SRL: Reenactment

What does it mean to perform history? This studio research lab investigates the cultural phenomenon of historical reenactment, or Living History, founded on the idea that historical events gain meaning and relevance when performed live in an open-air, interactive setting. Through a series of four daylong weekend field trips to local reenactments at military sites (Fort Point, Fort Ross), state historic farms (Ardenwood, Columbia), gold mines (Empire, Marshall, Malakoff Diggins), missions (San Juan Bautista), and other organizations (Oakland Black Cowboy Association) we will investigate the ways reenactment relates to issues of preservation, appropriation, performativity, commemoration, craft, tourism, and trauma. Through readings (Walter Banjamin, Sigmund Freud, Sven L tticken, Rebecca Schneider) and independent research, we will compare and contrast the methodologies and approaches involved in historic reenactment to artistic strategies of reenactment in contemporary art, performance, and photography (Marina Abramovich, Jeremy Deller, Mark Tribe).