Remembering, repeating and working through in Anniversary – An Act Of Memory by Monica Ross and co-recitors (2008–)

Kokoli, Alexandra M. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-3730-8570 (2012) Remembering, repeating and working through in Anniversary – An Act Of Memory by Monica Ross and co-recitors (2008–). Performance Research, 17 (5). pp. 24-30. ISSN 1352-8165 (doi:10.1080/13528165.2012.728436)

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Abstract

In response to the fatal shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes by police in London in 2005, artist Monica Ross decided to try and learn the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by heart. She first attempted to publicly recite the Declaration from memory in the performance Rights Repeated – An Act Of Memory at Beaconsfield, London, 2005. This has since become the series Anniversary – An Act Of Memory, beginning with a solo recitation by Ross to mark the 60th anniversary of the Declaration in 2008. The series approaches performance as a live and generative medium, with recitations recorded using photography and video, edited in consultation with the co-recitors and posted on youtube as an open archive. Resisting the impulse to foreground the content of such an explicitly political work, I argue that it is in the structure of this performance in sixty acts and its temporal unfolding in time and place, across different contexts and communities, that its political and ethical significance lies. The inevitable pauses in each recitation find their counterpart in the patient, discreet and sympathetic waiting of the co-recitors and the artist herself, who are assigned the double role of performer and audience. I turn to the critical apparatus of psychoanalysis, not only because it elaborates the links between remembering and repetition, which are viewed as not simply connected but as part of a dialectic, but also because, in its practice (analysis), it both requires and values a great deal of waiting. Anniversary is contextualised among other works by Monica Ross and others, with particular reference to the impact of feminism on art practice.

Item Type: Article
Research Areas: A. > School of Art and Design > Visual Arts
A. > School of Art and Design > Visual Arts > CREATE/Feminisms cluster
Item ID: 11905
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Depositing User: Users 3197 not found.
Date Deposited: 12 Sep 2013 10:10
Last Modified: 26 Sep 2019 15:21
URI: https://eprints.mdx.ac.uk/id/eprint/11905

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