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Worktreue // G Douglas Barratt


The German term Werktreue refers to the concept of historical authenticity in performance, the notion of fidelity to an ideal form of the artwork found, for example, in the musical score. While extensive discussions of historical authenticity appeared in the 1980s in American and English musicology, the debate had begun some 20 years earlier in Continental academic contexts. Moving beyond the primary questions addressed (e.g. how does one perform a “historically informed” interpretation of a Renaissance composition), Werktreue is reframed in a contemporary political and artistic context as relating the authority of the author to the agency of the body—by extension implicating the broader issues of intellectual property and labor. WORKTREUE/TRUEWORK is a performance installation layering a diverse set of performance events conflating the problems of historical authenticity in music, and labor in artistic production. Included are performances—falling between states of fidelity and violation—of works by Anton Webern, Philip Corner, Carl Andre, La Monte Young, G Douglas Barrett, and others. Performed by Fahad Siadat, G Douglas Barrett, and special guests.

G DOUGLAS BARRETT’s work considers music as part of a critical arts practice in which performance and conceptuality figure as integral components. Drawing equally from the contemporary gallery arts and the performing arts traditions, he has exhibited, performed, and published throughout North America and Europe: Diapason Gallery (New York), the Wulf (Los Angeles), Theater Perdu (Amsterdam), Universität der Künste Berlin, Phoebe Zeitgeist Teatro (Milan), Galerie Mark Müller (Zürich), Université de Paris-Est Marne-La-Vallée, Sonic Arts Research Centre (Belfast, UK) and Neutral Ground (Canada). BARRETT’s writings on music and art are published in the interdisciplinary literary journal Mosaic and Contemporary Music Review. In 2009 he received a DAAD research grant to Berlin. BARRETT has obtained advanced degrees from California Institute of the Arts (MFA) and the State University of New York at Buffalo (Ph.D.). A recent discussion of his work appears in an essay by Eldritch Priest in the journal Postmodern Culture.

Date + Time
Friday, February 17


The Main Gallery
51 Bergen St.

Earlier Event: February 11
Catch 49
Later Event: February 18
Melting Ground