July 15, 2017

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By S. Bayly

Exploring the topics of the development, ephemerality and democracy that mark the come across among functionality and philosophy, this unique examine elaborates clean views at the reviews of undoing, fiasco and catastrophe that shadow either the either degree and lifestyle.

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4 They include Rirkrit Tiravanja’s genial invitations to gallery-goers to join him in cooking and eating Thai food in recreations of his own apartment, Suzanne Lacy’s stagings of a series of non-fictional largescale interactions between Californian police and youth gangs in a parking lot or basketball court, as well as a range of more antagonistic or interventionist works by individual artists and collectives, alongside works that operate within (and often against) more traditional stage-auditorium settings.

This experience is entirely different from that envisaged, say, by the communitarian impulse of Rousseau, for whom the ideal was the abandonment of theatre by a community united in folk carnival in a city marketplace, oblivious to the artificial divisions of spectator and participant, stage and auditorium, public and private. Later in this chapter, the communitarian hopes and possibilities of performance are explored further, but this book nevertheless attests to such a profound difference as indeed an ethical necessity, at least in the culture within which it is immersed.

However, community as a term has been rapidly etiolated by political rhetoric. It is called upon ceaselessly to summon organic, cohesive yet diverse bodies of common sense or popular opinion, united by a supposed internal self-identity or at least the identification of a common source of oppression. To invoke community is supposedly to invoke a singular yet heterogeneous, passionate, yet rationally motivated voice speaking out of a stable sense of its own values and perspectives against the obfuscations and manipulations of toxic abstractions, usually labelled as ‘power’ or ‘capital’.

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