This talk discusses reenactment strategies in the context of legal and paralegal reconstructions. The theatrical side of court cases has been recognized by a number of scholars and artists, as has the increasing importance of media such as video and digital simulations. As crime scenes are reconstructed and crimes reenacted, such theatrical restagings are not necessarily limited to “proper” legal frameworks. Activist trials and reenactments by activists, artists, and filmmakers introduce a paralegal performativity that may function as a “preenactment” of actual trials to come. From Pierre Huyghe to the Friends of Halit, Forensic Architecture to the tribunal NSU-Komplex, Lütticken will discuss cases in which reenactments are presented as evidence either of a personal and oneiric truth, or of actual events whose reconstruction can challenge official claims.

Sven Lütticken teaches art history at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and theory at the Dutch Art Institute. He is the author of Secret Publicity: Essays on Contemporary Art (2006), Idols of the Market: Modern Iconoclasm and the Fundamentalist Spectacle (2009), History in Motion: Time in the Age of the Moving Image (2013), and Cultural Revolution: Aesthetic Practice after Autonomy (2017), and regularly contributes to journals and magazines such as New Left Review, Texte zur Kunst, e-flux journal, Grey Room, and Afterall.

In English
Organized by

An ICI Berlin event, organized by Cristina Baldacci, Clio Nicastro, and Arianna Sforzini

The symposium investigates re-enactment as both a key concept and a practice in the field of artistic production, in theoretical discourse, and in the socio-political sphere. If to re-enact means not to restore but to challenge the past, history is thus turned into a possible and perpetual becoming, an opening for invention and renewal.

KV Over and Over

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