On March 15 and 16, 2013, the Arts Research Center at UC Berkeley will present Spiraling Time: Intermedial Conversations in Latin American Arts, part of its yearlong Time Zones series examining time-based arts in an international context. To jump-start the conversation in advance of the event, symposium participants have been invited to share here some brief reflections on what interests them about time and temporality. This posting is by André Lepecki, Associate Professor of Performance Studies at New York University, who will deliver a keynote address on Transtemporal transcreation: action, object, dance and time in the works of Hélio Oiticica and Lygia Pape.
In my talk, I will analyze how some choreographic-sculptural propositions by Brazilian artists Hélio Oiticia and Lygia Pape, in the late 1950s and early 1960s, not only blur the line between action and object, body and image, but also disrupt the “time-zone” of historical narratives about the relations between visual arts and dance. Following Didi-Huberman’s assertion that art history is constantly re-beginning with every new work, I am interested in inflecting his insight with the specificity of Brazil in its particular geo-political context. The point is to consider the particularities of objecthood and embodiment in Oiticia’s and Pape’s choreographic, sculptural and performance works, and to understand how their proposals scramble historical time and offer alternative concepts to critically approach performance practices today.