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Performativity: Life, Stage, Screen?

Jul 20, 2016 - Jul 22, 2016

Organizer: Dana Weber (Volkswagen Fellow at the Dahlem Humanities Center)

By “performativity” (Performativität), Erika Fischer-Lichte circumscribes the emergent, indeterminate, ambiguous, and unexpected dimensions of any performance. “Performativity” unfolds in the indeterminate spaces of theatrical events that are constituted by the “co-presence” of performers and spectators. These spaces are marked by negotiations of mutual focus and “autopoietic feed-back,” by the production and perception of “presence” and “representation.” Future-oriented and risqué, “performativity” is at work not only in staged theatre and the arts but also in the social and political arena.

Since this understanding of “performativity” emerged almost two decades ago, it has been employed analytically, questioned, and debated in German theatre scholarship, in dialogue with other disciplines, and as a transatlantic conversation. The fact that the English word “performance” refers to a wide variety of phenomena other than theatrical ones and that German words such as “Inszenierung” or “Aufführung” distinguish what it incorporates without formal differentiation, conferred further impulses to this debate.

The workshop aims to review and update this conversation about “performativity” in several academic disciplines, aesthetic and social practice. How do scholars and practitioners use “performativity” currently and what are the advantages and disadvantages of this concept? How is it varied, expanded, modified, or possibly even negated today?

The program is available here.

In cooperation with

Zeit & Ort

Jul 20, 2016 - Jul 22, 2016

Freie Universität Berlin, J32/102 // L115, Habelschwerdter Allee 45, 14195 Berlin