Title

Hysterical aesthetics in contemporary performance: Theatre, dance, voice

Author Identifier

Jonathan Marshall

ORCID : 0000-0001-5296-6075

Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Title

Hysterical methodologies in the arts: Rising in revolt

Publisher

Springer

School

Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA)

RAS ID

36184

Comments

Marshall, J. W. (2021). Hysterical aesthetics in contemporary performance: Theater, dance, voice. In J. Braun (Ed.), Hysterical methodologies in the arts (pp. 271-295). Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-66360-5_12

Abstract

Joanna Townsend argues that the historic medical condition called hysteria can act as a structural metaphor to support the construction of a “hysterical performance text” which emphasizes the “splits and contradictions” within and between characters, their voices and their bodies. This aesthetic strategy was pioneered by the Surrealists and others who encountered hysterical patients at the Pitié-Salpêtrière. Artists today do not necessarily draw directly on these precedents, but the hysterical aesthetic is still with us. The most prominent strategy employed within hysterical performance is that of dialectical corporeal surrogation—or “hosting” (Laura González). In the phrasing of vocalist Sage Harlow, this constitutes a dangerous but necessary aesthetics of love, wherein that which arises from within or without the host body must be accepted with compassion, even as this challenges one’s own sense of subjectivity.

DOI

10.1007/978-3-030-66360-5_12

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