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Performativity in the Gallery

Staging Interactive Encounters


Edited By Outi Remes, Laura MacCulloch and Marika Leino

This book coincides with an increase in the programming of live art elements in many galleries and museums. Traditional art history has, however, been wary of live art’s interdisciplinarity and its tendency to encourage increased formal and conceptual risk taking. Time-based performances have challenged the conventions of documentation and the viewer’s access to the art experience. This book questions the canon of art history by exploring participation, liveness, interactivity, digital and process-based performative practices and performance for the camera, as presented in gallery spaces.
The essays present both academic research as well as case studies of curatorial projects that have pushed the boundaries of the art historical practice. The authors come from a wide range of backgrounds, ranging from curators and art producers to academics and practising artists. They ask what it means to present, curate and create interdisciplinary performative work for gallery spaces and offer cutting-edge research that explores the intricate relationship between art history, live and performing arts, and museum and gallery space.
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5. From Event to Archive and to Event Again


← 84 | 85 →EVA FOTIADI

5 From Event to Archive and to Event Again

In 2010, after remaining closed for around six years for renovation and extension, the building of the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam opened its doors as Temporary Stedelijk. Far from being ready for a grand reopening, the museum responded to the request of the city of Amsterdam and opened to operate in a reduced capacity. Temporary Stedelijk had two phases, the second of which (Temporary Stedelijk 2) presented shows and activities under the title Making Histories: Changing Views of the Collection. One of the shows, Recollections ‘remembered’ – to use Reesa Greenberg’s terminology – three of Stedelijk’s most legendary shows of the 1960s.1 Recollections was divided into two sequential temporal parts,2 referred to here as Recollections I and II. The first part of Recollections reflected on the shows Bewogen Beweging [Moved Movement] (1961) and Dylaby (a contraction of Dynamic Labyrinth) (1962). The second part focused on Op Losse Schroeven: Situations and Cryptostructures [Square Pegs in Round Holes] (1969).

These three shows of the 1960s moved away from the concept of the exhibition as a display of visual, static works of art, and towards introducing forms of performativity, action and interaction. This chapter presents each part of Recollections and their curatorial approaches to telling the story of some of the museum’s most legendary shows. I will consider aspects of ← 85 | 86 → the exhibitions’ spatial arrangement, the communication of displays to the visitors and the use...

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