Remembering, repeating and working through in Anniversary – An Act Of Memory by Monica Ross and co-recitors (2008–)

Article


Kokoli, A. 2012. Remembering, repeating and working through in Anniversary – An Act Of Memory by Monica Ross and co-recitors (2008–). Performance Research. 17 (5), pp. 24-30. https://doi.org/10.1080/13528165.2012.728436
TypeArticle
TitleRemembering, repeating and working through in Anniversary – An Act Of Memory by Monica Ross and co-recitors (2008–)
AuthorsKokoli, A.
Abstract

In response to the fatal shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes by police in London in 2005, artist Monica Ross decided to try and learn the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by heart. She first attempted to publicly recite the Declaration from memory in the performance Rights Repeated – An Act Of Memory at Beaconsfield, London, 2005. This has since become the series Anniversary – An Act Of Memory, beginning with a solo recitation by Ross to mark the 60th anniversary of the Declaration in 2008. The series approaches performance as a live and generative medium, with recitations recorded using photography and video, edited in consultation with the co-recitors and posted on youtube as an open archive. Resisting the impulse to foreground the content of such an explicitly political work, I argue that it is in the structure of this performance in sixty acts and its temporal unfolding in time and place, across different contexts and communities, that its political and ethical significance lies. The inevitable pauses in each recitation find their counterpart in the patient, discreet and sympathetic waiting of the co-recitors and the artist herself, who are assigned the double role of performer and audience. I turn to the critical apparatus of psychoanalysis, not only because it elaborates the links between remembering and repetition, which are viewed as not simply connected but as part of a dialectic, but also because, in its practice (analysis), it both requires and values a great deal of waiting. Anniversary is contextualised among other works by Monica Ross and others, with particular reference to the impact of feminism on art practice.

Research GroupCREATE/Feminisms cluster
LanguageEnglish
JournalPerformance Research
ISSN1352-8165
Publication dates
Print2012
Publication process dates
Deposited12 Sep 2013
Output statusPublished
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1080/13528165.2012.728436
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