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Title: The Pigeon project : a study of the potential for embodied praxis in performance spectating.
Author: Fenemore, Anna Trudy Elizabeth.
Awarding Body: Manchester Metropolitan University
Current Institution: Manchester Metropolitan University
Date of Award: 2001
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This work contains two related dimensions of research: the project focuses on a live performance, The Pigeon, performed as half of the research outcomes and related written research. This written submission amounts to a critical review of performance as embodied thinking located in a phenomenological tradition sketched from Merleau-Ponty to Deleuze and Guattari. In analysing The Pigeon after the event I find in phenomenology a frame of ideas that allows me to articulate the aims and concerns of the work specifically in relation to proposing different types of visuality. My readings of Merleau-Ponty, Deleuze and Guattari, Sobchack and Leder are intended to make a small contribution to the growing body of work describing phenomenological embodiment. In applying a phenomenological account of bodywork (of performers and spectators), I have chosen a specific theoretical framework within which to locate my praxis. The framework remains entirely within Western philosophical thought and pertains to vision, bodymind and space. My study includes an exploration of spectating processes as a form of 'embodied thought', a tern that unites 'body' and 'mind' as they have been normatively separated according to the pervasive Western philosophical tradition epitomised by Cartesian body/mind dualism. This project thus combines the research and documentation of my own praxis with a detailed account of philosophical issues of bodymind, perception, cognition, vision and space, and sketches of a range of contemporary theatre practices. Through the exploration and articulation of embodied praxis in these different ways (in the performance space and philosophically), I aim to locate my research between the two. This project and accompanying thesis jointly amount to a search for a style of performing and a form of performance that allow spectators of the event to experience the performance not just visually, but more widely sensually. It is my argument that much western theatre foundationally assumes a disengagement of bodily processesing the act commonly termed 'spectating', placing significance on the connection of eye-mind. This, I would argue, is a historical development encouraged by a deeply entrenched and inculturated Cartesian dualism in Western discourse. My work attempts to demonstrate that there is a unity of vision, mind, body and performance and that each exists within the other(s). Thus I am able to begin to theorise how spectators might also 'make sense' of performance work through their bodies. It is my argument that thought and action are embedded/embodied in processes of 'spectating' or 'experiencing' in the same way that everyday bodymind experience is non-dualistic in terms of thought and action. My praxis, then, is explored here as a set of performative tactics that, through intersubjective engagement,introduce a dislocation of modernist Cartesian subjectivity and ocularcentric 'ways of seeing'. This research asks 'how is the experience of spectating embodied?', 'could it be embodied differently, 9' and 'how might it be embodied differently?' V
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available