PhD, Coventry University, DAS Research
‘Reading in performance, Lire en spectacle’ offers to sit with readers in performance and to examine the documents they hold in their hands. What happens in performances when the audience is reading? ‘Reading in performance, Lire en spectacle’ demonstrates an example of research where practice supports the characterization of discourse. Practice, for this research, consists of attending performances (by Mette Edvardsen, Anouk Llaurens, Alice Pons, and Olivia Reschovsky), making performances as a choreographer (for the stage and for the page), and speculating. This practice-as-research characterizes the immanent attention resulting from the solitude of reading merged with the collective nature of an audience.
‘Reading in performance, Lire en spectacle’ draws on artistic research, performance studies, philosophy, and anthropology. Reading is a hyphen between the intensely discussed concepts of performance documentation and audience participation. In performances where the audience reads, documentation made for this audience is taken beyond questions of conservation, robustness, permanence and availability. Documentation is examined for the attention it generates in the real time of performance. Reading is proposed as an implicated gesture of participation; a kind of participation that composes with withdrawal. Reading in performance, Lire en spectacle focuses on the solitude of reading merged with the collective nature of an audience in order to observe our implication in the imaginations of others. Performances where the audience reads are proposed as dramaturgical tools to experience and rehearse the impersonal.
‘Reading in performance, Lire en spectacle’ articulates entanglement. This thesis works with the intricacy of form and content. It hosts discourse about documentation and participation while enacting examples of performative documentation and implicating readers through the use of different writing modalities, words, layout, design, edible and non-edible papers, and performances.