Movement and Memory: Schneider and Birns Response
“Ritualizing the Past: Ralph Lemon’s Counter-Memorials” by Nicholas Birns
Is historic documentation inherently self-serving? How does Lemon’s “ritualization” of the past prevent future recurrences and bring the audience into the history?
The accuracy of American society as “particularly ahistorical when it assumes it is ultra-historical” with memorials (or lack thereof) teaching audiences that “the past is finished, when we still have the power to construct it” (Birns 22).
“Archives: Performance Remains” by Rebecca Schneider
How can archival performances be valuable if the power of performance lies in its transience? Is it truly possible to approach performance without “a cultural habitation to the patrilineal, West-identified (arguably white-cultural) logic of the Archive?” (Schneider 100).
Performance has not been accepted as history due to “concatenations of primitivism and attendant racisms” although within certain groups oral and physical performance is the most effective and accepted method for the conveyance of history (Schneider 102).