Natasha Lushetich


Wolf Vostell’s 1966 score Yellow Pages or An Action Page presents the performer with a page from the New York Yellow Pages and suggests that they take this page as an instruction plan and during one month buy the quantities of groceries indicated in the lebensmittelkarte [WW II ration card] at the designated grocers only. Offering an autoethnographic account of my 2013 re-enactment of the score, this essay queries the notion of performance as a sustained act of commemoration, and, thus, implicitly, atonement and forgetting.

Laying aside potential considerations of guilt and/or victimisation inherent in the spatio-temporal superimposition of a World War II modality of existence on an affluent, and, by comparison, peaceful part of the world, the essay engages three mutually related areas of performance: the body’s hidden somaticity, the co-becoming of the self and time; and walking as a mnemonic mechanism. Aided by Nagatomo’s concept of the hidden body and Nishida’s theorisation of the relationship between the temporalised and the atemporal, the actual and the virtual, the spatial and the non-spatial, as the continuity of discontinuity, I argue against the idea of performance as a cumulative, sedimentary and implicitly restorative poiesis-praxis. Instead, I seek to articulate the ways in which the actional, interoceptive and psychogeographic schemes generated by eating and walking intertwine to create complex patterns of individual-collective remembering-forgetting.

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