History will repeat itself - writings on re-enactment
Inke Arns Freud- only through hypnosiss are you able to experience something twice. Historical re-enactment as practice of popular culture. also used in criminology. re-enactment as artist statergy the relevance of what happened in the past for the here and now. Nitche - we need history in a different way in which the spoilt idler in the garden of knowledge uses it. expeience of the world is mediated by history, history appears to be present in all times in all places. (presentshock) , permanent media availability renders all forms of authenticity increasingly remote. re-enactment allows for a handing of a subject, event though practicing the facts of the imagery of the event. You can either seek for the authentic experience behind the mediation of you can re-construct the mediation. both Dicinkinson and Dellar work foam a place of Trauma. The second storming of the Winter palace - identification with idealogical objectives. "not so much about re-telling the past but restructing the past for the needs of a contemporary audience. How much of history is mediated through imagery, documentation , mediation. The eternal Frame by ant farm - radical deconstruction of the historical event through meticulousy recess reconstruction of media images.
From representation to embodiment rasure and simultaneous creation of distance are two key mechanisms in the contemporary practice of artist re-enactments, which co-exist in the same artwork. its about safe distance (could this be cynical distance?) The viewers or readers become immediate witnesses of an event. . The re-enactment transforms representation into embodiment. Re-enactment do not stop with the eradication of distance and sometimes continue with total identification with their historical subjects. a 'complex and in-depth reflection of the mediation of memory - which can be even described as the core subject of re-enactment as an art form. This tendency asks how memory is an entity which is continuously being restructured not only by film-makers and re-enactors but also by us personally, as mediating and mediated subjects. ' The re-enactment as the uncanny of the spectacle - a live image in real space and real time, but simultaneously displaced. Freud defined the uncanny as something that is actually knows but has been repressed, from whence it returns. This defition is correct for re-enactment " if it happened only once its as if it never happened' re-enactments repeat moments of history, whose importance has not been fully understood. Similar to mechanical recording techniques (slow motion, enlargements in photography) described by Walter Benjamin, re-enactments make the Optical Unconcious visible. Re-enactments are artistic interrogations of media images, which insist on the reality of the images but at the same time draw attention to how much the collective memory relies on media.
experience - memory - re-enactment memory is an entity being continuously re-structured. The subject of the historical re-enactment, the re0enactment as an art project, and restaged news footage, is the mediation of memory; how memory is an entity which is continuously being restructured - not only by film-makers but us personally, as mediating and mediated subjects. Re-enactment (in contemporary art) is a MacGuffin (an object in a story devoid of meaning but it the characters believe in its significance and thus drives the narrative forward. Not to look at what re-enactment is but what re-enactment does it is an element that structures memory , through different narratives to form different critiques. To what degree does it provide us with varied forms of critique of how memory is structured. Rememberence is an act done in the present. If experience and memory are fundamentally mediated their relationship to representation can be understood as a condition for experience and memory. Bertolt Brecht - 'Verfremdungseffekt' or alienation and involves breaking the llusion of a picture or account by deconstructing the dramaturgical, narratological or visual means that make it appear self -evident. for example by disrupting the smooth correspondence between visuals and spoken commentary , or by acting and speaking as if one was referring to rather than impersonating a character and his or her motivations. This approach makes it possible to expose ow ways of seeing things are constructed and to interrupt the illusion that things necessarily are or have to be as they are given to be. (abstraction) It implies to break the hypnotic representation and to lead the viewer out of the delusional imaginary into a rational understanding of the world. Both of these approaches operate on the principle of critical distanciation. Trauma - characterised by a lack of distance. A person experiencing trauma is still inside the event. he cannot speak about the event but only within it.