Rapture : excursions in little tyrannies and bigger lies

Laing, Barry (2002) Rapture : excursions in little tyrannies and bigger lies. PhD thesis, Victoria University.


This research project in performance studies is anchored around the writing, devising and performing of a series of three solo performance works entitled Rapture, Rapture II, and Rapture III. Rapture III was examined in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. This written document, including annotated scripts for each of the performances, and one three hour video tape, is submitted in further partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree. The written document, examined performance of Rapture III, and video documentation constitute the 'thesis' submitted in total fulfilment of those requirements. This thesis draws on tropes of 'tyrannies and lies', 'defying gravity', 'presence and absence', 'subjectivity', 'knowledge and truth', and 'discourse' itself. These tropes are heuristically derived from the author's professional performance training experience ' with Monika Pagneux, Philippe Gaulier, Anzu Furukawa, Theatre de Complicite and Pantheatre ' and from wide readings 'around' performance making. The thesis engages with James Hillman's writings in imaginal psychology, the theories of Jean Baudrillard, Deleuze-Guattari, Roland Barthes, Adam Phillips, Helne Cixous, and Italo Calvino. The 'movement' of the thesis ' between the inception of ideas, through writing of scripts and devising and performing the solo works, to writing as a continuation of performance, and exegeses of the solos and their processes -is conceived as 'dialogical'. Each of the elements is seen to be in critical 'conversation' with the others, and not (necessarily) prescriptive or descriptive of them. The performative 'action' of the thesis is framed as a series of 'excursions' and is related within the written document to 'dis-coursing'. Both in the writing and performance making (including video), the thesis interrogates 'subjectivity' and processes of subjectification by means of performance. It contends that subjectivity is the 'stuff' of performance, and vice versa. Fictional, artificial, and imaginal, the language of performance re-doubles itself as the 'real' in the postulate that what is 'real', always and already - in philosophy, psychoanalysis, and discourses of 'identity' and the 'self' - is performance itself. More than 'performative', these are some of the sites, the 'stuff', the very phenomena of performance: the 'thing' of performance, what it is.

Additional Information

Associated video available 'Official URL'.

Item type Thesis (PhD thesis)
URI https://vuir.vu.edu.au/id/eprint/239
Official URL https://vimeo.com/132162377
Subjects Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > School of Sport and Exercise Science
Historical > RFCD Classification > 420000 Language and Culture
Keywords performance studies; rapture; solo performance;
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