Performance Research Forum (PRF) hosts another excellent line-up of talks and events. These free events will take place on Zoom, and can be booked through Eventbrite.
STAGING DECADENCE: AGITATION, SUPER-SATURATION AND TRASH
Adam Alston: Capitalism, decadence and excess in contemporary theatre
This paper is prompted by the staging of agitated bodies and super-saturated scenography in a decade bookended by the 2008 financial crash, and the coronavirus pandemic. I’ll be exploring how European and Japanese theatre makers have been engaging with the excesses of 21st-century capitalism by embracing a spectacularly decadent aesthetic. I’m particularly interested in what these theatre makers have to teach us about the tempos and rhythms of productivity in the wake of the pandemic. What is there to learn from the staging of freneticism and inertia in the years between crises, and what can it tell us about issues that run deeper than the pandemic’s immediate impact? Drawing on conservative diagnoses of the ‘decadent society’ (Douthat 2020) and radical appropriations of excess in creative practice, I’ll be approaching decadence as a stage that has as much to say about the sustainability of arts economies as it does about the normative valorisation of speed and productivity in 21st-century capitalism.
Adam Alston is Senior Lecturer in Modern and Contemporary Theatre at Goldsmiths. He is an AHRC ECR Fellow, co-editor of a forthcoming issue of Volupté on ‘Decadence and Performance’ (Winter 2021), and author of a forthcoming monograph, Decadence, Capitalism and Excess in Contemporary Theatre (Bloomsbury, 2023).
Owen Parry: After Trash: When Underground Sex Cults become Surveillance Theatres, where do we go?
My paper explores how trash, waste and excess have been taken up as a generatively queer methodology in expanded performance practice. From the compulsive and anarchic “mouldy labours” of Jack Smith – a pioneer in Performance Art – right through to its more recent re-deployment as compulsory performance in the movies of Ryan Trecartin.
Using Jeffrey Sconce’s concept of “para-cinema” to describe the underground practices of trash cinema, I develop the concept of “para-performance” to think through a shift in intent, purpose and status of trashy performance in networked cultures. In doing so, I aim to pose questions about this renewed uptake of the trashy, low-fi, and the poor in surveillance capitalism, and to propose queer trash – exemplified in the compelling performances of Oozing Gloop – as an ultimate resistance/alternative to trash's incorporation/sublimation into the neoliberal/neo-fascist agenda.
Owen G. Parry is an artist and researcher working in contemporary theatre, live art, and visual and digital processes. He is a Researcher on the Staging Decadence project (Goldsmiths, UoL), and an Associate Lecturer in Fine Art, Critical Studies at Central Saint Martins. http://www.owengparry.com
This event is co-presented by The Performance Research Forum @ Goldsmiths and Staging Decadence, and has been made possible with support from the AHRC.
Dates & times
|Date||Time||Add to calendar|
|23 Mar 2021||6:15pm - 8:15pm|
If you are attending an event and need the College to help with any mobility requirements you may have, please contact the event organiser in advance to ensure we can accommodate your needs.