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Title: Cloth, cull and cocktail : anatomising the performer body of 'Alba'
Author: Norrie, K. M.
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2012
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Where and how can the live experience 'being there' be positioned in Scottish live art culture? Such transformatively liminal corporeity is situated in three examples of performative objects intrinsically linked to readings of Scottish identity. By collating a 'blood culture imprint' of 1970s performance art with Scottish live artist Alastair McLennan's positioning of the artist body as art, the thesis presents a revised understanding of how and where the live can be placed within Highland Gaelic culture. The specificity of this frame is intrinsically linked to the 'blood culture imprint' of Culloden and as such presents a liminal outworking in the three examples chosen which collectively portray an object body in the form of a textual anatomy of 'Scotland' or 'Alba'. Using contemporary live art discourse, the ontological origins of performance art in Scotland are situated as potentially live within the transfixed frame of the thesis itself, thereby positioning the authorship and readership of its contents as a revivifying act per se, reflecting the theoretical argument. I will argue that despite a seeming lack of performance art tradition in Scotland, this 'blood culture imprint' of the 1970s can be used to define Culloden and post- Culloden culture as necessarily animated by instances of live art. The examples chosen are James Clerk Maxwell's first colour photograph of a tartan ribbon, scalping survivor Scotsman Robert McGee's cabinet card and James MacPherson's Ossian repositioned as a post-genocide numinous wish text. Each performative object betrays its ontological origins, displaying a textual anatomy which argues that collating a performer body of 'Alba' can demonstrate a fundamental and historical performance culture.
Supervisor: Catling, B.; Smith, M. Sponsor: Arts and Humanities Research Council
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Recreational & performing arts ; Photography & photographs ; Scottish literature ; Fine art ; performance art ; Scottish studies