Murdoch University Research Repository

Welcome to the Murdoch University Research Repository

The Murdoch University Research Repository is an open access digital collection of research
created by Murdoch University staff, researchers and postgraduate students.

Learn more

Between presence and absence: The pleasures and disciplines of a journey through performance

Robinson, Andrew (2000) Between presence and absence: The pleasures and disciplines of a journey through performance. PhD thesis, Murdoch University.

PDF - Whole Thesis
Available Upon Request


This thesis is an exploration of a series of related elements that combine to form a personal ‘journey’ through performance. The aim of this exploration is to show, through a detailed examination of one journey (in relation to a broader reading of performance theory and practice) how interaction with the various ‘pleasures’ and ‘disciplines’ of performance constructs a subjective awareness that, in turn, forms the basis for a ‘recreation’ of performance. This ‘re-creation’ is shaped by the role that individuals play within the field of performance at any given time, ie: performer, director, audience, critic, theorist; as well as by their individual (material, embodied) specificity.

In order to show how this subjective positioning works as a positive force in the construction of performance(s) I have used my own subjective awareness as a constant point of reference throughout the process of research and representation that makes up this thesis. This reference to a subjective view point is justified through a philosophical argument that ‘objectivity’ is based on a manipulation of social and political structures designed to assign greater power to one perspective over another. This is not to say that one position, or practice, may not have a greater efficacy or importance, depending on the given context, but that the choices that are undertaken to arrive at a particular position can be seen to be shaped by an individual’s acceptance of particular ‘disciplines’ and ‘pleasures’ rather than by intrinsic value(s).

Throughout the thesis reference is made to a wide range of practitioners, from academic, theoretical, and performative backgrounds, as well as to my own practical performance work. Some of the major points of reference include: the writings of Zeami, Deleuze and Guattari, Antonin Artaud, Peggy Phelan, Herbert Blau, Diderot, Heidegger; as well as the performance practice of Cristina Castrillo, Zygmunt Molik, and Enrique Pardo. A great deal of my own performance work has been undertaken in collaboration with other practitioners and could not have been realised without the combination of their talents and energies. I have attempted to make sure, when presenting accounts of this work, that what I am relating is clearly my own interpretation of events and experiences.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Division of Social Sciences, Humanities and Education
Notes: Note to the author: If you would like to make your thesis openly available on Murdoch University Library's Research Repository, please contact: Thank you.
Supervisor(s): Moody, David
Item Control Page Item Control Page