Choreographing agonism. Chantal Mouffe's political philosophy and contemporary performing arts

Begin - Einde 
2013 - 2017 (afgewerkt)
Vakgroep Kunst-, Muziek- en Theaterwetenschappen



The objective of this PhD research is to examine the relevance of political philosopher Chantal Mouffe's project of agonistic democracy for performance studies. Since the task of democratic politics is to provide a terrain for an agonistic confrontation between adversarial positions (Mouffe), the main research question is: how might performance contest neoliberalism and contribute to the constitution of agonistic places? Developing a critique of the politico-philosophical discourses in contemporary performance theory that advocate strategies of undermining (Bojana Cvejić), avoiding (Bojana Kunst) and transgressing (Hans-Thies Lehmann), this PhD research suggests that the strategies of engagement enable performance to contest dominant politics and representational norms they have established, giving rise to the choreography capable of articulating agonism. The choreography of articulating agonism is envisaged as a discursive performative practice that implies the articulation of affects into a pluralism of (bodily) representations co-existing in tension. Taking that representations are at once primary sources of affects, the following is observed: the construction of objects, bodies, and collectives, as well as the relationship between the audience and the performance, and between the choreographers and the performers. The theorethical outcomes of this PhD appear in the artworks of the following artists: Mette Edvardsen, Marlene Monteiro Freitas, Rimini Protokoll and Arkadi Zaides. The agonistic approach enables an alternative view on performance studies and practices relevant for the plural, multinational and network society.  





Externe medewerkers

Chantal Mouffe

the Centre for the Study of Democracy: University of Westminster

Bojana Kunst

the Institute for Applied Theatre Studies — Justus-Liebig University Giessen

André Lepecki

Department of Performance Studies — Tisch School of the Arts, NYU