Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Performance of wit(h)nessing : trauma and affect in contemporary live art
Author: Kuburović, Branislava
ISNI:       0000 0004 2723 582X
Awarding Body: University of Roehampton
Current Institution: University of Roehampton
Date of Award: 2011
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
This thesis investigates traumatic affectivity and a complex mesh of artistic strategies in contemporary live art and performance that allow a certain material renegotiation and transformation of social and personal traumatic histories. These strategies are analysed not as means of interpersonal transmission of experience through narrative capture and consolation, but of a transmission of affect, where the sense of affective sharing, of ‘wit(h)nessing’ and ‘transmissibility’ of (traumatic) affect is distinguished from the idea of identification, of mirroring, of emotional identification that in fact subsumes the other to the same, to a life as we can readily articulate and regulate it without needing to acknowledge the violence inherent in such articulations. The thesis also explores how the notion of dramaturgy changes when observed from the perspective of trauma. Dramaturgy is here understood as ‘the text (the weave) of the performance’, where performance is seen to encompass a wide range of artistic practices which involve some element of live or recorded performed action. Such definition of dramaturgy becomes especially significant when this text/weave is marked by a traumatic occurrence, which by definition damages, tears down its integrating fabric. How can we address the difficulty, physically and philosophically, of accessing a destructive event through a creative act? As one possible answer, the thesis proposes the notion of ‘dramaturgies of loss’, of a certain ‘melancholy’ or ‘traumatic’ text as a creative answer to the forces of violence. It argues that an awkward, uncomfortable presence of certain misplaced, ‘emptied’ mimetic forms of contemporary dance and performance can be seen to create a parallel topography that can retroact on accepted notions of culture and render what belongs inside or outside of the cultural sphere indeterminate and thus potentially open to change.
Supervisor: Heathfield, Adrian ; Bayly, Simon Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: contemporary live art ; traumatic affectivity