Of Holes and Historitivity. Excavating the Ruins of History and Mining With Memory: A Performance Paradigm.

Gino S. Chelakis, Louisiana State University and Agricultural & Mechanical College


The methods by which we collectively create, experience and remember history are complicated and fraught with holes and inconsistencies. All too often, the institutions that govern historical events are invested in eliminating those holes or reconciling those inconsistencies, or both. Our universities, as they purport to house knowledge and extend our experience of that knowledge, are highly implicated in this particular process of dealing with the historical hole. In response to that constructed reality, many scholars and theorists, both from within the walls of the academy and from their fields outside the academy, find themselves obligated, from a political and ethical position, to attack or subvert or weaken or punch their own holes in the prevailing academic body. A cycle of hole filling and hole drilling is created. As if we have been cursed by our own "Atreusian" knowledge, we, as academics, as historians and as theorists seem fated to perform in a cycle that perpetuates itself in an ever-continuing, self-reflexive way. Of Holes and Historitivity addresses this situation by advocating that historical experiences are perhaps best memorialized in performance. In reshaping the way we memorialize or remember our historical artifacts and events, Of Holes and Historitivity hopes to eventually reshape our understanding of knowledge and the pedagogy that purports to bring us to that knowledge. If this can happen, if the nature of the academy can change, then perhaps our understanding of our own natures and identities will follow. Perhaps we will come to recognize the holes and inconsistencies in our perceived realities as the most glorious parts of those realities. In the immediacy of a remembering theatre, Of Holes and Historitivity wants to change what and how we know.