Fictionalizing the Present Past Future. On the Ethics of Different Temporalities in Archiving Dance Histories

Kirsten Maar

My contribution attempts to reflect on the various levels of temporalization in documentation, in oral histories and practices and in fictionalization.Through their intertwining, it seeks to not only trace inherent reference structures and the formation of the canon, but also to open up a speculative and at the same time critical model of artistically handling the archive as a space of possibility.

My research follows two strands: First, I link my reading (of among others Koselleck, Bloch, Munoz, Osborne, Bishop, Rebentisch, Schellow, Taylor) on the relationship between historiography and contemporaneity to the following questions: How is contemporaneity determined? What references do we maintain by looking at history/stories? How are these stories told, remembered and archived? This perspective is closely linked not only to the field of dance studies with questions surrounding the decolonization of existing bodies of knowledge and their epistemological conditions, but also with the practices through which dance is passed on and transformed.

In this respect, I also investigate which methodological approaches and procedures from other fields of knowledge and practice (ethnographic procedures, queer curatorial practices…) can be made conducive to ‘working in the archive’. How can we track down what has not yet been considered? What ghosts of the past appear in the entanglements and embodiments of histories and what attitude in dealing with archival practices do they demand? Using individual examples from the field of (contemporary) dance and art, the results will be contextualized and presented as a kind of mind-map of non-linear historical narratives.