Embodied historiography: rupture as the performance of history

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REF REVIEWER - This is the lead output in a practice research MULTI-COMPONENT portfolio consisting of 12 performances, two journal articles, and two unpublished scripts. To see the full submission, view the file - Multi-component-output-Embodied-historiography-rupture-as-the-performance-of-history.pdf

The Veterans Project is a performance of curated oral histories shared by military veterans with the communities in which they live.

This essay describes the development of embodied historiography, a new and original methodology of making performance for research purposes whereby performers - who are not acting a role but performing themselves - are understood as documents that are meant to be historically read and accounted for. In performances that employ this methodology, the act of performance exposes our subjective processing of memory and historical events through the live layering of multiple perspectives. The Veterans Project is an ongoing work of embodied historiography in which veterans of the American military appear onstage in an unscripted forum where they are invited to share their stories. However, the individual narratives that emerge are in turn consistently interrupted/disrupted through the utilisation of an evolving media system, inspired in large part by the work of Vilém Flusser that interjects various video, audio, and graphic media into the conversation. By consciously interrupting and thereby rupturing the narratives that each individual soldier has crafted with respect to his or her own historical framing of memory, these performances resist political teleology in both historiography and performance.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)108-115
Number of pages8
JournalPerformance Research
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 9 Dec 2014


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