An optional course for BA students, 2 cr.
One pervasive issue in current theatre and performance art, motivated by a contemporary political and cultural debate, is how the artist deals with his own subjectivity in the artistic process, his presentation or representation. The 20th century brought a lot of contradictory challenges to this domain: the avant-garde’s stress on the embodied subject, the distancing agent, weakened or decomposed subject, self-expressing subject in performance art, and identity politics. The workshop will practically and discursively investigate the possibilities of representation in the tension between two different stances, obvious in contemporary performative practice: the first based on the idea of observation and imitation, and the other linked to the need of self-expression.
What is the role of observation and imitation in the artist’s work, and how exactly does this relate to the artist’s individual experience? What is the role of imitation and quotation in theoretical reflection, and how does this relate to one’s own experience and originality? Shall we conceive of imitation as a sign of “non-authenticity”, of a blind belief, or is it an unavoidable and even fruitful aspect of human action? How can artistic and theoretical perspectives on these issues interact?
The overall aim of the workshop is not to reflect upon the following issues, among others:
– what ethical and theoretical concerns are at stake when it comes to observing, imitating and copying a fellow man?
– what are the risks and promises of the use of one´s individual Self in artist’s work?
– what is the meaning of terms like “authenticity” or “trustworthiness” in artist’s work?
– what power games are present in the act of being copied or copying, and further, in the act of presenting and reproducing this material?
– what is the relation between copying and bodily appropriation?
– what is the role of distance and/or proximity, in a role-taking process?