Politics of Practice:A Rhetoric of Performativity
Book: Politics of Practice:A Rhetoric of Performativity
Written by: Lynette Hunter
Published by: Palgrave Macmillan, 2019
“Performance studies is not only about performance but also about what happens before the performance and what happens afterward” (p.1), observes author Lynette Hunter. The book ‘Politics of Practice: A Rhetoric of Performativity’ is concerned with the political affects of what happens during the making of the performance—with its performativity. Hunter explores how performers can work with disunified audiences and examines the role of performative practices in shaping political approaches, using not-known devices such as hendiadys, enthymeme, anecdote, and allegory.
The book is devised into two parts. The first part of the book, comprising of five chapters, provides a philosophical base for studying vocabularies and keywords such as systems representation, ideology, hegemony, nationals, global, performativity in postcolonial theory, documentation and articulation, co-labouring in performance, critical reflections and transitions and so on.
The second part of the book studies four performers as case studies. The first case study analyses Keith Hennessy’s work, particularly ‘Sol Niger’. The author then examines ‘Turbulence’, another of Hennessy’s pieces, which is a carnivalesque critique of the global neoliberal complex. The second case study is the visual artmaker Ilya Noe’s work ‘Deerwalk’ which focuses on the problems of community art as parachute art, the artmaker parachuted by global organisations into a local community that may not want the artist there…(p.149). This section also focuses on Catalonian performance artist and community activist, Caro Novella. The book makes the performance artmaker Duskin Drum, a United States-based woodsman and scholar, working with indigenous communities its final analysis. Drum’s practice offers the author the opportunity to think through the question of how embodiment —the embodied script or score of rest and form,— generates a medium.
“Performance has always been a way of articulating the conditions of contemporary society, and of pointing through the embodiments of those conditions.” (p.13)