Images Performing History

Images Performing History

Photography and Representations of the Past in European Art after 1989

History is increasingly made in images, not only because its records are largely photographic but also because our ideas about the past are formed in visual terms. In Images Performing History, Katarzyna Ruchel-Stockmans offers a discussion of contemporary art practices that question received notions of historical representations after the pivotal changes of 1989 in Europe. These art practices reveal, in different ways, the operative role of the photographic media in making and remaking history. Not limited to a particular artistic medium, they demonstrate how history is forged through enacting or reenacting its past forms, while they indicate how copying and quoting can contribute to creating a new, operative aesthetics. Ruchel-Stockmans foregrounds the performative character of images, showing how art constructs an alternative knowledge of the past.