Hate the Game
'In 1963 Michele Bernstein produced a series of works in plaster with toy soldiers, cars, tanks, etc. With such titles as 'the Victory of the Bonnot gang', 'The Victory of the Paris Commune', 'The Victory of the Budapest workers' Councils of 1956', these works sought to de-reify historical events, to rescue them from artificial entombment in the past. They tended at once towards two goals: the rectification of the history of the workers' movement and the realisation of art.'
Raoul Vaneigem, The Revolution of Everyday Life
This couldn't help but put me in mind of Mark Sinker's typically tortuous and/or brilliant defence of the Re-Enactment from a few months ago, Your Own Private Quatre Bras. It's arguable that what Bernstein was doing here is a historically revisionist version of the Waterloo games Sinker writes about here, and it also points to the poverty of this notion of re-enactment: without dissenting from the valid point that this kind of practice or game could offer insights into history through the mimetic movements, the physical presence, that would be lost in text, in these re-enactments, whether of Ziggy, Neubauten or Waterloo, isn't it the case that the same thing always happens? A re-enactment of the aftermath of the Civil War, say, in which the Levellers beat Cromwell, would have a different meaning entirely - suddenly we have possibility. Perhaps there's something of this in The Battle of Orgreave re-enactment, where the wounds still being open were capable of doing something that the mimetic re-enactment can't? My re-enactment consultant Kiri may be able to add something in the comments boxes here...