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PARtake: The Journal of Performance as Research

Abstract

This paper proposes a new methodology for practice-as-research: “Anticipation, Action, and Analysis”. Critical evaluation of my performance artwork Lost for Words functions as the vehicle to describe Anticipation, Action, and Analysis and to theorise, articulate and demonstrate how slapstick can offer useful insights into the operations of the physical body in participative art performance that go beyond abstract theorisation. Scrutinising and examining slapstick’s performativity in relation to the subject of participation (Bourriaud 1998; Bishop 2006) within Performance Art, this paper concentrates discussion on my performance Lost for Words (2011) as a performance that by making use of slapstick as an extreme physical bodily interruptive process, really supports the problems and difficulties involved in participation within Performance Art. My definition of slapstick in this performance relates to undertaking a set of actions which forces participants’ bodies to interrupt how it normally behaves. The paper achieves this by addressing what happens when, as part of the structural framework of the performance, interruptive processes related to bodily incongruity and repetition (Heiser, 2008) are engineered into activities undertaken by participants engaging in physical and bodily processes. Defining the term collectivity as meaning being a member of a group of people with possibly shared experiences, interests and motivations, the paper also amplifies consideration of how the performance can be used to provide useful insights into the importance that collectivity and conviviality (Bourriaud 1998; Clayton 2007) plays within participatory processes. By way of contrast, the paper explores how the anti-social nature of Schadenfreude (Glenn 2003; Miller, 1993; Svendsen 2010 et al.) can also play its part as well as the, as argued, contradictory nature of hospitality (Derrida 2000) in examining how the performer and audience relation can be construed as host/guest.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

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