The Exhausted Body in Performance

  • Aldith Gauci

Traethawd ymchwil myfyriwr: Traethawd Ymchwil MeistrMeistr yn y Celfyddydau


The dissertation discusses the occurrences and implications of an exhausted body and its encounters with its witnesses. The phenomenon is studied as a specific performance presence that can be located across cultures and centuries. The study proposes that the impact of such a body lies within a central paradox: virtuosity and disappearance. Through this paradox, the exhausted body becomes a vehicle for transformation for the performer and witness. The destructive qualities inherent in a body in extreme tension, in pain, or on the verge of death are seen as tools with which the body becomes a channel for new experiences. New life emerges from the seemingly exhausted vehicle. This idea is discussed by using case-studies from different practices around the world; from the ancient rituals of Sarpam Thullal in India to the more contemporary practices of Performance Art by artists such as Orlan and Marina Abramovic. The aesthetic and cultural theory made use of in this dissertation range across cultures; from Japanese aesthetic theory to Catholic ideology to Eugenio Barba’s cross-cultural study of the extra-daily body.
The purpose of this study is not to analyse the cultural or historical roots of the performance presence of the exhausted body. Instead, it seeks to shed light on this body as a specific resence that is deliberately put into action in performance. The first three chapters: The exhausted body as an act of resistance, its relationship with the community, and its ability for transformation, discusses the different components in the encounter between the exhausted body and its witnesses. Chapter Five brings these three perspectives together by looking at the exhausted body as an action that feeds creation through its act of disappearance.
Dyddiad Dyfarnu2010
Iaith wreiddiolSaesneg
Sefydliad Dyfarnu
  • Prifysgol Aberystwyth
GoruchwyliwrRichard Gough (Goruchwylydd)

Dyfynnu hyn