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Liminal Acts : A Critical Overview of Contemporary Performance and Theory - Susan Broadhurst

Liminal Acts

A Critical Overview of Contemporary Performance and Theory


Published: 1st December 1999
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The "liminal" describes a marginalized space of chaos and creative potential where nothing is fixed or certain. Liminal performance describes a range of interdisciplinary, highly experimental, performative types in theatre and performance, film and music -performances which can be seen to prioritize the body, the technological and the primordial. This text argues that traditional and contemporary critical and aesthetic theories are deficient in interpreting such works. Examples of liminal works discussed include Pina Bausch's "Tanztheater", the "Theatre of Images" of Robert Wilson and Philip Glass, the controversial "Social Sculptures" of the Viennese Actionists, Peter Greenaway's "Painterly Aesthetics", Derek Jarman's "Queer Politics", digitized sampled music and neo-gothic sound. Given the importance of the body in such performance, the "linguistic turn" present in traditional theories seems inappropriate and needs to be adjusted for an intersemiotic analysis - a significatory practice not only includes but goes beyond language. The early part of the book therefore surveys traditional aesthetics in the writings of Kant, Nietzsche and Heidegger together with contemporary aesthetics in the writings of Foucault, Derrida, Baudrillard and Lyotard. This is followed by a series of case studies and, in the final chapter, a summary description of liminal performances as an emerging genre.

Introductionp. 1
The Liminal: A Preliminary Viewp. 12
The Problem of Aestheticization: Kant, Nietzsche and Heideggerp. 26
Kantp. 26
Nietzschep. 31
Heideggerp. 35
Contemporary Aestheticsp. 43
Foucaultp. 43
Derridap. 47
Baudrillardp. 53
Lyotardp. 59
Liminal Theatrep. 69
Tanztheater: a dancing across marginsp. 69
'Theatre of images': Einstein on the Beachp. 82
'Synthetic fragments': Muller's Hamletmachinep. 90
'Social sculptures': Viennese Actionismp. 99
Liminal Filmp. 109
'Painterly' aesthetics: Prospero's Booksp. 109
Liminal politics: the 'queer' aesthetics of Edward IIp. 115
Transgressing borders: Der Himmel uber Berlin/Wings of Desirep. 121
Limits of fragmentation: Europa/Zentropap. 130
Liminal Musicp. 139
Digital sampling: the techno music scenep. 139
Digitized Performance: the 'acid' ravep. 149
Destructive aesthetics: neo-gothic soundp. 152
Nick Cave and The Bad Seedsp. 152
Einsturzende Neubautenp. 158
Conclusion: Liminal Performancep. 168
Referencesp. 180
Indexp. 191
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780304705863
ISBN-10: 0304705861
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 224
Published: 1st December 1999
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 23.44 x 15.39  x 1.7
Weight (kg): 0.32