The Aesthetics of Suffering:Surviving and Performing at the Limits of Corporeality

Authors Organisations
Type

Student thesis: Master's ThesisMaster of Arts

Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
Supervisors/Advisors
  • Carl Ivan Lavery
Award date2018
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Abstract

In a recent symposium I attended examining why performance matters in the current cultural landscape, performance and black studies academic Fred Moten suggested that endurance can be seen in forms of life characterised by suffering. This point seems an appropriate way of thinking about my recent research project which culminated in Bodily remains, the research, (although not necessarily initially) in part was concerned with the convergence between the individual condition of an artist’s body and their body based practice. My own practice offered a suitable terrain for investigating this, in that I have a body based practice concerned with endurance and the condition of my body is an important consideration and even departure point when making work. As a body with a severe chronic disease, Cystic fibrosis, which has large implications on my daily life I could be considered by Moten as one whose life is characterised by suffering. Moten continued to propose that endurance offers a new meditation on life by asking if there is a contemplative value in suffering. My practice based research was more than the performance- Bodily Remains, it was concerned with process and the preparation needed for performances with strong elements of endurance, using techniques leading to immersion as ways of devising endurance work. Considering this aspect of my research, this project offers an optic for considering Moten’s claims. Is there a contemplative value in suffering? And what is the relationship between endurance in performance and a life characterised by suffering? This essay disseminates my research which considers endurance in performance and daily life, considering the body in each and deliberates what is the convergence between the condition of an individual body (as in daily life) and a body based performance practice