Texts

Encounters in Performance Philosophy

  • Authors Laura Cull, Alice Lagaay
  • Release Date 2014-10-10
  • Publisher Palgrave Macmillan

Encounters in Performance Philosophy is a collection of 14 essays by international scholars and practitioners from across the disciplines of Philosophy, Literature and Theatre and Performance Studies, addressing the nature of the relationship between philosophy and performance. The essays cover a wide range of concerns common to performance and philosophy including: the body, language, performativity, mimesis and tragedy.

The essays introduce and demonstrate the vitality of the emerging field of Performance Philosophy today, but they also provide thorough analyses of the rich history of thinking and practice that this new field inherits. Chapters engage with the work of theatrical philosophers and philosophical theatre makers from the ancient, modern and contemporary periods. Topics addressed include the work of Socrates, Plato, Nietzsche, Deleuze, J.L. Austin, Merleau-Ponty, Heidegger and Lacoue-Labarthe; explored in relation to practices from Greek tragedy and Shakespeare, music and actor training, to experimental theatre and site-specific performance.

Zizek and Performance

Slavoj Žižek is a cultural phenomenon. His writings have influenced the way we think about politics, psychoanalysis, and a range of cultural issues in our increasingly volatile political and economic climate. This is the first collection to relate explicitly his thoughts on neoliberalism, globalisation, social change and subjectivity to the theory and practice of theatre and performance. Are there common grounds between Žižek's performative persona, his writing style, and performative and theatrical events? Can theatre and performance theories and practices shed some more light on the 'Elvis of cultural theory' and his often controversial work? This volume features 16 critical essays that examine a truly eclectic range of performance makers, events, and moments  - from Wagner's Parsifal to Daniel Radcliffe, from Forced Entertainment to Hollywood dance. It concludes with a new text from Žižek himself, as he turns, for the first time, his gaze to performance. 

Adorno and Performance

 

The work of the leading Frankfurt School philosopher Theodor W. Adorno (1903-1969) continues to have an immense influence on contemporary cultural and critical theory, sociology, musicology, aesthetics, and political thought. Just as Adorno's theoretical approach spans a wide interdisciplinary terrain, so too does the emerging field of performance philosophy bring many disciplinary approaches together to articulate a renewed understanding of the practice of philosophy and the philosophical dimensions of performance. Adorno and Performance argues for the 'actuality' of Adorno's philosophy of art and dialectical criticism for the discipline of performance philosophy, where, following Max Pensky, the term actuality refers to both 'relevance for the present and its concerns' or 'up to date,' 'still in fashion.' The volume's essays work through Adorno's philosophy as it relates to theatre, drama, music, aesthetics, everyday life, the relation of art to society, theory to practice, and other domains of 'performance.' 

Performance and Temporalisation

  • Authors Stuart Grant Jody McNeilly Maeva Veerapen
  • Release Date 2015-01-01
  • Publisher Palgrave Macmillan

Performance and Temporalisation features a diverse collection of scholars and artists gathered from across performance studies, philosophy, architecture, film and new media studies writing of a moment when time happens. The volume offers different accounts of the coming forth of time as it shapes, and is shaped, by human experience. Whether drawing, designing, watching performance, being baptised, digitally mediated, playing cricket, dancing, eating, walking or looking at caves, each author proposes their own conception and doing of time that underlies and activates their art making, scholarship and everyday lives. These essays engage with several philosophical traditions in their discourse and practice, offering multiple perspectives on the temporalised dimensions of place, space, bodies, movement, language, reality, subjectivity, identity, transcendence, world and other. As a new contribution to the discipline of Performance Philosophy, the book elucidates philosophical problems through a range of performative practices while clarifying philosophical thinking for the understanding of performance. 

Choreographic Problems

This book illuminates the relationship between philosophy and experimental choreographic practice today in the works of leading European choreographers. A discussion of key issues in contemporary performance from the viewpoint of Deleuze, Spinoza and Berg

Actors and the Art of Performance

  • Authors Susanne Granzer Translated by: Laura Radosh & Alice Lagaay
  • Release Date 2016-01-01
  • Publisher Palgrave Macmillan

Actors and the Art of Performance: Under Exposure combines the author's two main biographical paths: her professional commitment to the fields of both theatre and philosophy. The art of acting on stage is analysed here not only from the theoretical perspective of a spectator, but also from the perspective of the actor. The author draws on her experience as both a theatre actor and a university professor whose teachings in the art of acting rely heavily on her own experience and also on her philosophical knowledge. The book is unique not only in terms of its content but also in terms of its style. Written in a multiplicity of voices, the text oscillates between philosophical reasoning and narrative forms of writing, including micro-narratives, fables, parables, and inter alia by Carroll, Hoffmann and Kleist. Hence the book claims that a trans-disciplinary dialogue between the art of acting and the art of philosophical thinking calls for an aesthetical research that questions and begins to seek alternatives to traditionally established and ingrained formats of philosophy.

The Theatre of Death

This book is concerned with such questions as the following: What is the life of the past in the present? How might “the theatre of death” and “the uncanny in mimesis” allow us to conceive of the afterlife of a supposedly ephemeral art practice? How might a theatrical iconology engage with such fundamental social relations as those between the living and the dead? 

Distinct from the dominant expectation that actors should appear life-like onstage, why is it that some theatre artists – from Craig to Castellucci – have conceived of the actor in the image of the dead? Furthermore, how might an iconology of the actor allow us to imagine the afterlife of an apparently ephemeral art practice? This book explores such questions through the implications of the twofold analogy proposed in its very title: as theatre is to the uncanny, so death is to mimesis; and as theatre is to mimesis, so death is to the uncanny.

Walter Benjamin once observed that: “The point at issue in the theatre today can be more accurately defined in relation to the stage than to the play. It concerns the filling-in of the orchestra pit. The abyss which separates the actors from the audience like the dead from the living…” If the relation between the living and the dead can be thought of in terms of an analogy with ancient theatre, how might avant-garde theatre be thought of in terms of this same relation “today”?

Embodied Philosophy in Dance

Representing the first comprehensive analysis of Gaga and Ohad Naharin's aesthetic approach, this book following the sensual and mental emphases of the movement research practiced by dancers of the Batsheva Dance Company. Considering the body as a means of expression, Embodied Philosophy in Dance deciphers forms of meaning in dance as a medium for perception and realization within the body. In doing so, the book addresses embodied philosophies of mind, hermeneutics, pragmatism, and social theories in order to illuminate the perceptual experience of dancing. It also reveals the interconnections between physical and mental processes of reasoning and explores the nature of physical intelligence.

Performing Antagonism

This book combines performance analysis with contemporary political philosophy to advance new ways of understanding both political performance and the performativity of the politics of the street.

Our times are pre-eminently political times and have drawn radical responses from many theatre and performance practitioners. However, a decade of conflict in the Middle East and Afghanistan, the eruption of new social movements around the world, the growth of anti-capitalist and anti-globalisation struggles, the upsurge of protests against the blockades of neoliberalism, and the rising tide of dissent and anger against corporate power, with its exorbitant social costs, have left theatre and performance scholarship confronting something of a dilemma: how to theorize the political antagonisms of our day? Drawing on the resources of ‘post-Marxist’ political thinkers such as Chantal Mouffe and Jacques Rancière, the book explores how new theoretical horizons have been made available for performance analysis.