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Mapping, inscription and 'lines of flight' in contemporary Australian performance

Grehan, HelenaORCID: 0000-0002-9257-5615 (1998) Mapping, inscription and 'lines of flight' in contemporary Australian performance. PhD thesis, Murdoch University.

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Place, belonging and representation are key concerns in Australia currently as we gradually approach a re-definition of what "Australia" might mean. These concerns are evident in each of the works addressed in this dissertation. Consequently it is necessary to create a framework for engaging with these works which is commensurate with the social and political climate within which they are produced. As a result, I have developed a theory of mapping, designed to interrogate the possibilities for points of intersection between the performer and spectator in contemporary performance. It is a deliberately fragile theory, one which is open to change, deconstruction and transition; otherwise it would not accommodate the complexity of works gathered under the rubric "performance". It is a theory which includes an understanding of the performer as a 'nomadic subject' (Rosi Braidotti), a subject who exists at the interstices between performer and performed persona(e), a subject who employs techniques of inscription, ambiguity and "autobiography" in order to create patterns of response and engagement with the concepts and ideas raised in the works. The nexus between the performer and spectator that is mapping, is understood as a mapping in the Deleuze and Guattarian sense as an 'open and contestable', changing, contradictory process which may result in the liberation of 'lines of flight' for both performer and spectator and perhaps also encourage the spectator to consider "alternative" ways of responding to performance. However, it is a contingent process, one which does not always work; and as this dissertation demonstrates, the works analysed here exist on a continuum from the most finite to the most contradictory, in terms of their potential for liberating 'lines offlight'.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Social Sciences and Humanities
Supervisor(s): De Reuck, Jennifer
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