For quite some time the concept of reenactment has enjoyed popularity as an artistic practice used to visualize and contemporize the past. More recently the term preenactment has started to receive a great deal of attention. Preenactment as a performative practice does not deal with the revision or replication of a historic event, instead it sets out to experiment with fictitious time(s) and space(s). How can one conceptualize the temporality of preenactment when its vectors, intensities, and affects go beyond an allegedly fleeting moment? Similar to the way in which reenactment always provides a prospective dimension, preenactment always includes a retrospective dimension which is why the conference conceives of it as (P)reenactment. It thereby encourages the establishment of a new perspective on the notion of reenactment, whereby reoccurrence, repetition, or duration do not stand at the forefront, but rather as a beginning, as a means of relief, reorientation, and a process of transition.

The interdisciplinary conference aims at examining Pre-, Re-, as well as En-actments that are not just based on artistic practices, but include social, medial, political, and activist phenomena. To what extent can artistic (P)reenactments influence – especially in terms of anticipation – political relationships and vice versa? To what extent is the theory of (P)reenactment capable of redefining the relationship between art and politics? Which role do cultural-historic preconditions play in particular courses of action and habits of perception?

Moreover, the conference aims at conceptualizing (P)reenactments beyond their definition as live performances by drawing on the discourses of media studies.  (P)reenactments are to be understood as phenomena not only within artistic frameworks but are encountered in other social contexts as well.

Along with the temporal and spatial dynamics of (P)reenactments, their different affective potential has to be addressed also: In (P)reenactments, the capacity to move and be moved takes place between the poles of memory/history and vision(s) of the future. Comprehending (P)reenactments as affective events allows for a focus on aspects that have until now been overlooked by the research into reenactment, but which have acquired great significance within the field of affect studies.

The goal of this conference is to promote an interdisciplinary exchange on the various dimensions of (P)reenactment outlined above. Speakers are invited from various fields, including theater studies, media studies, literary studies, political science, and social sciences. In addition to promoting an interdisciplinary dialogue among scholars, the conference will incorporate artistic interventions and contributions from practitioners of (P)reenactment from various fields.                                       

In English and German

Rebecca Schneider
Oliver Marchart

Lecture Performance
Friendly Fire!

Artist Talk
Nina Tecklenburg (Interrobang), Sven Lindholm, and Hannah Hofmann (Hofmann & Lindholm)
Moderated by Doris Kolesch

Talks by
Friedrich Balke
Benjamin Beil
Francesca Laura Cavallo
Adam Czirak
Veronika Darian
Susanne Foellmer
Friedrich Kirschner
Heiko Kirschner
Daniela Kuka
Maria Muhle
Sophie Nikoleit
Friederike Oberkrome
Verena Straub
Robert Walter-Jochum
Michael Wetzels

Organized by

Adam Czirak, Sophie Nikoleit, Friederike Oberkrome, Verena Straub, Robert Walter-Jochum, and Michael Wetzels of the working group ‘(P)reenactment’, part of the collaborative research center ‘Affective Societies’, generously funded by the DFG

In cooperation with ICI Berlin

The event, like all events at the ICI Berlin, is open to the public, free of charge. The audience is presumed to consent to a possible recording on the part of the ICI Berlin. If you would like to attend the event yet might require assistance, please contact Event Management.

KV PReEnact