Matthew Reason

Documentation, Disappearance and the Representation of Live Performance

ReasonPalgrave, 2006

The documentation of practice forms one of the principal concerns of performance studies, provding an ongoing dilemma for theorists and practitioners alike who at once celebrate the ephemerality of the live arts, yet grapple with the need to know, see and think about performance after the disappearance of the thing itself.

This book explores the theoretical, political and even moral implications of this tension between documentation and disappearance, suggesting that it is the space between these two discourses, a space of fragmentations and representations, which forms the site of our cultural knowledge and enduring imagination of performance. Concentrating on contemporary performance practice and with particular emphasis on the transformative impact of video, photography and writing, Matthew Reason uses the representational traces of theatre and dance as an insightful and interrogative form of knowledge and way of seeing live performance in its continuing absence.


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