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Performance Philosophy: Staging a New Field

Cull, LK (2014) Performance Philosophy: Staging a New Field New Arts - Journal of the National Academy of Art, 34 (6). (Submitted)

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This article provides an introduction to a new field of research connected to, but also independent, from Performance Studies; namely, Performance Philosophy. Having narrated aspects of the (ongoing) emergence of this international and interdisciplinary field, the article goes on to address what is perhaps the most prominent debate concerning the field at present, which I will summarise as the ‘Mind the Gap’ vs. ‘Performance as Philosophy’ debate. Most recently, this debate was staged at the inaugural Performance Philosophy conference held at the University of Surrey in the UK in April 2013; however, one can trace multiple iterations of similar arguments not only in previous literature within Theatre and Performance Studies, but throughout the history of philosophy and in related disciplines such as Film Philosophy. As we shall see, this debate concerns divergent opinions as to the nature of the relationship between performance and philosophy (as institutions, traditions, enterprises, concepts, practices and so forth): are performance and philosophy fundamentally different (and hence we should ‘mind the gap’ between them as Martin Puchner suggests) or can we think in terms of performance as being its own kind of philosophy and indeed of philosophy as a form of performance? With regards the latter argument in particular, I will emphasise that, in this way, Performance Philosophy is less concerned with the application of extant philosophy to performance (as example or illustration) and more concerned with the extent to which performance might be considered a philosophical activity in its own right. To conclude, I will address some of the main arguments that have been presented against this idea of ‘performance as philosophy’ (largely drawn from literature from Film Philosophy) as well as providing some potential responses to those criticisms.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences > Guildford School of Acting
Authors :
Date : 1 January 2014
Contributors :
Ke, S
Uncontrolled Keywords : performance philosophy, performing arts, philosophy, theatre, film philosophy
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 16 May 2017 15:27
Last Modified : 06 Jul 2019 05:18

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