Recreating the Unknown

All performance art is marginal, but some is more marginal than others.

Much of the discussion and activity around performance recreation is focused
on relatively ‘famous’ artists. This is essentially inevitable because in
order to make a recreation there has to be some documentation of the
original action available in the public domain and the published, accessible
histories of performance art still tend to feature a narrow selection of
familiar names.

For me, the very obscurity of many performance artists and their work is
almost intrinsic to the very form of performance art and it is something
that any history of performance art, or attempts at recreating performance
work, should consider engaging with.

Confronted with fragmentary documentation of an obscure artist’s work and
lacking a more detailed historical context, then the act of recreation can
operate as a tool of exploration when other forms of research are not
possible.

I propose that recreation can act as a way of sharing an experience, showing
someone else something that you, personally find interesting, or even
exploring something that you found interesting without knowing exactly why.

Chris Hewitt