Duration Materialised: Investigating Contemporary Performance as a Temporal Medium
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Theatre and performance have historically been thought of in terms of the temporal while visual arts have been consigned to the field of spatial representation. Performance’s temporality, the fact that it happens in time, is highlighted in many discourses as performance’s greatest asset. This thesis investigates what we can find out about performance’s temporality by examining the material conditions of production and reception. By placing the focus off the event of performance and exploring issues around labour, work and leisure time; the art historical and economic relationship of performance and visual art; and the material remains of performance, the thesis seeks to reveal how performance’s temporality functions within a capitalist society. The research sets performance’s duration against different economies of time. It does this within a framework of cultural materialism and the materiality of performance while also situating the work art historically. It investigates the sites of negotiation between performance and the capitalist economy’s temporal logic and interrogates how cultural understandings of time affect experiences of attending to performance’s temporality. In focusing on performance work of both extremely long and short duration, as well as more traditionally staged, theatrical performance, the thesis maps out a genealogy of performance interested in making its temporality visible and often tangible. Placing different art forms alongside performance allows for a symbiotic relationship and thus facilitates new and productive ways of thinking about temporality and duration. Such an approach also makes it possible to identify any blind spots in the theorisations of the temporal in performance studies. The thesis thus proposes a re-evaluation of the terms used in discussion on temporality in performance with a focus on the social, economic and material relations within the production and reception of performance.
AuthorsManninen, Saini Liina Annikki
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