The Archive and the Repertoire: Performing Cultural Memory in the Americas
Book: The Archive and the Repertoire: Performing Cultural Memory in the Americas
Written by: Diana Taylor
Published by: Duke University Press (2003)
Diana Taylor’s ‘The Archive and the Repertoire: Performing Cultural Memory in the Americas’ is an intervention in the field of Performance Studies and Latin/o American (hemispheric) Studies. By exploring the linkages between the two, the book explores the relevance of localised knowledge in a global context and investigates how memory and knowledge is transmitted through embodied acts. Taylor defines the archive as an amalgamation of material traces of culture while the repertoire as an enactment of embodied memory in a performance. This complex relationship between the archive and the repertoire is examined through Coco Fusco and Guillermo Gómez-Peña’s performance piece ‘Two Undiscovered Amerindians’ (1992), Emilio Carballido’s 1965 play ‘Yo también hablo de la rosa’ (I, Too, Speak of the Rose), the work of the ‘Children of the Disappeared’ demanding recognition of the traumas of the past, and the experimental theatre of the Peruvian collective ‘Yuyachkani’.
“Performance also constitutes the methodological lens that enables scholars to analyze events as performance.Civic obedience, resistance, citizenship, gender, ethnicity, and sexual identity, for example, are rehearsed and performed daily in the public sphere. To understand these as performance suggests that performance also functions as an epistemology. Embodied practice, along with and bound up with other cultural practices, offers a way of knowing. The bracketing for these performances comes from outside, from the methodological lens that organizes them into an analyzable “whole… [P]erformances travel, challenging and influencing other performances.Yet they are, in a sense, always in situ: intelligible in the framework
of the immediate environment and issues surrounding them.” (p.3)