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ReCollection: Marking 21 years of Contemporary Performance Practice

ReCollection: Marking 21 years of Contemporary Performance Practice

Published: 28/10/2020

ReCollection is a new publication, curated by RCS graduates POWERHAUS, and with contributions from students, staff and graduates to mark 21 years of Contemporary Performance Practice at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

This degree programme brings together performance-makers, educators, advocates and active citizens who aspire to transform the world around them. At the core of its curriculum is a commitment to the sustainability and social function of performance and how it can be an act of community.

This performance zine, ReCollection, acts as a starting point for creating performance. It weaves together past performances and memories from members of the RCS community and asks readers to remember performances they have seen, recall how it made them feel and recreate that moment or feeling.

“Are you remembering?

Recall that moment. Now. To the present.

Recreate. Trace it with your body. Perform it exactly again. Say it out loud. Walk it through your mind. Piece together the fragments. Perform it like a song.”

POWERHAUS, a Glasgow collective comprising graduates Laura Fisher and Caitlin Fairlie, had the idea for the zine when working on the Into the New Festival and their vision was supported by Dr Laura Bissell and funding from the RKE Athenaeum Awards.

They said:

“The concept for the zine was to facilitate processes of recalling past memories, experiences, or performances which had been significant to contributors, bringing those recollections into the present moment through this process of remembering and then creating space for those recollections to manifest in new forms as words, images, collages, etc within the zine.

“We invited open format contributions from artists, lecturers, students, alumni, audiences and other associates of the programme. We hoped to create within the zine, a space for a wide and nuanced range of experiences from across the years, and the contributions we received range from reflections, provocations, reviews, scores and artworks.

“The zine itself is presented as a provocation for new performance. The opening text called “Are you reading this?” is an invitation to the reader: to acknowledge where and when they are reading the zine as well as an invitation go on their own process of ReCollection. There is an underlying musing on the permanence of a document within ever moving time and the way a voice can be captured in the moment it goes to print, yet speak to the future its read in.

“The text was written in a pre-pandemic world with the expectation the zine would be launched in a celebration at Mono café bar. Sadly, the launch, like the festival, couldn’t go ahead but we think the opening text and framing of the zine holds a different significance around time and place in this moment of remote connection.”

You can download and read the zine and POWERHAUS invite you to share your images of reading the zine from wherever you are in the world, as you too experience ReCollection.

Find out more about the Contemporary Performance Practice programme.

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