Tragedy without guilt? A genre based approach to analysing performance affect in The Hospital
Læs artiklen her: https://tidsskrift.dk/peripeti/article/view/121366
- Josefine Brink Siem
Affect theory, Genre, Performance analysis, Christian Lollike, Eric Bentley, Tragedy
The 2018 performance The Hospital uses a combination of a tragic narrative structure and grotesque slapstick and splatter to portray a nightmarish version of budget cuts and managerial reforms in the Danish public healthcare system. In this article, I focus on the affective dimensions of its bifurcal dramaturgy, and asks how it relates to the diagnosis of the efficiency dispositive in public management. I argue for an analytical approach that observes the entire performance as a ‘being of sensation’ (Deleuze and Guattari 1994) with its own affective logic, thereby switching analytical orientation from affective spectatorship to affective dramaturgy. I use genre analysis as a way to account for the performance’s way of becoming a body in terms of two interrelated affective dynamics: blocs of sensation and modes of relation. By employing Eric Bentley’s genre criticism as a semantic for describing the Hospital’s blocs and modes, I identify a double affective dramaturgy of tragic guilt and farcical aggression and schadenfreude, where open-ended aggression ultimately becomes the dominant bloc of sensation. Through a comparative gesture to the performance Living Dead, which unifies its narrative and affective elements in a horror aesthetic performing blocs of fear, I show how an affect-sensitive concept of genre can observe the relation between signifying and non-signifying elements as determined by a performance’s specific dramaturgy rather than by any a priori analytical distinctions.
Josefine Brink Siem
Josefine Brink Siem is PhD-fellow at the department of Dramaturgy and Musicology at Aarhus University, Denmark. Her PhD-project is focused on developing and qualifying concepts for analysing the affective dramaturgies of artworks in theatre, on television and on social media.
Aristotle, 1996. Poetics (M. Heath, Trans.). London: Penguin.
Barba, Eugenio, 2010. On directing and dramaturgy: burning the house. London: Routledge.
Bentley, Eric, 1991. The Life of the Drama. New York: First Applause Printing.
Deleuze, Gilles, & Guattari, Felix, 1994. What Is Philosophy? New York: Columbia University Press.
Dolan, Jill, 2005. Utopia in Performance. Ann Arbour: University of Michigan Press.
Eriksson, Birgit, 2017. Dissolving Europe?: fear of refugees and ourselves in Christian Lollike’s Living Dead. Akademisk kvarter online, Vol. 16. DOI: 10.5278/OJS.AK.V0I16.2608
Farrell, Charlotte, 2012. Barrie Kosky’s The lost echo: rethinking tragic cartharsis through affective emergenc(e)y. Peripeti, Nr. 17 (pp. 67-76).
Fensham, Rachel, 2009. To watch theatre: essays on genre and corporeality. Bruxelles: P.I.E. Peter Lang.
Fensham, Rachel, 2016. Affective Spectatorship: Watching Theatre and the Study of Affect. In K. P. e. a. Christel Stalpaert (Ed.), Unfolding Spectatorship: shifting political, ethical and intermedial positions (pp. 39-60). Gent: Academia Press.
Fischer-Lichte, Erika, 2010. Ästhetik des Performativen. Frankfurt: Suhrkamp.
Hancock, Ange-Marie, 2004. The politics of disgust: the public identity of the welfare queen. New York: New York University Press.
Kierkegaard, Søren, 1987. Either/Or part I. Princeton: Princeton University Press
Kristeva, Julia, 1982. Powers of horror: an essay on abjection. New York: Columbia University Press.
Lehmann, Hans-Thies, 2005. Postdramatisches Theater, Frankfurt: Verlag der Autoren.
Marks, Laura U., 2000. The skin of the film: intercultural cinema, embodiment, and the senses. Durham: Duke University Press.
Massumi, Brian, 2002. Parables for the virtual: movement, affect, sensation. Durham: Duke University Press.
Ó Maoilearca, Laura Cull, 2012. Theatres of Immanence. London: Palgrave Macmillan.
Pavis, Pavis, 2003. Analyzing performance: theater, dance, and film. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.
Pavis, Pavis, 2016. Watching the Spectator: New Perspectives on Spectatorship. In K. P. e. a. Christel Stalpaert (Ed.), Unfolding Spectatorship: shifting political, ethical and intermedial positions (pp. 23-38). Gent: Academia Press.
Reason, Mathew, 2016. Affect and Experience. In M. Reason and A. M. Lindelof (Ed.), Experiencing Liveness in Contemporary Performance (pp. 83-96). London: Routledge
Sauter, Wilmar, 2000. The theatrical event: dynamics of performance and perception. Iowa City: University of Iowa Press.
Sedgwick, Eve K., 2003. Touching feeling: affect, pedagogy, performativity. Durham: Duke University Press.
Sobchack, Vivian, 1992. The address of the eye: a phenomenology of film experience. Princeton: Princeton University Press.