On Remnants and Vestiges. Strategies of Remaining in the Performing Arts

The research project On Remnants and Vestiges. Strategies of Remaining in the Performing Arts (ÜberReste. Strategien des Bleibens in den darstellenden Künsten) investigates the challenges inherent in remaining and preserving in the fields of dance, music theater and performance that otherwise operate under the primacy of presence. The project is divided into three subjects. In the first, strategies of remaining between the performance and documentation are analyzed with a focus on dance and performance art; they are then systematized in terminology (Susanne Foellmer, principal investigator: “Reprises. On the Phenomenon of Remaining in Dance and Performance”). The second field of research deals with performance videos as dynamic and problematic tools of the phenomenologically oriented performance analysis (Cornelia Schmitz, research fellow: “Audiovisual Recordings as Instruments of Performance Analysis of Music Theatre”). The third part then investigates the phenomena of citation in dance as a figure of reception and perception (Katharina Schmidt, research fellow: “Tracing Quotation. Phenomena of Recurrence in Dance”).

The focus will be set on what remains in the transitory; it appears in a double state. First, it is a temporal figure of remnants that emerge as traces of performances that point to delimitations in aesthetic spaces of experience such as museums, (performance) videos or other recording media. Second, it is then a repetition in the sense of aesthetic procedures: as practices of remaining within the performances themselves, i.e., in the attempts at saving and reconstructing so called ephemeral stage events.

The project is funded by German Research Foundation (DFG).