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Engaging impermanence: Stuart Brisley and Ken McMullen’s Being and Doing (1984)

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The article discusses film documentations that record and represent artists’ live performance work. Documents are understood as aesthetic artefacts, and the text explores in detail the modes of documentation, that use the time-based medium of film to engage with performance art’s negotiation of duration and impermanence. Taking the example of Being and Doing, an experimental documentation of live art practices by Stuart Brisley and Ken McMullen from 1984, I address the question of how to account for the afterlife of performance art’s material remains when they are reframed and restaged in and as moving images.
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Keywords: Document; archival images; artists’ film; documentation; performance in Eastern Europe before 1989; testimonies

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 1, 2015

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