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‘Crisis’ in Excess: Performing Europe Today

 

Event Date: 29 April 2016
Performing Arts Studio 5
The University of Winchester
Sparkford Road,
Winchester  SO22 4NR

 

The Department of Performing Arts at the University of Winchester presents:

‘Crisis’ in Excess: Performing Europe Today

Since 2008, the term ‘crisis’ has marked the institutional, socio-political, cultural and academic landscapes of contemporary Europe. This rather malleable, ‘sticky’ term seems to operate as both the cause and the result of the pathologies of the present moment – but, ultimately, it has been voided of meaning. The discourse of ‘crisis’ is producing a limited perspective on the present, haunted by ghosts of the past or doomed to a perpetual route to nowhere. At the same time, this volatile moment of ‘crisis’ has generated a body of writing and cultural works, which are directly aiming to engage with the ‘crisis’; by such means, the ‘crisis’ is both critiqued and normalized.

In an interview (‘A precarious dialogue’ Radical Philosophy autumn 2013), Jacques Rancière has pointed out that ‘we must try to think what we ourselves mean when we use the very word “crisis”’; in this symposium, the Inside/Outside Europe Research Network aims to do that. We wish to consider the value and political purchase of the term, which we have been using constantly since the formation of our research network in 2013, by focusing particularly on the ways in which theatre and performance (as practices and studies) can undo or offer insight into the semantics of ‘crisis’. If the crisis, as Rancière proposes, ‘is an excess in the logic of the system’, how can performance exceed such excessive logics? What is the place of history and memory for approaching the ‘crisis’ and the ways in which Europe is conjured through the prism of the ‘crisis’? What can we learn from the archives of the past about the archives that are assembled in the present? Ultimately, do we still need to use the term ‘crisis’ or might it be useful to return to the writings of Walter Benjamin, who in his 1940 Theses on the Philosophy of History reminds us that ‘the “state of emergency” in which we live is not the exception but the rule’?

The event aims to offer a platform for sharing methodologies of historicizing and contesting dominant discourses around ‘crisis’, excess, pathology, emergency and ultimately the need for ‘cure’.

 

Marilena Zaroulia (Winchester) – Welcome and Opening Remarks: ‘Crisis as Excess’ :

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SESSION 1: HISTORIES, FUTURES, AND THE CRISIS

PANEL 1 ‘Ghosts of Times Past’: Temporalities and the Crisis

Giulia Palladini  (Kunsthochschule Berlin-Weißensee) – Testing the Present, Delaying the future: on Work, Metrics and Value in Times of Crisis

AUDIO HERE

David Calder (University of Manchester) – Thinking Theatrically: The Spatial and Temporal Logics of Post-industrial Europe

AUDIO HERE

PANEL 1 Questions:

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PANEL 2 Memories, Imagination, Spectacle

Aylwyn Walsh (University of Lincoln) – Crisis and dis-imagination: spectacle and disposable futures

AUDIO HERE

Philip Hager (Winchester/Kingston) –  Athens re-membered: 17 November 1973 and the geographies of memory

AUDIO HERE

PANEL 2 Questions:

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SESSION 2: PERFORMING THE CRISIS

PANEL 3 Bodies, Space and Excess

Alessandra Cianetti (Central St Martin’s/Something Human) –  Núria Güell: Exceeding financial and identity European policies through the body of the artist

AUDIO HERE

Noyale Colin (Winchester) –  A ‘planetary problem’: contemporary responses within European dance theatre to the ‘crisis’ of belonging

AUDIO HERE

PANEL 3 Question:

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PANEL 4: Agency, affect and performance

Marissia Fragkou (Canterbury Christchurch) –  Crisis or Precarity? ‘Navigating what’s overwhelming’

AUDIO HERE

Lisa AlexanderPersonal address and collective witness: short acts of gifting and poetic agency – Love Letters to a (Post-)Europe, BIOS, Athens 2015

AUDIO HERE

PANEL 4 Questions and concluding remarks:

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