AbstractsLaw & Legal Studies

Performance in Motion

by H Woods

Institution: Universiteit Utrecht
Year: 2016
Keywords: Participation; Openness; Collaboration; Collectivity; Political; Agonistic Pluralism
Posted: 02/05/2017
Record ID: 2091517
Full text PDF: http://dspace.library.uu.nl:8080/handle/1874/326766


This research project investigates how Umberto Eco’s 1969 theory “open work” can behave as a methodology for reminding us today of the potential of participatory performance. It will examine participation in the context of the neo-avant garde and probe why it is that Eco’s theory, which emerged out of the same era, has been almost completely forgotten. Primarily, it will investigate how “openness,” as Eco defines it, operates within participation. Fusing together this concept with theoretical tools from participation, such as “collectivity” and “collaboration,” Eco’s theory will re-surface in a contemporary setting. In order to support this re-surfacing and address relevant concerns around ‘the political,’ it will utilise Chantal Mouffe’s political theory, “agonistic pluralism,” building an explorative lens for analysing contemporary participatory performance. Through this lens, the research will assert that the concern for ‘participation’ and the approach to how it is practiced within performance and discussed in theory misunderstands, in this context, what constitutes ‘the political’ and, furthermore surrounds performance with negative connotations. The two case studies: Edit Kaldor’s The Inventory of Powerlessness (2015) and Unfinished Business’ Only Wolves and Lions (2012) will present how this argument materialises into practice, as what will surface is how, if participation is used as a means, rather than a goal: it has more potential to an openness, which, in turn can constitute agonistic pluralism. Advisors/Committee Members: Groot Nibbelink, L.W.