UBC Theses and Dissertations
Do you think it's over? : performance and the "third place" of Greenland's art history Norman, David Winfield
During a performance piece in August 2015, Greenlandic performance artist Jessie Kleemann carried out an homage to a past artwork by Greenlandic-Danish artist Pia Arke: an ephemeral installation composed of used coffee grounds that Arke herself destroyed upon conclusion of the exhibition that had included it. In order to elucidate the relationship established in Kleemann’s work, this thesis will undertake a close analysis of individual artworks by the two artists. The existing literature has portrayed these artists as lone figures, divorced from the mainstream of Greenlandic art, and they have rarely been compared to other Greenlandic artists, yet I argue they share a common method: a performance of history. This thesis will examine the durational and resonant aspects of both works, and through them argue that performance stages a responsive encounter between subject and object, and between historical references and the present. This thesis will highlight how performance has played a much larger role in reevaluating cultural discourses in Greenland than the existing literature suggests. Kleemann and Arke approach history through the durational aspect of temporality. I argue that in their oeuvres, the work of history occurs as a durational process of both presentation and re-presentation, where both the past and the present play active roles in forming historical knowledge.
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