Time after Time: Reenacting the Past in Contemporary Culture
הרישום לקורס יפתח ב-2.9.19
סמסטר ב׳ יום ד׳ 14:00-16:00
ד"ר רחל פרי
Over the past few decades, reenactment has emerged as a key cultural form, gaining traction and acceptance, if not acclaim, in both high art and popular culture. To reenact, replay, reconstruct, reanimate, reinstall, restage, reinvent, and re-photograph: Whether improvised or rehearsed, techniques of historical restaging are an integral part of contemporary practice, shared by hardcore hobbyist and artist, amateur enthusiast and professional curator, documentary film maker and performance artist. Tracing the history of reenactment, this course couples theoretical readings with specific case studies drawn from a variety of media. Originally a staple element of documentary photography and cinema, reenactment today can be found in artistic performances, video art, theatrical plays, ritual commemorations, digitally manipulated photographs and participatory events.
Defined as “a body-based discourse in which the past is reanimated through physical and psychological experience” (Vanessa Agnew), reenactment is experiential, performative and participatory. Despite its therapeutic, pedagogic and commemorative functions, reenactment raises important aesthetic, epistemological, legal and even ethical questions about the relationship between the past and the present, the original event and its iterations. Privileging historical accuracy and authenticity, reenactment promises (but not always delivers) to “bring history alive” through an affective, embodied encounter, but it ultimately tells us more about the present self than the collective past. Together, we will explore the problems and possibilities reenactment poses.