This text is intended to serve as an introduction to ‘re-enactment’, one of the key concepts of the research on Visual Errancy. The Wandering Image and Its Multiple Temporalities that the author is conducting at ICI Berlin as part as the biennial core project ERRANS, in Time (2016-2018). By ‘visual errancy’ Baldacci means the travelling of certain images or forms over time, which contemporary artists appropriate by grasping them from the archives tout court, as well as the archive understood in a broader sense, as a heterotopic space where all cultural images (past, present, future, utopian...) potentially converge and remain in a state of flux. This appropriation is then followed by a reactivation – which usually also undergoes a process of manipulation and/or migration on different media and in new contexts – providing the images with other values, meanings, and conformations. It is in this way that (cultural) history is put in motion and knowledge re-circulated often as a counter-narrative made of ‘chains of images’ that challenges the traditional idea of heritage and at the same time renovates the modalities of conservation, presentation/representation, and distribution. Filipa César’s Conakry (2013) and Rosa Barba’s From Source to Poem (2016) are taken as two representative filmworks to show how the artistic re-enactment and montage of visual material, both appropriated from the archive and produced ex novo, can give rise to ‘other histories’.
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