Chronographies : performance, death and the writing of time
This thesis explores the interconnecting themes of time, death and the subjective in relation to performance, the performative and the critical act of writing. It is structured as a heterogenous series of case studies of a range of performed and petformative events, each offering a focus for an investigation of how the key terms of time and death operate in and around that event, and of how those terms lead to other areas of investigation. It deploys analytical and conceptual frameworks from, amongst others, the disciplines of psychoanalysis, queer theory, cultural studies, the visual arts, literary theory and performance studies to develop a series of interdisciplinary readings of subjects including the perfonnative construction of subjectivity, the temporality of photography, the temporal and spatial aspects of domestic architecture in relation to performance and installation, and the epistolary exchange as performance event. The thesis also addresses the problematics of how to engage in the process of critical writing in response to the ephemerality of performance, and theorises "performative writing" in relation to the broader themes of time and death. A range of textual forms are deployed in the text, including fictional autobiography, love letters, instructions for scientific experiments, prose poems and fragmented essays in multiple voices. By repeatedly reinventing the form through which the writing is presented, the thesis also implicitly explores the limits of textuality in the context of the creation and presentation of the doctoral thesis itself.