Art contemporain et documentation : la muséalisation d'un corpus de pièces éphémères de type performance

Abstract : Is performance art present in museum collections? If so, how is it documented, preserved and presented/exhibited? How do museum professionals and artists accomplish documenting and archiving performance art? The notion of “document” has emerged as a key concept for understanding the issues surrounding contemporary practices of performance art. A hypothesis is proposed: the performance is not to be considered as an “object,” but rather as a series of “documents.” Transposing the concept of paratext (Genette) to this analysis, I argue that these sets of documents function to present or to “make present” performances and to enable their musealisation. Case studies involving seven performance pieces and their associated documents (objects, accessories, archives, etc.) in collections in museums and Fonds régionaux d’art contemporain (FRAC) in France and Canada were selected for study. Interviews with museum professionals, artists and their collaborators, as well as the analysis of documentary sources such as database catalogs, artists’ dossiers and journals, constituted the primary research materials. The case studies revealed two main strategies of musealisation: 1) musealisation articulated/occurring around a material extension which tends to become a work of art and 2) musealisation articulated around a reenactment project. The case studies also demonstrate three types of presentation: 1) the exhibition, 2) the documentary exhibition, and 3) the live presentation or reenactment. Finally, the research indicates that the musealisation of performance art redefines the traditional museum activities of selection, documentation and presentation by questioning the status of the museum object as a central element of these activities
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Amélie Giguère. Art contemporain et documentation : la muséalisation d'un corpus de pièces éphémères de type performance. Sciences de l'information et de la communication. Université d'Avignon, 2012. Français. ⟨NNT : 2012AVIG1110⟩. ⟨tel-00924707⟩

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