conceptual issues which must be taken into account in the process of documenting performance art and reflecting about its autonomy both as an art form and as a field of research in its own right. This is especially true when dealing with an artistic practice marked by an unorthodox relationship with institutional protocols of art and by a clear resistance to forms of documentation and objectification that characterize both the critical discourse as well the ecology of global art today. Based on Portuguese artists and on the growing literature dedicated to the criticism and the history of performance art, we will analyze how these examples shed new light on the heterogeneity of the archive, opening it beyond the totalizing power of consignation and the authority highlighted by Derrida (1995). Ultimately, the documents housed in personal archives emphasize the maximum contingency that defines performance art in its irremediable dependence from issues such as materiality, chance, authorship, creation, artistic movements, contexts, markets and narratives about the history of performance art itself.

Conference

Conferenceresearch network meeting on the histories and historiographies of performance art / action art in the 1960s and 1970s
CountryGermany
CityBerlin
Period19/02/1820/02/18
Internet address

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'The Artist as Archivist: Documenting Performance Art in Portugal'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this