Just in time: Rosemary Butcher, making memories and marks

Melrose, Susan and Sachsenmaier, Stefanie and Butcher, Rosemary (2015) Just in time: Rosemary Butcher, making memories and marks. Performance Research, 20 (6). pp. 87-94. ISSN 1352-8165

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Abstract

What is at stake in the relatively recent urge to document, annotate or archive decision-making processes in creative practices? Others have posed this sort of question (not least Derrida's Archive Fever, 1995), but, ironically enough, they tend to have done so through the written text—just as we are, in part, constrained to do here. Who or what has driven the historically specific urge to document—and who has benefited from it? Writer-researchers tend to be blissfully expert in the sorts of fields that collocate around performance decision-making—not least where university researcher holds sway. Yet surely what some of us may want—almost desperately—to capture, still evades that attempt at wording? What is it that holds centre-field, while researchers run around? Besides, what does the artist or maker really want?

What do researchers want from ‘the artist’ when we use the words ’document’, ‘record’, ‘annotate’ and ‘archive’? When do we want it? Plainly Butcher has made the work, but ‘the work’, here, tends to signal the history of the made, rather less than the story of the making. In historical terms, most of Butcher's making processes pre-date this urge to document—except in her own mind, which bears their marks. What does Butcher remember? Perhaps her memories are the work's archive—hence, for whom do we archive, document and annotate, and how? In Derrida, concern was with time (in the beginning, in the end), and the command (do this! do that!), whereas what Butcher seems to recall is a series of questions, for which she continues to have few answers: the apparently simple ‘What was I doing then?’ signals an ongoing enquiry that image, writing and record fail to satisfy.

Item Type: Article
Research Areas: A. > School of Media and Performing Arts > Performing Arts
Item ID: 18596
Useful Links:
Depositing User: Susan Melrose
Date Deposited: 28 Apr 2016 09:37
Last Modified: 07 Sep 2018 00:26
URI: http://eprints.mdx.ac.uk/id/eprint/18596

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