The editorial categories are research topics that have guided researchers during the recovery phase and continue to be the impetus behind the Documents Project’s digital archive and the Critical Documents book series. Developed by the project’s Editorial Board, each of the teams analyzed this framework and adapted it to their local contexts in developing their research objectives and work plans during the Recovery Phase. Learn more on the Editorial Framework page.
In this essay published in the exhibition catalog, Remerica! Amerika, artists Coco Fusco and Guillermo Gomez-Peña contend that the origins of dada events and performance art date back to the 1500s when native peoples from Africa and the Americas were put on display in Europe. To support their argument, Fusco and Gomez-Peña provide a timeline of ethnographic displays of indigenous peoples in Europe and the United States. They conclude that while celebrations of the 500th anniversary of the “discovery” of the Americas focus on the bravery of European explorers, the stories of the indigenous people who survived capture have gone untold even though such ethnographic exhibitions had historic importance in constructing narratives about native peoples in the spheres of science, art, and popular culture.
Reproduced in the exhibition catalog Remerica! Amerika, the text “Aborigines in the Western World” was originally written as an artist-statement distributed to audience members who attended Two Undiscovered Amerindians Visit… (1992), a performance by Coco Fusco (b. 1960) and Guillermo Gomez-Peña (b. 1955). In it the artists exhibited themselves in a cage in major cities around the world. Fusco wrote an extensive essay on ethnographic display and Two Undiscovered Amerindians Visit… (1992) under the title “The Other History of Intercultural Performance.”