During a recent conversation at The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, our visiting scholar Kristy Edmunds and Philip Bither, Senior Curator of Performing Arts at the Walker Art Center, discussed the role audiences play in conserving performance works—what Edmunds describes as “art forms which we can’t collect, and preserve, or own,” in the same way that visual arts objects can be preserved and displayed in museums. As a result, audiences stand in for museums and become the “permanent collection” for performance works.
Edmunds is the Center’s visiting scholar and is Executive and Artistic Director of the Center for the Art of Performance at UCLA. Previously, she was the artistic director of the Melbourne Festival and the Park Avenue Armory in New York. Edmunds is recognized for innovation and depth in the presentation of works by contemporary artists, with a particular emphasis on contemporary performing arts. This conversation took place at the Center on March 30, 2015.