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Holstein's hair: The Politics of Decadence in The Famous Lauren Barri Holstein's Splat!

Alston, Adam (2019) Holstein's hair: The Politics of Decadence in The Famous Lauren Barri Holstein's Splat! In: The Routledge Companion to Theatre and Politics. Routledge.

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Decadence is a polymorphous concept most often denoting decline and ruination, or pleasure, artifice, and excess. It is commonly associated with profligacy, and dredged up in times of crisis. Decadence has garnered considerable attention across the arts and humanities, particularly the late-nineteenth-century ‘decadent movement’ in Europe associated with the likes of J. K. Huysmans and Aubrey Beardsley; however, both the movement and the concept have gained little traction in theatre and performance studies. In the first part of this chapter, I speculate as to why. In the last part, I consider the relevance of decadence to the politics of radical theatre today, narrowing attention to a particularly illuminating focus: the appearance of hair in Lauren Barri Holstein’s Splat! (SPILL Festival, Barbican Centre April 2013). I will be investigating Holstein’s hair through the lens of decadence as it was imagined in the nineteenth century; however, I will also be dwelling on her radicalisation of decadent aesthetics and politics as a committed feminist. My intention is not to identify the nuances of this radicalism, so much as to provoke debate about decadence as a theme of potential relevance to contemporary theatre and politics.

Item Type: Book Section
Divisions : Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences > Guildford School of Acting
Authors :
Editors :
Eckersall, Peter
Grehan, Helena
Date : 2019
Related URLs :
Depositing User : Clive Harris
Date Deposited : 25 Jul 2018 14:03
Last Modified : 05 Mar 2019 13:07

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