An exhibition curated by Matteo Bittanti
Part of the 2017 UCLA GAME FESTIVAL
November 14, 2017
Hammer Museum, The Lab
This exhibition focuses on the practice of reenacting, restaging, and replaying seminal artistic performances in/with video games by contemporary artist. The show features six international artists whose projects suggest new ways of understanding the past while simultaneously creating an alternative history of art. Situated at the intersection of gaming, art, and new media, their practice exemplifies the appropriative tactics of practitioners who use digital games to perform fraudulent acts of identity theft and playful impersonations.
Videogame re-enactments foreground and question issues of originality, authorship, identity, history, documentation, temporality, agency, intentionality, interpretation, and performativity. Since most of these performances are developed through a careful examination of existing documentation of direct, lived experiences, i.e. photographs, texts, videos, and other media artifacts, they can be considered a scrutinization of art history itself, a playful investigation of archives, and of collective memory. Rather than replacing the existing documentation of artistic practices, they add an extra layer of (mis)information.
The exhibition raises a series of questions: Are game re-enactments meant as homages or parodies? Who are the intended players, i.e. audiences, of such practices? Are video game re-enactments emphasizing the performative aspect of gaming, thus suggesting that game playing is akin to performance art?
Pippin Barr plays Ziv Schneider
Alan Butler plays Ed Ruscha
COLL.EO plays William Pope.L
Roc Herms plays Ai Weiwei
Clint Enns plays Chris Burden
Angela Washko plays Chantal Akerman
Photos by Jonathan B. at Thing To Do in L.A.