History Will Repeat Itself

Over the past few years a number of contemporary artists and curators have taken up the idea of 're-enactment.' No longer the domain of Civil War buffs, re-enactment as an art movement allows us to actively re-engage and rethink our history. History Will Repeat Itself: Strategies of Re-enactment in Contemporary (Media) Art and Performance, organized by Inke Arns of Hartware MedienKunstVerein, in Dortmund, Germany includes works by C-Level, Pierre Huyghe, and Jeremy Deller. Most notably, however, it includes a video (transferred from film) of theorist Walter Benjamin addressing his favorite topic: the copy. Musing on the work of Piet Mondrian, Benjamin comes to the conclusion that copies of Mondrian's work are 'multi-layered and more complex with regard to its meanings, than the original.' It is this repetition (made so much easier in a digital environment), which add layers of meaning to the ideas, events, and objects that constitute our history. The show runs until September 23rd and will then travel to Berlin's KW Institute for Contemporary Art.