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Title: The value of performance documentation in the contemporary art museum : a case study of Tate
Author: Finbow, Acatia
ISNI:       0000 0004 7231 579X
Awarding Body: University of Exeter
Current Institution: University of Exeter
Date of Award: 2017
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Performance and documentation have a complex historical relationship, based around perceived binaries of ephemerality and endurance, liveness and fixedness, originality and representation. This thesis explores this relationship and the ontological perspectives which underpin it, but moves beyond this by building on those contemporary theories which consider the potential of the performance documentation in relation to the performance moment, and the expanded, continuing performance artwork. Using the example of Tate as a contemporary art museum which has a history of creating and collecting performance documentation, this research engages the lens of value as an analytic tool through which to understand the positions and purposes of performance documentation in the contemporary art museum. Rather than attempting to measure the amount of value a performance document is perceived to have in economic terms, the intention here is to understand the nuanced types of value those within the museum apply to the performance document, based on an understanding of valuations as subjective, context-dependent, pluralistic and changeable. This thesis will explore both the museum’s creation of performance documents, tracing the variety of practices across Tate’s numerous departments, and how those within the museum approach acquiring, conserving, and displaying existing performance documents. Six case studies will be used to explore how different models of temporality, materiality, and authorship impact on the actions individuals and departments within Tate have taken around the creation, collection, and use of performance documents, and will explore what these indicate about the multiple, changeable types of value a performance document is perceived to have. The thesis will end by proposing how these findings around value and valuation can feed back into strategies and practices which are being developed at Tate to provide centralised, reflexive, mobile and easily accessible documentation of those live art works in the museum collection.
Supervisor: Giannachi, Gabriella Sponsor: AHRC
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Performance Studies ; Documentation ; Museums ; Value