Re-playing It Again Symposium

15-18 mai 2024
Dans le cadre du projet RePIT – (Re)Play it again

Symposium organised by Carl Lavery, Dominic Paterson and Melanie Lavery.

What does it mean to re-play something – an event, a film, a history, a politics, a building, a body, a set of gestures, an earth, a life, a landscape? Why the hyphen in the word ‘re-play’? How does re-playing co-exist with established strategies of re-enactment? Where does the difference lie? And why are artists so drawn to re-playing as both method of working and catalyst for production?

These are some of the questions that this symposium looks to investigate at a time when there is so much clamour from progressive thinkers and activists to abandon the past and imagine the future, to leap beyond the nightmare of the long twentieth century – the one that seems so impossible to exit, that weights on the minds of the living like a tumour. But what if the future was already in the past, lurking radioactively in roads not taken, in failed appointments and missed opportunities? Perhaps artists, of all people, are the ones most keenly attuned to this disjunction, aware, as they often are, that there is nothing new under the sun, that everything is a recycling of something else.

If this is the case, then it seems crucial to explore how contemporary artists engage with the idea of re-playing, talking with them about their practices, experimenting with their diverse findings. The artists and thinkers in the symposium have little truck with modernist and colonialist notions of ‘originality’ – a kind of scorched earth policy, a spurious, imperialist venture into terra nullius. Instead, they look to re-play the past, stopping and stilling it, so that new possibilities can emerge from the ‘shock of the old’. In this ethics of ruin, this politics of abandonment, it may become possible to reconfigure how we ‘do’ the present so as  to contest the progress myths of modernity and imperialism. This would be a perverse and playful mode of contestation that moves forward by going backwards. In this ‘tactics of the re-play’, one uncovers the power to resist all those reactionary notions of heritage and history that look to attribute everything to its proper time and place. And through that – who knows? – it may even be possible to breathe new life into that most seemingly defunct of all concepts: the idea of revolution, conceived now as a geometric figure that, like a compass, creates the new by rotating back on itself, coming full circle.

Artists and thinkers who will be responding to these questions and showing work include Gerard Byrne, Delafontainetniel, La Compagnie Dodescaden, Sarah Browne, Conor Carville, Minty Donald and Nick Millar, Graham Eatough, Ashanti Harris, Luke Fowler, Lee Hassall, Emmanuel Grimaud, Kevin Leomo, Sarah Neeley, Vincent Rioux, Farah Saleh, and Simon Starling.

The Re-playing It Again symposium is the culmination of a 4 year research project led by Baptiste Buob, Christophe Triau, Carl Lavery and Nathalie Cau and is part of a larger Labex research programme, Les Passés dans le présent.
We would like to thank Ghislaine Glasson-Deschaumes and Emmanuel Grimaud, the Centre for Contemporary Arts, Glasgow (CCA), Université Paris Nanterre and Theatre Studies at the University of Glasgow for all their support.

Panel Descriptions

Replaying Lostness – Wed 15 May, 16.00- 21.00 (Cinema)

This panel explores the relationship between re-playing and film. Luke Fowler and Sarah Neely discuss Luke’s film Being in a Place in the context of what it means to re-play an unmade film project by Margaret Tait; and Emmanuel Grimaud investigates how film is able to re-play the ghosts and spectres of forgotten lives (historical and metaphysical)  in the city of Kolkota. The panel is bookended by Kevin Leomo’s new sonic piece, Sound space, based on a re-siting and rethinking of the German Klangraum, an annual gathering of artists who participate in daily sharings of their work. Kevin’s piece will return throughout the Symposium, but always in a different form.

Re-Playing Bodies and Gestures – Thursday 16 May, 9.30 – 14.15

This panel starts with a performance lecture by scholar, choreographer and dancer, Farah Saleh in which she thinks of how one can re-play an archive of lost Palestinian gestures. Artist Simon Starling and theatre maker Graham Eatough continue the theme by constructing a playful dialogue to reflect on a series of theatrical re-enactments they have worked on together in past decade or so; and Lee Hassall performs a strange, ekphrastic hommage to Dorothy Wordsworth’s 1803 text, Recollections of a Tour Through Scotland.

Re-Playing Beckett – Thursday 16 May, 15.00- 18.00

This panel investigates the perennial appeal that Samuel Beckett has for contemporary visual artists and film-makers. Gerard Byrne premieres a new work based on Beckett’s plays, Conor Carville provides a critical introduction to Beckett’s relationship with visual art, and Sarah Browne reflects on how Beckett’s texts can be repurposed for non-neurotypical modes of sensing with reference to her public art project Echo’s Bones.

Re-Playing the City – Friday 17 May, 9.30-12.30

This panel asks what does it mean to re-play a city? The architect-artists delafontainetneil respond to the provocation by creating a short, time-lapse film in which two very different images of Paris are juxtaposed in the single time-space of the screen. By contrast, Minty Donald and Nick Millar seek to re-play the city of Glasgow by encouraging participants to engage in a process of ‘re-scoring’, a method based on the performance ‘scores’ of avant-garde practitioners from the 1950s onwards.

Re-Playing Dance – Friday 17 May, 14.30 – 16.00

This panel consists of two dance performances that engage with  the idea of re-playing in different ways. Ashanti Harris extracts a segment from her dance work Dancing a Peripheral Quadrille for the physical space of the CCA and in the premiere of Jellyselfish, the Marseille-based company Dodescaden re-work their previous re-rendering of Jean Rouch’s 1955 film Les Maîtres Fous.

Re-playing the Re-play – Saturday, 18 May, 9.30 – 13.00

This panel starts with a performance lecture by French artist Vincent Rioux, which meditates on the function of entropy in In Absensia, a previous collaboration with La Compagnie Dodescaden. Rioux’s ‘re-playing of a re-play’ is continued in a specially curated discussion led by the organisers in which all participants (artists and audience) in the ‘Re-Play It Again’ symposium are invited to return to any theme or image that enthused them and to re-play it in present time. The panel ends with Kevin’s Leomo’s sonic score.

Cinema Film Loop – 16 and 17 May
There will be a selection of films playing on loop in cinema on 16 and 17 May. These are free.

Download the program of the symposium


15 Mai 2024


Centre for Contemporary Arts
350 Sauchiehall St, Glasgow G2 3JD, Royaume-Uni