Judith Rodenbeck will provide a synoptic view of recent performance works engaged in the “redo.” Centering on a meticulous reenactment staged by British artist Rod Dickinson of the Milgram experiments and extending to considerations of works by Marina Abramovic, Jeremy Deller, Artur Zmijewski, and Sharon Hayes, among others, her essay will ask not just what and how, but why we learn from the past. The performance redo, Rodenbeck aims to show, can allow for historical recovery and at the same time provoke analysis through structures of parallax (present/past) or allegory (repetition). At the core of this project lie a set of ethical questions about models, copies, behavior, and agency.

Judith Rodenbeck is the outgoing editor-in-chief of the Art Journal. Her writing on art and criticism of the twentieth century has appeared in both scholarly and popular publications. She has written extensively about the art of the 1960s in catalogues such as those for the exhibitions Work Ethic (2003), Experiments in the Everyday (2000), and Inside the Visible (1996), as well as in magazines like ArtforumModern PaintersThe Art Book, and Grey Room. Her book on Allan Kaprow and the emergence of happenings is scheduled for publication in 2010. A second, forthcoming book, tentatively titled The Tactical Exhibitionist, draws on research about new collective practices and their tactical relations to the art world. Rodenbeck teaches modern and contemporary art at Sarah Lawrence College.