How might performance engage us in thinking and feeling our relationship to money, magic, pretending, imagination: what is it we are looking for in the make-believe world we live in?
Symposium programme notes:This symposium will consider questions of performance, belief, and credit.One way in which some kinds of performance distinguishes itself from other kinds – that sometimes go under the name of ‘theatre’ – is by emphasising that what it is doing is ‘real’, as opposed to the acting and pretending that goes on elsewhere. ‘Performing the Real’ was the subject of the 2009 symposium held as part of SACRED. This time we are turning away from the ‘real’ to think about the many ways in which performance is still interested in make-believe, and how make-believe itself might turn out to be part of the ‘real’.The current financial crisis has revealed how the system upon which we supposedly all depend is itself dependent upon how much we believe in it. Value is an expression of belief: if we believe that such and such a company, or bank, possesses the assets it purports to possess, then, in effect, those assets exist. The moment we stop believing, the value of the company or bank collapses, and the assets in question cease to exist.A credit crunch is what happens when people suddenly stop believing in the financial system – or when we start to wonder why we believe what we are seeing on stage. How might performance engage us in thinking and feeling our relationship to money, magic, pretending, imagination: what is it we are looking for in the make-believe world we live in? The symposium will feature: * a discussion with Richard Foreman (Ontological-Hysteric Theater); * keynote presentations from performance scholars Sara Jane Bailes, Jen Mitas, and Nicholas Ridout; * performative provocations from artists Karen Christopher and Sara Juli, also presenting work in the SACRED season; * break-out panels from a range of researchers and artists; * a Long Table discussion hosted by Lois Weaver; * the attendance of Richard Maxwell (New York City Players) and PS122 Director Vallejo Gantner; * the UK premiere of New York City Players’ ADS.