Interview with Mike Parr – Part I (01 February 2018)

Interview with Mike Parr – Part I

I interviewed Mike Parr on 01 February 2018 in Berlin at the International Research Center „Interweaving Performance Cultures“ with which I am currently associated. This interview was realised after some meetings with Parr during his stay in the German capital for a few months. On these occasions, we have been able to discuss widely his artistic work and reflection. This record represents a sort of crowning and condensation of this dialogue. The documentation (16 mm films, videotapes, still photography, writings, and drawings) represents a crucial device of Parr’s performance practice: he uses it not only as means of recording an event but rather as medium of its displacement, re-elaboration, and transformation. Therefore, the documentation has been here, in a certain sense, the way of entry and investigating the entirety of his work. It has appeared as a sort of continuum that connects different places, themes and moments of his artistic research: from the initial influence of Vito Acconci’s photographic (re)presentations, to the role that the documentation plays in his crisis during the 1980s and in its overcoming, up to the relationship with his documenting team. A point of particular interest is also the notion of archive and how the construction of his own archive, through the accumulation and organisation of individual pieces in a single archival body, gave him a new vision on his own artistic practice and portraits, at the same time, the relationship between Australia and performance art. The interview also explores how Mike Parr understands performance art and his relationship with the audience.

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