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Histories of Performance Documentation traces the many ways in which museums have approached performance works from the 1960s onwards, considering the unique challenges of documenting live events. From hybrid and interactive arts, to games and virtual and mixed reality performance, this collection investigates the burgeoning role of the performative in museum displays.
Gabriella Giannachi and Jonah Westerman bring together interviews and essays by leading curators, conservators, artists and scholars from institutions including MoMA, Tate, SFMOMA and the Whitney, to examine a range of interdisciplinary practices that have influenced the field of performance documentation. Chapters build on recent approaches to performance analysis, which argue that it should not focus purely on the live event, and that documentation should not be read solely as a process of retrospection. These ideas create a radical new framework for thinking about the relationship between performance and its documentation—and how this relationship might shape ideas of what constitutes performance in the first place.