Trace: Performance and its Documents

It seems obvious when talking about performance that ‘you really have to be there’, to get the story right. While the experience of ‘being there’ adds something particular, it is still possible to experience the work at a remove, whether via a screen, photographic documentation, or even a third-hand retelling of the action.

Art Exhibition previously on at Queensland Art Gallery/Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA) in Queensland, Australia.
From Saturday 22 February 2014 to Sunday 27 July 2014

Trace: Performance and its Documents image

Published by GAGOMA on Wednesday 18 June 2014.
Contact the publisher.

‘Trace’ draws out relationships between performance and its documents, bringing together new commissions with historical and contemporary works from across the Gallery’s Collection. The exhibition includes works by John Baldessari; Brown Council; Rebecca Horn; Bruce Nauman, Mike Parr; Campbell Patterson; Qin Ga; Carolee Schneemann; Sriwhana Spong; Song Dong; Ai Weiwei; Gosia Wlodarczak; Erwin Wurm; Zhang Huan, and more.

Spanning an array of cultural contexts and varying sorts of performativity – feats of endurance, repetitive actions, shamanistic rituals, vaudevillian acts – the works also range wildly in tone: from sublime to icky to out and out funny. Whether images, texts or objects, ‘Trace’ gives presence to the residues that stop performance disappearing altogether. Alongside the works, this testifies to the continuing relevance of discussions around ephemeral work in the Gallery: it appears, disappears, then reappears in various guises.