Cite as: Arianna Sforzini, Opening Remarks of the symposium Over and Over and Over Again: Re-Enactment Strategies in Contemporary Arts and Theory, ICI Berlin, 16 November 2017, video recording, mp4, 10:06 <>
16 Nov 2017

Opening Remarks

By Arianna Sforzini

Video in English

Format: mp4
Length: 00:10:06
First published on:
Rights: © ICI Berlin

Part of the Symposium

Over and Over and Over Again: Re-Enactment Strategies in Contemporary Arts and Theory

Since the 1990s, re-enactment has emerged as a key issue in the field of artistic production, in theoretical discourse, and in the socio-political sphere. Current re-enactments question the ability of the present to unpack, embody, and disentangle the past. Thus, to re-enact is to experience the past by reactivating either a particular cultural heritage or unexplored utopias. To re-enact means not to restore but to challenge the past – to not merely repeat it, but to interpret and translate it – in the present and for the present – or for the future.  History thereby enters a special temporal dimension, that of a possible and perpetual becoming, opening a space for invention and renewal.

The symposium investigates the issue of re-enactment through a discussion at once conceptual and practical. How, and to what extent, does recent history engage in a creative dialogue with a more distant past supposedly reactualized through re-enactment? This process of creative repetition branches out into at least three directions: (1) the return/survival of the past understood as generating meaning and values for both present and potential future/s, in terms of what one could call a symbolic archaeology; (2) an epistemological-axiological challenge to the traditional dichotomy between true and false, original and copy; and (3) a performative bodily practice that physically re-stages events.

Methodologically, the notion of re-enactment will be approached from three directions: the archive, the arts, and curatorial practice.


ICI Berlin
(Click for further documentation)

Organized by

Cristina Baldacci
Clio Nicastro
Arianna Sforzini