I Know Something You Don’t Know: Contemporary Performance and the Politics of Expertise
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This thesis explores the figure of the expert in a range of contemporary performance practices. Much has been written in recent years about the rise of education, pedagogy and research as both curatorial strategies and modes for making art (see below for cited texts). The significance of theatre and performance within these practices has also been asserted (see, for instance, Shannon Jackson’s Social Works). I argue, however, that the specific use of the figure of the expert within the conjunction of pedagogy, research and performance has not been fully addressed. I further argue that looking at the expert in performance practices provides valuable insight into the broader contemporary dynamic of knowledge and power, as well as telling us much about the current state of performance itself. This is clearly a broad topic, with many possibilities for analysis. In this introduction, therefore, I will outline the rationale behind my choices of practices and critical resources, and I will discuss the rationale behind the geographical and temporal limits that I have chosen. I will also define my key terms, while noting that all of them are both contested and subject to change. I will discuss my methodology, including the various ways I have accessed the performance events and documentation that are included in this thesis, and my approach to the interdisciplinarity that necessarily underpins a project with such potentially broad scope as this one. Finally, I will briefly outline the six chapters which form the body of this study, again indicating reasons for the choices I have made, as well as drawing a few initial connections between practices and ideas.
- Theses