White Rose University Consortium logo
University of Leeds logo University of Sheffield logo York University logo

A Provenance of Performance: Excavating new art histories through a consideration of re-enactment and the perspectives of the audience.

Wishart, Sarah Elizabeth (2018) A Provenance of Performance: Excavating new art histories through a consideration of re-enactment and the perspectives of the audience. PhD thesis, University of Leeds.

A Provenance of Performance final.pdf - Final eThesis - complete (pdf)
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.0 UK: England & Wales.

Download (3954Kb) | Preview


In 2001, the artist Jeremy Deller staged a re-enactment of a key encounter in Orgreave, Sheffield between miners and police from the 1984-5 miners’ strike close to the original site, with a cast of 500 re-enactors and 300 local people including some miners who had been there in the original moment. In 2003, the artist Graeme Miller rehung the stories missing from an area socially devastated by the compulsory purchase and demolition of over 350 homes in East London as part of the road-building scheme that started in the 1980s. Both pieces were concerned in some way with re-enactment and involved a number of people in their creation. Both engaged with people who had been there at the time but in the social history of both works, there are omissions and hidden details about their creation and impact. I look to explore the historical context of my two case studies: Deller’s The Battle of Orgreave and Miller’s Linked along with the processes and procedures undertaken in the course of making them. This undertaking revealed the multiplicity of narratives and collaborators involved in the work. By using a specific kind of historical perspective, that of the provenance of the work, a term most often used in art history or archaeology to look at the detail of how each work was created, I am more fully able to think about the importance of re-enactment and different spaces of documentation in the work’s context. I look at how documentation of an event might expand and enable the revisiting and new understandings of the work in different ways. In addition, I look particularly at the role of audiences and why their memories of the event are an under-used resource. In order to address this, both in relation to the investigation into how a provenance of performance might operate and as a method to raise the presence of the expansion of history through the transfer of knowledge through bodies, I use the opportunity to talk to audiences through qualitative methods. I also consider how a provenance of performance might engage practically with live art documentation and work with institutional archiving of live art.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: Jeremy Deller, Graeme Miller, audience, audience engagement, documentation, live art, Tate, Artangel, Orgreave, M11, Tim Etchells, audience studies, provenance, performance art, Artsadmin, Battle of Orgreave, miners strike, political art
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures (Leeds) > School of English (Leeds)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.770077
Depositing User: Dr Sarah E Wishart
Date Deposited: 27 Mar 2019 13:54
Last Modified: 18 Feb 2020 12:49
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/23240

You do not need to contact us to get a copy of this thesis. Please use the 'Download' link(s) above to get a copy.
You can contact us about this thesis. If you need to make a general enquiry, please see the Contact us page.

Actions (repository staff only: login required)