CONF Apr 17, 2021

Performance: The Ethics and the Politics of Care (online, 29-30 May 21)

Zoom webinar, May 29–30, 2021
Registration deadline: May 28, 2021

Julia Pelta Feldman

Performance: The Ethics and the Politics of Care — # 1. Mapping the Field

This interdisciplinary colloquium on the conservation of performance art contests the common-sense understanding of performance as a non-conservable form and asks how, and to what extent, performance art and performance-based works can be conserved.

Keynote talks are by Rebecca Schneider (Brown University) , Pip Laurenson (Tate and Maastricht University), Gabriella Giannachi (University of Exeter), and Barbara Büscher (University of Music and Theatre Leipzig).

The colloquium will feature two performance works by artists Frieder Butzmann and Gisela Hochuli.

This colloquium is a part of the ongoing research project Performance: Conservation, Materiality, Knowledge funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation at Bern University of the Arts. The project focuses on the questions of conservation of performance-based works, their temporal specifics, the involvement of the human and non-human body, the world of their extended trace history, memory, and archive.


All times listed are in CEST / UTC+2

DAY ONE: Saturday, May 29

1:00-1:30 pm: Introduction

1:30-2:15 pm: Keynote: Pip Laurenson: Charisma, Desire and Understanding in the Conservation of Performance Art

Panel 1: Making Performance Last

2:15-2:45 pm: Erin Brannigan and Louise Lawson: Precarious Movements: Contemporary Dance as Contemporary Art

2:45-3:15 pm: Rachel Mader and Siri Peyer: Interfrictions (a rubbing together) – the ‘Ephemeral’ Meets the ‘Static’

Performance Interlude - 3:15-3:30 pm: Frieder Butzmann & theallstarszoomensemble, [<zooms‘n‘spells‘n’lights> – recharged], 2021

3:30-4:15 pm: Break

Panel 2: Capturing liveness between theory and practice

4:15-4:45 pm: Hélia Marçal: Vitality and the Conservation of Performance

4:45-5:15 pm: Farris Wahbeh: A Continuum of Instances: Archival Strategies for Performance-based Artworks

5:15-5:45 pm: Lizzie Gorfaine, Ana Janevski, Martha Joseph, and Kate Lewis: Intellectual Gifts: Case Studies in Collecting Performance

5:45-6:00 pm: Break

6:00-6:45 pm: Keynote: Gabriella Giannachi: Conserving the Un-conservable: Documenting Environmental Performance for the 21st Century

6:45-7:30 pm: Discussion

DAY TWO: Sunday, May 30

1:00-1:45 pm: Keynote: Barbara Büscher: From the Work to the Performance and its Traces/Documents: Performance Art at the Intersection of Art History and Theatre/Performance Studies

Panel 3: Practicing and Festivalizing Care

1:45-2:15pm: Sooyoung Leam: Festivalising Performance: Communication-Art Group (Un)archived

2:15-2:45 pm: Karolina Wilczyńska: Maintenance is Never Done: Care and Preservation in Mierle Laderman Ukeles’s Performances

Performance Interlude - 2:45-3:00 pm: Gisela Hochuli (CH), In Strange Hands, 2021

3:00-3:45 pm: Break

Panel 4: Experimental Acquisitions and the Politics of Stewardship

3:45-4:15 pm: Iona Goldie-Scot: An Experimental Acquisition: Conflicting Conventions and Infrastructural Barriers (Ralph Lemon at the Walker)

4:15-4:45 pm: Brian Castriota and Claire Walsh: Collecting In the Shadow of the State: Acquiring Performance at the Irish Museum of Modern Art and Institutions of Care in the Irish Context

4:45-5:15 pm: Ana Ribeiro and Louise Lawson: Caring for Performance Art in the Museum: From Acquisition to Activation

5:15-5:30 pm: Break

5:30-6:15 pm: Keynote: Rebecca Schneider: Not, Yet: When Our Art is in our Hands. With Antiphonal Interludes by Hanna Hölling

6:15-7:30 pm: Discussion & closing remarks

CONF: Performance: The Ethics and the Politics of Care (online, 29-30 May 21). In:, Apr 17, 2021 (accessed May 16, 2021), <>.