Project Title: Performing the Unseen: A practice-led exploration of intangible cultural memory through engagement with the Alastair MacLennan Performance Art Archive
HEI: University of Dundee
Supervisors and HEIs:
Dr Judit Bodor, Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design, University of Dundee.
Professor Maria Fusco, Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design, University of Dundee.
Dr Roddy Hunter, The Glasgow School of Art, University of Glasgow
About Calum’s Research
The challenge of working with the ephemeral heritage of performance art is an area of focus for archivists and curators but is less addressed by performance artists. When addressing the intangible gaps of cultural memory, how can performance art practice reveal unseen absences in archives which otherwise evade institutional preservation strategies? In response to this, I propose practice-based material engagement with performance art archival collections to scope, map, and contribute toward the growing field of audience engagement with archival histories through live performance, developing and testing a range of artistic research methods framing the archive as a site of allusive encounters. I will consider how such an approach would bring new insight into the Alastair MacLennan Archive at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design, University of Dundee, to explore performance as ‘embodied recollection’ and its capacity to materialise ‘the unseen’ in the archive; what’s lost between a historical event and the archival residue. This will be the first practice-led doctoral thesis about one of the UK’s most prolific performance artists and a contribution to the field of performative engagement with archival histories increasing awareness of a yet underexposed artist archive.