Julia Reich, M.A.

Universitätsstr. 105
44789 Bochum
Room: UNI 105, 3/38

Phone: +49 (0) 234/32-27104
E-Mail: julia.reich-387@rub.de



Title of the Dissertation

Arrangements des Abwesenden in der Performancekunst seit den 1960er Jahren. (working title)

Project Description

Since the 1990s, the discourse on the relationship between performance art and documentation has shaped the prevailing understanding that performances are singular, ephemeral, non-material events that are nevertheless predicated on moments of presence and their manifestation. How can we describe a year-long sustained performance by Tehching Hsieh which purely from a logistics perspective cannot be attended by an audience, or a work in which the artist does not appear until its media recording, as is the case with Christian Falsnae? What performative role is played by the documents, artefacts, relicts involved in the work and its production, and how are they related to the live performance?

This doctoral thesis examines performances as entities constituted in a relational framework of various modalities and its creative and institutional operations. The study focuses on performances from 1960 to the present day that arrange the absent in the form of gaps, blank spaces and invisibilities, focusing on both the live performance and materials involved in order to consider their significance for how artistic work is constituted. The principal idea is that the documentary’s varieties of readability and irritation are arranged not only in their manifestation, but also in their absence, their withdrawal or disappearance. Correspondingly, recognising the inherent potential of documentary practices and the resulting documents of performance is of central importance. The project seeks to render visible the relationships between performance, the act of documentation and the documents themselves by examining their respective specific performativities. Analysing select performances with a reflective and playful approach to the authority of the documentary, I unravel and emphasise the specific connections between these three performative areas.

Scholarly Career

  • Since October 2019: Researcher (doctoral candidate) in the DFG post-graduate programme “The Documentary. Excess and Withdrawal”, Ruhr University Bochum
  • 10/2016 to 03/2019: Researcher at the Department of Art History, Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf
  • 04/2012 to 03/2017: Master’s degree in History of Art, Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf
  • 10/2013 to 07/2016: Undergraduate and research assistant at the Department of Art History, Chair of Art Education in Museums and Art Dealing under Junior Prof. Dr. Ulli Seegers, Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf
  • 04/2012 to 10/2013: Undergraduate assistant in the DFG post-graduate programme “Age(ing). Cultural Concepts and Practical Relations”, Heinrich Heine University of Düsseldorf
  • 10/2009 to 04/2012: Undergraduate assistant at the Department of Art History, Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf
  • 10/2008 to 03/2012: Bachelor’s degree in History of Art (main) with a focus on Media and Cultural Studies and Philosophy (subsidiary), Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf


  • Was bleibt, wenn nichts bleibt? Zur (gegen)dokumentarischen Praxis von Tino Sehgal, in: Haffke, Maren; Horn, Sarah; Canpalat, Esra; Preuss, Matthias (eds.): GEGEN\DOKUMENTATION, Tagungsband (= Das Dokumentarische. Exzess und Entzug)., Transcript: Bielefeld (forthcoming).
  • Die Rolle der Augenzeugenschaft in Tino Sehgals Praxis – eine alternative dokumentarische Strategie?, in: Hattendorff, Claudia; Beißwanger, Lisa (ed.): Augenzeugenschaft als Konzept. Konstruktionen von Wirklichkeit in Kunst und visueller Kultur seit 1800, Transcript: Bielefeld 2019, S. 177 – 191.


  • “‘I feel that you are here with me’ – Perspektiven auf Christian Falsnaes The Title Is Your Name (2015 –)”, presented as part of the 33. annual FFK (Film- und Fernsehwissenschaftlichen Kolloquium) at Braunschweig University of Arts. (11.03.2020)
  • “Was bleibt, wenn nichts bleibt? Zur (gegen)dokumentarischen Praxis von Tino Sehgal“, presented as part of the international annual convention “GEGEN\DOKUMENTATION“ of the DFG research training group “Das Dokumentarische. Exzess und Entzug“ at Ruhr University Bochum. (09.11.2018)
  • „This is so Contemporary. Exklusive Augenzeugenschaft und Hype-Bildung in der Praxis von Tino Sehgal“, presented as part of the international convention “On the Spot at the Time. Augenzeugenschaft und Authentizität in der Kunst seit 1800“ at Justus Liebig University Gießen. (29.09.2017)

University Courses

  • Winter Term 2018/2019: Exercise “Performance und Dokumentation“, Department of Art History, Heinrich Heine Universität Düsseldorf
  • Summer Term 2018: Exercise “Aktionen, Happenings und Performances der 60er/70er Jahre“, Department of Art History, Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf
  • Summer Term 2017: Exercise “Christliche Ikonographie und zeitgenössische Kunst“, Department of Art History, Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf
  • Winter Term 2016/2017: Exercise “Privatmuseen an Rhein und Ruhr“, Department of Art History, Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf

Organisation of Events

  • Curator’s assistant for “ALTERNATIVES FOR LIVING. Blueprints for Haus Lange and Haus Esters”, 17.03.2019 to 26.01.2020, Kunstmuseen Krefeld
  • Collaboration on the summer school “Storytelling, Digital Media & Museums: Concepts for Art Education Using the Example of Joseph Beuys”, 13.09.2015 to 19.09.2015, cooperation project of the Heinrich Heine University and the Schloss Moyland Museum, Bedburg‑Hau