Questions of Practice: "What is Reconstruction?"

Questions of Practice: “What is Reconstruction?”

“If I go in and copy a Van Gogh and I do it very well, I’m called a forger. If I go in and restore somebody else’s dance, I’m called an artist.” In this panel discussion excerpt, legendary downtown theater artist Richard Schechner—founder of The Performance Group in New York City—asks, “What’s the difference between forgery and art,” between “new” and “original?” He proposes that a restaging becomes its own original, and that our desire to reconstruct reveals a “cultural anxiety about losing things” and nostalgia for a “sense of wholeness.”

Excerpt from “Again, in another time and place: A conversation on reconstruction, restaging, and reenactment,” produced by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage and presented at FringeArts in Philadelphia, on October 5, 2013.

This event “Again, in another time and place: A conversation on reconstruction, restaging, and reenactment” was produced by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage and presented at FringeArts in Philadelphia, on October 5, 2013. That same weekend Lucinda Childs re-presented a half-dozen of her early dance works, with Center funding.

Participants in the panel discussion also included Patricia Lent (Merce Cunningham Trust) and Sharon Hayes (visual artist), moderated by Shannon Jackson (UC Berkeley).