I am an elective student from BASc, and I did a History of Art module last term called ‘Aesthetics and Politics’. Over the last 3 weeks of lectures and seminars for Anthropology of the Body, I’ve been having confusing links and deja vu’s between these two courses.
Therefore, I’m going to use this blog to spurt a few tangents…
‘Aesthetics and Politics’ focussed on performance cultures outside the racial and sexual mainstream. We were to ask the following questions: What does it mean to perform, race, gender and sexuality? How are identities made, unmade and recast within experimental performance? How can we conceive of the relationship between art and politics, via the lens of performance and performance art?
I will re ask these questions with an anthropological agenda, combining practitioners from both courses, while sourcing as many memes and vines as possible to try and lighten the dense and deep but hopefully thought provoking content coming up….
This Butler quote is a nice place to start:
“In other words, we must appear to others in ways that we ourselves cannot know, that we must become available to a perspective established by a body that is not our own. And if we ask, where do we appear? Or where are we when we appear? It will be over there, between us, in a space that exists only because we are more than one, more than two, plural and embodied. The body, defined politically, is precisely organized by a perspective that is not one’s own and is, in that sense, already elsewhere, for another, and so in departure from oneself.”
This quote comes to the heart of the human political condition, because it casts importance to both communication but also misunderstanding. Communication is entirely flawed, while also entirely necessary – and this is the beauty of individual expression. We never communicate to another person exactly what we conceive. So I want to explore the space that Butler identifies between us – a space of expression, a space of political discourse and a space of performance: the space, where bodies politically perform.