Unit 5 Assignment 1 Emily McDill

Birns: Ritualizing the Past: Ralph Lemon’s Counter-Memorials 

?: Is it more effective to leverage the banality of the unmarked locations of horrific historical events or to explicitly memorialize these sites in order to raise public awareness about the south’s dark history of racial violence?

!: The quote on page 19 of the article that states,
“The Romantic, or modernist, ideology of the magnum opus as the as the peak of the creative process that is otherwise immaterial to it, has kept its grip on the way we think about art.”
relates to Dr. Bory’s lecture on Thursday about the ephemeral nature of performance. The meaning of a performance is greater than the fleeting and intangible production itself, because its value is rather a summation of the artist’s emotions and intentions materialized through the creative process.

Schneider: Performance Remains 

?: Is the “embodied ritual practice of history” (pg. 102) an effective means of remembering history if those reenacting the scene were not present? Or does this type of performance lose a degree of authenticity which is the essential characteristic of an ephemeral, vanishing performance?

!: The difference between a performance and a historical reenactment or oral tradition is that in the latter, the script disappears, while the performance itself remains, and every new version is like an echo (pg. 105). I found this statement especially thought provoking because I’ve never thought of history as something that can be reinterpreted through performance while preserving the underlying message, even if the reenactment itself is not strictly followed. 

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