Learning and Playing: Re- enacting Feminist Histories

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The title ?Learning and Playing? invokes Bertolt Brecht?s idea of the learning-play (this is his translation of the German Lehrstück). For him, this was a suggestive, rather than programmatic theory of how to break down the interface between rehearsal and performance, actors and spectators, discussion and enactment. This chapter returns to his theorisation of the learning-play, rather than the particular plays he wrote under this title, to think through its potential to conceptualise uses of re-enactment in contemporary art as forms of learning about history to inform our present. It is argued that re-enactment is one way to engage with the past as a site of fantasy, creation and possibility for the future. Two contemporary artworks that utilise re-enactment as scenes of learning in a variety of ways will be explored: Olivia Plender and Hester Reeve?s re-booting of The Emily Davison Lodge and their involvement in the display of Sylvia Pankhurst?s artworks at Tate Britain (2013-14) and Canadian artists Allyson Mitchell and Deirdre Logue?s installation Killjoy?s Kastle: A Lesbian Feminist Haunted House (2013), particularly its incarnation at the BFI in London in 2014.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFeminism and Art History Now: Radical Critiques of Theory and Practice
EditorsVictoria Horne, Lara Perry
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherBloomsbury Publishing
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2017

Publication series

NameInternational Library of Visual Culture


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