Monday, 26 January 2015

Documenting Art and Performance: Embodied Knowledge, Virtuality & the Archive


The Asian Art and Performance Consortium (AAPC) of the Academy of Fine Arts (KuvA) and the Finnish Theatre Academy (TeaK) of the University of the Arts Helsinki jointly hosted a symposium focused on documenting and archiving Asian and trans-cultural performance and fine arts. This is the third and final symposium organized under the Shifting Dialogues - Asian Performance and Fine Arts research project, funded by the Academy of Finland in 2011-2014.

Issues raised at the symposium included embodied, iconographic and electronic transfer of performance traditions in Asia related to live performance and traditional pedagogies. These include the use of moving image, photography, web-based presence and new media, historical and theoretical writings, the construction of archives, museums and libraries.

Cuneyt Cakirlar, in his paper “Mediation of Document: Ethnographic Turns and Art as Methodological Object in Critical Humanities”, examined relations of ethnography, contemporary art practice, globalisation and scalar geopolitics with particular reference to a selection of artists including Kutlug Ataman, Ming Wong, Akram Zaatari, Slavs & Tatars. Concentrating on these artists’ engagement with ethnography, Cuneyt’s paper analyzed a selection of videos and gave an account of different scalar aspects of their artworks as well as the ways in which conceptual art-objects bear the potential of forming transient archives in academia to exemplify critical methodologies of ‘dealing with data’. Rather than addressing scale as a differential concept, this paper aimed to demonstrate the ways in which these artworks produce self-scaling, self-regioning subjects that unsettle the hierarchical constructions of scale and facilitate a critique of the scalar normativity within the global art world’s documentary regionalisms and internationalisms.

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