The Ex/centric fixations project # 2 - Memory, language and polyvocal performative writing

Hadley, Bree J. (2011) The Ex/centric fixations project # 2 - Memory, language and polyvocal performative writing. In Performance Studies International (PSi) Conference 2011, 25-29 May 2011, Utrecht University, Utrecht. (Unpublished)

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In this paper, Bree Hadley discusses The Ex/centric Fixations Project, a practice-led research project which explores the inadequacy of language as a technology for expressing human experiences of difference, discrimination or marginalisation within mainstream cultures. The project asks questions about the way experience, memory and the public discourses available to express them are bound together, about the silences, failures and falsehoods embedded in any effort to convey human experience via public discourses, and about how these failures might form the basis of a performative writing method. It has, to date, focused on developing a method that expresses experience through improvised, intertextual and discontinous collages of language drawn from a variety of public discourses. Aesthetically, this method works with what Hans Theis Lehmann (Postdramatic Theatre p. 17) calls a “textual variant” of the postdramatic “in which language appears not as the speech of characters – if there are still definable characters at all – but as an autonomous theatricality” (Ibid. 18). It is defined by what Lehmann, following Julia Kristeva, calls a “polylogue”, which presents experience as a conflicted, discontinuous and circular phenomenon, akin to a musical fugue, to break away from “an order centred on one logos” (Ibid. 32). The texts function simultaneously as a series of parts, and as wholes, interwoven voices seeming almost to connect, almost to respond to each other, and almost to tell – or challenging each other’s telling – of a story. In this paper, Hadley offers a performative demonstration, together with descriptions of the way spectators respond, including the way their playful, polyvocal texture impacts on engagement, and the way the presence or non-presence of performing bodies to which the experiences depicted can be attached impacts on engagement. She suggests that the improvised, intertextual and experimental enactments of self embodied in the texts encourage spectators to engage at an emotional level, and make-meaning based primarily on memories they recall in the moment, and thus has the potential to counter the risk that people may read depictions of experiences radically different from their own in reductive, essentialised ways.

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ID Code: 83553
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Performance Writing, Disability Performance, The Ex/centric Fixations Project
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN CREATIVE ARTS AND WRITING (190000) > PERFORMING ARTS AND CREATIVE WRITING (190400) > Drama Theatre and Performance Studies (190404)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Past > Institutes > Institute for Creative Industries and Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Media, Entertainment & Creative Arts
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2011 Bree Hadley
Deposited On: 14 Apr 2015 23:34
Last Modified: 14 Apr 2015 23:34

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