Repetition in Performance: Returns and Invisible Forces

I am currently working on my monograph, which is going to be published by Palgrave in 2017. The book is thinking about spectatorship and repetition and the precarious, incomplete and unpredictable pleasures that derive from such encounter. It proposes that an erotic, physical, urgent type of spectatorship is at stake here, one that enables returns to the site of performance through the force of repetition, that is always invisible. 

New Publication: 'Circular Paths of Pleasure in Marco Berrettini's iFeel2'

Article in Performance Research: On Repetition, volume 20, issue 5

This article thinks about the connections between performance, repetition and pleasure by drawing on Lacanian theory. It examines the temporal and spatial experience of desire's perpetual unfulfillment through Marco Berrettini's performance iFeel2. The article playfully accounts for the ways in which Berrettini's work enacts the Lacanian theory of the constitutive insatiability of desire, but also asks how the performance re-thinks and re-shapes this theoretical framework.

It argues that the movement of the Lacanian drive towards and away from the object of desire resembles, in this case, the spectator's experience of repetition. The shape of this experience could be described as a circular path; the aim of repetition is to perpetuate this movement to and from the object of desire.

Lacan draws an important distinction between the drive's aim and goal, which is significant in the understanding of repetition: the aim is the mission itself, the itinerary, in other words, what we intend to do, while the goal the final destination. The article uses this distinction to analyse iFeel2, which raises questions about the spectatorial experience, examined here as an experience of desire, a perpetual process towards searching for satisfaction. In this process, the object of desire is always already lost and desire's fulfilment untenable.

The article, finally, draws on Žižek's reading of the Lacanian drive to discuss the above and makes use of Greek philosopher Zeno's paradoxes to demonstrate the type of interminable race repetition sets in motion, as well as an understanding of the unrepresentability of the present. Desire's paradox is further theorised by Shoshana Felman's writing on the myth of Don Juan. The article concludes that repetition in this case both stages and produces desire, which is untenable, the object of which is already lost in this interminable race for pleasure. It argues that repetition make a promise, the promise of satisfaction, which is inherently perverse; the breach of such promise enables the perpetuation of the process of wanting which enables an experience of circular paths of pleasure. The pleasure of the Lacanian circular path is thus the pleasure of desiring itself, structured by repetition.

Link here

Upcoming: 'Farewell to Farewell: Impossible Endings and Unfinished Finitudes' 

Article in On Repetition: Writing, Performance and Art, edited by Kartsaki, Intellect

This chapter accounts for the impossible, yet desired ending of returning to re-experience a particular event; as examples of study, it uses T. J. Clark’s The Sight of Death, Beckett’s Krapp’s Last Tape as well as Pina Bausch’s Béla Bartók’s Opera: Duke Bluebeard’s Castle in order to account for a simultaneous longing and fear to end the process of returning. Such experience aims to comprehend the uncontainable event, to finish its unfinished business. The unresolved event demands a return to it, in order to be able to say, finally, but not once and for all, farewell to farewell. The following writing argues that endings, like performance itself, escape from us, forming an experience that is not quite yet and that specific uses of repetition in movement, structure or writing invite the spectator to go back to them, again and again, in an attempt to restore or repair the experience, or come to terms with it. 

 

 

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