The term liminal refers to a marginalized space of fertile chaos and creative potential where nothing is fixed or certain. Liminal performance is an emerging genre which has surfaced only in recent times and describes a range of interdisciplinary, highly experimental, performative works in theatre and performance, film and music-performances which can be seen to prioritize the body, the technological and the primordial. Broadhurst argues that traditional and contemporary critical and aesthetic theories are ultimately deficient in interpreting liminal performance. This revolutionary work first surveys traditional aesthetics in the writings of Kant, Nietzsche and Heidegger and juxtaposes them with contemporary aesthetics in the writings of Foucault, Derrida, Baudrillard and Lyotard. A series of case studies follows and, Broadhurst concludes with a summary description of liminal performances as an emerging genre.
Works discussed in detail include: Pina Bausch's Tanztheater, the innovative Theatre of Images of Robert Wilson and Philip Glass, the controversial social sculptures of the Viennese Actionists, Peter Greenaway's painterly aesthetics, Derek Jarman's queer politics, digitized sampled music, and neo-gothic sound.
Susan Broadhurt is lecturere in Performing Arts at Brunel University in Middlesex.
The liminal - a performance view; the problem of aestheticization - Kant, Nietzsche and Heidegger; contemporary aesthetics; liminal theatre; liminal film; liminal music; conclusion -liminal performance.
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