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Sabine Gebhardt Fink (ed.), Andrej Mircev (ed.): Revolving Documents—Narrations of Beginnings, Recent Methods and Cross-Mappings of Performance Art

Sabine Gebhardt Fink (ed.), Andrej Mircev (ed.)

Revolving Documents—Narrations of Beginnings, Recent Methods and Cross-Mappings of Performance Art

Softcover, 352 pages

Date of publication: 28.03.2024

Challenging dominant histories of the genre, this book focuses on translocal and transcultural connections, and seeks to generate, expand knowledge on different narrations of the beginnings of Performance Art. It brings together essays of leading international scholars, curators, archivists and artists who explore the strategies and epistemic/historiographic tools with which museums, galleries, but also historians and theorists and artists, have recollected, reconstructed and represented, the genealogies of this important artistic and activist practice. Written from different perspectives and thus offering multiple methodological frameworks, the publication comes as a result of an intensive dialogue between authors coming from various cultural and academic contexts such as: Switzerland, Slovakia, US, Israel, Germany, former Yugoslavia, UK, and Italy.


Another focal point is set out to examine collaborative strategies and networking modalities e.g. between curators and performers, mediators and performers, academic researchers and performers; friends and performers. The vital questions are: how can we narrate the histories without erasing important voices and practices like feminist, queer and activist positions? How can we avoid writing and legitimizing “canons” of the single artist’s bourgeois position underpinned by hegemonic structures? Is it possible to discursively unfold a counter-history of Performance Art moving against the grain of persisting cultural, gender, class, and race asymmetries? If we understand Performance Art as a tool to dissent against power-structures and conceive it as a social mean to establish contact with a broad audience outside the informed art circles, we have to investigate its situatedness, specific contexts and materialities as well as the given socio-political conditions. To do so the book asks: which different methodologies for researching the beginnings can be applied (oral history, cross-mappings, collective remembrance workshops, expert interviews, critical archiving, e.g.) and what are the ontological and ethical axioms therein?       


With contributions by Andrea Bátorová, Sabine Gebhardt Fink, Séverine Fromaigeat, Oriana Fox, Stephen Greer, Dror Harari, Claudia Madeira and Fernando Oliveira, Andrej Mircev, Dorothea Rust, Sandra Sykora, with an special contribution by Hanna B. Hölling, Jules Pelta Feldman, and Emilie Magnin and a conversation with Andrea Saemann, Chris Regn, Muda Mathis, and Margarit von Büren.

  • performing arts
  • performance
  • performance art
  • contemporary art
  • art history

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Sabine Gebhardt Fink

Sabine Gebhardt Fink

studied Art History, Philosophy, German Literature and Theatre Studies at the Universities of Munich and Basel graduating with a Ph.D. on the Transformation of Action. She has been post-doctorate at the Institute for Cultural Studies in the Arts (2004-2008), deputising assistant to the Head of Department of Cultural Studies in the Arts at Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK), and lecturer of Art History at the Ruhr University, Bochum, (2009-2011). Since 2011 she held the chair of professorship in Fine Arts at the University of Applied Arts and Design, Lucerne. She is also involved with projects at the Swiss National Science Foundation on Iconic Criticism (SNF-Bildkritik) and co-founder of the Performance Index Basel. Her research focus is on The Situated Body, Perform Space, Intermedia Conditions, Exhibition Displays and Hermann Obrist and the Art Nouveau Sculpture.

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