A new word needs to be invented for performances such as Teaching and Learning Cinema’s (Louise Curham and Lucas Ihlein) performance of Malcolm le Grice’s Horror Film 1 (1971) and Guy Sherwin’s (Wo)man with a Mirror (1976), which happened yesterday at Canberra Contemporary Art Space and was, by the way, a top wet-Saturday-arvo’s excursion. Although based on meticulous historical research, they weren’t re-enactments in the sense that Civil War re-enactors re-fight old battles, because they acknowledged that the formal and historical terms of the aesthetic battles to be fought have evolved since their first iteration (so performer-gender and sometimes media had to be changed); nor were they playing a score like an orchestra, because they were referring not to an originary written document but an originary ephemeral event (or even events). ‘Re-presentation’ or ‘re-iteration’ sound too passive and boring. Perhaps to keep the military metaphor going we could use ‘re-engagement’? One thing’s for certain a new word is going to be needed for sure because, although of course the Madonna of performance art Marina Ambramovic has ‘re-engaging’ with the performance art canon for years, more and more other people in video, performance, silent cinema, pre-cinema, theatre, as well as Louise and Lucas’s beloved expanded cinema are going to be doing it in the future.
HORROR FILM 1 TEACHING AND LEARNING CINEMA | CCAS SOCIAL PAGES