'A chain of creation, continuation, continuity’: feminist dramaturgy and the matter of the sea

Berger, C. (2016) 'A chain of creation, continuation, continuity’: feminist dramaturgy and the matter of the sea. Performance Research, 21(2), pp. 17-24. (doi: 10.1080/13528165.2016.1162511)

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This article considers what remnants of the imaginary link established between the maternal and the sea might still be useful in feminist performance practice and theory. It does so by discussing a practice-as-research experiment that adapted strategies from Hélène Cixous’s écriture féminine–which performs a liquification of ordering structures in prose writing–into a dramaturgical form based on the logic of waves. The article goes on to suggest that such a dramaturgy recasts creation as a fluid state of becoming ex tempore, resisting the masculine-connoted vision of creation as an act of the singular genius ex nihilo. It further argues that drawing on a non-human phenomenon, the sea, to describe and theorise a type of dramaturgical composition might be read as a twofold attempt on the hegemony of patriarchal culture: through its associative link with the maternal body the creative potential of the feminine is revalued while at the same time the generative capacity of the non-human is recognised via Gaston Bachelard’s notion of the material imagination. The article concludes by proposing that the sea, together with its analogic association to the maternal, can be instated as a figure that gives temporary shape to an alternative vision of cultural production.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Berger, Dr Cara
Authors: Berger, C.
College/School:College of Arts > School of Culture and Creative Arts > Theatre Film and TV Studies
Journal Name:Performance Research
Publisher:Taylor and Francis
ISSN (Online):1469-9990
Published Online:03 May 2016
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2016 Taylor and Francis
First Published:First published in Performance Research 21(2):17-24
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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