Sites of Performance
Of Time and Memory
About This Book
“In Lunberry’s deft and limpid impressions on the limits of theater, we find a theory of theoria and its double—the fraught aughts and variously perfumed invisibles, the unseen of seeing across the uncoded edges of the stage. This is where the mirror leaves off and thought begins. Or the unthinkable. Lunberry is a lyricist of the core of what makes being seen the necessary but traumatic proposition of theater, and perhaps of being itself.” —Joe Milutis, University of Washington Bothell, author of “Failure, A Writer’s Life”
A primary focus of this book is on the impact of time and memory as they intersect and constitute the spaces of theatre. These spaces include more traditional sites of theatre, such as those involving stages and curtains, actors and audiences, as well as those other theatres or spaces of performance that range from performance and installation art, to the performance of a string quartet, and from the writing of performance, to the performance of writing. What unites them is the presence of time as the constant and corrosive agent of theatrical absence, a vanishing site that finally affirms these theatres as theatres of thought, as spaces of thoughtful and mirroring reflection.
With such time in mind, attention is directed toward theatre’s own blurred and porous boundaries and, implicitly, that most conventional theatrical form, the proscenium itself, evoking questions such as: where does the performance begin and where does it end? Who is watching and who is being watched? And what, as time takes its toll, is there to be seen at all? For it is from this demarcating line of representation that – like a ‘line in the sand’ – such spaces of thought, theatrical or not, largely determine where the various forms of representation begin and end, where time is told of others, and where time is finally told of each of us.
Clark Lunberry is an Associate Professor in the English Department at the University of North Florida.
Table of Contents
Preface; 1. A Body Bending: Removing the Boots of Beckett and Proust; 2. (“Silence”): Scripting Absence; 3. Blood on the Wall: The True Tragic Pleasure of “Medea”; 4. Coriolanus in the Marketplace 5. Antonin Artaud’s Unending Death Rattle; 6. Writing upon Theaters of Tragic Thought; 7. Figures of Speech: Ann Hamilton’s Installations of Absence; 8. Illuminated Theater: The Stages of James Turrell; 9. Suspicious Silence: Walking Out on John Cage; 10. In Living Memory: Morton Feldman’s Departing Landscapes; Postscript: Seeing In Plain Sight — Installations in Flight; Bibliography; Index