Assembling the Precarious. Political Aesthetics in the 21st Century

GER-G 825

G825 spring Course art image
Teresa Kovacs
Course Description

Topic: Assembling the Precarious. Political Aesthetics in the 21st Century Life is different now. Due to the current pandemic, we find ourselves isolated in our private spaces and we spend most of our days in front of our devices. This situation deeply resonates with questions that are crucial for performance and theater: what is a public space? Who is present and how do we assemble? Given the nature of theater, it is no surprise that German directors and performance groups started to reflect once again about the core principle of theater in 2020: co-presence. Roundtables were organized and theaters experimented with streaming formats, chats, and new forms of audience participation. Sybille Peters, director of the Forschungstheater (research theater), prominently stated on her facebook page on April 29, 2020: "We need to assemble differently, or: why I will go back to work tomorrow." This seminar takes current discussions as a starting point to engage with theories of assemblage that were published within theater, performance, and cultural studies in the past decade. We will work with those theories to subsequently work towards a political aesthetics for the 21st century. We will develop our thoughts in dialogue with performances by directors like Christoph Schlingensief and Milo Rau as well as by performance groups like Rimini Protokoll. Even though our seminar takes German performance and theater as a starting point, I want to encourage you to bring the results of our discussion into a productive dialogue with your own research interests.

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