logo

Založba → TRANSformacije

Aldo Milohnić: Theories of Contemporary Theatre and Performance Art

The book Theories of Contemporary Theatre and Performance Art is exciting reading and an important contribution to the theories of contemporary performing arts, since it presents a series of problems in a new light, brings interesting, original and provocative views with many lucid terminological solutions, including the author’s original concept of performative theatre. 

In the first part, the author focuses on three important theoretical paradigms that had an essential influence on the development of theatre and related performing practices in the second part of the 20th century: the anthropological, performative and gestic theatre. In the second part of the book, the author raises the question of the (a)political in theatre. First, he discusses Brecht’s epic theatre and concepts such as “alienation effect”, “historicization”, etc., and then the selected examples (Horvat, Janša, Berger) of contemporary post-Brechtian performances in Slovenia. Next, he discusses the political nature of (the supposedly apolitical) theatre of the younger generation of Slovenian directors at the turn of the 1980s and analyses H.-T. Lehmann’s concept of “postdramatic theatre”. In the third part, Milohnić analyses select examples of activist and artistic practices described by the neologism “artivism”. He extends this topic, which is expressly political, to an analysis of a specific relationship between art and the legal field. He analyses it in the light of those art practices that come into conflict with certain legal provisions and thus explore the limits of the “grey area” of the so-called freedom of artistic expression in societies based on the rule of law and the human rights doctrine. 

Milohnić managed to create a theoretical work that is exceptionally informative and at the same time theoretically convincing. A richly illustrated book with numerous examples from contemporary performing arts and the author’s outstanding writing style is indispensable reading for every lover of theatre, dance, performance art and contemporary art in general. 

 

Contents

Introduction 

I. CLARIFYING BOARDERLINE CONCEPTS:
RITUAL, ENERGY, PERFORMATIVE AND GESTUS

Ritual and performance art
The theatricalization of ritual
The ritualization of theatre
Turner and “social drama”
Schechner and “performance art”

Energy and theories of the “third kind”
Body techniques, “pre-expressivity” and “recurring principles”
“Energy” in theatre anthropology
Analytical, production and third theories

The performative or how we make use of words in theatre
The (im)possibility of the performative in theatre
Drama and theatre: an attempt at a conceptualisation
Convention
Intention
Post scriptum de[r]riderum

Gestus: The visual in the discursive
Theories of the concept of gestus
Clarification of the concept of gestus
Gestus today: “A bearably anachronistic device” or “a strategic dispositif”?


II. THE APORIAS OF THE A/POLITICAL:
FROM EPIC TO POST-DRAMATIC THEATRE

Alienation policies: Brecht’s businessmen, historicization and post-Brechtian exercises in style
Brecht’s businessmen: Puntila, Šui Ta, Peachum
Alienation effect, actualisation and historicization
Post-Brechtian exercises in style (Horvat, Janša, Berger)

“The political” and the theatre that is not its double
Art in relation to ideology
Theatre landscape of the early 1990s
“Third generation” and the political theatre of the 1980s

Post-dramatic theatre and the politicalness of staging strategies
Why “post-dramatic”?
The performative cut
The politicalness of the post-dramatic


III. STRATEGIC DISPOSITIFS:
ART AND THE RULE OF LAW

Artivism
“Don’t happy, be worry!”
Actional corpography
Agitprop and guerrilla performance art
Psychopathology of everyday life
Moral panic
Security panic and artistic immunity

On artistic immunity, autonomy and subordination
“Definitional monopoly”
Creation, creating and self-creation
“Reserved faith”: All for Berlusconi
Fictional dispositif and excess theatre reality
Collision of intentions: Incasso
Autonomy and subordination

My name is Janša, Janez Janša
Excessive multiplication and excessive identification
Name as a trademark and a human right
ReadyNAME: ready-made and ready-named
Signature, Event, Context: Perfor(m)ation of memory
Experience of memory

Bibliography

Abstract in Slovene

Abstract in English

Bibliographical note

Acknowledgement

Ana Vujanović: Notes at the Edge of Interdisciplinary Theories of Contemporary Theatre and Performance Art (Afterword)

Index
Colophon

TRANSformacije series, no. 25
240 pages, 60 black-and-white photos, paperback
Price: EUR 19