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Aldo MilohniŠ: Theories of Contemporary Theatre and Performance Art

13.03.2009 |
Aldo MilohniŠ
Theories of Contemporary Theatre and Performance Art

The book Theories of Contemporary Theatre and Performance Art is exciting reading and an important contribution to the theories of contemporary performing arts, since it presents a series of problems in a new light, brings interesting, original and provocative views with many lucid terminological solutions, including the author’s original concept of performative theatre.

In the first part, the author focuses on three important theoretical paradigms that had an essential influence on the development of theatre and related performing practices in the second part of the 20th century: the anthropological, performative and gestic theatre. In the second part of the book, the author raises the question of the (a)political in theatre. First, he discusses Brecht’s epic theatre and concepts such as “alienation effect”, “historicization”, etc., and then the selected examples (Horvat, Janša, Berger) of contemporary post-Brechtian performances in Slovenia. Next, he discusses the political nature of (the supposedly apolitical) theatre of the younger generation of Slovenian directors at the turn of the 1980s and analyses H.-T. Lehmann’s concept of “postdramatic theatre”. In the third part, MilohniŠ analyses select examples of activist and artistic practices described by the neologism “artivism”. He extends this topic, which is expressly political, to an analysis of a specific relationship between art and the legal field. He analyses it in the light of those art practices that come into conflict with certain legal provisions and thus explore the limits of the “grey area” of the so-called freedom of artistic expression in societies based on the rule of law and the human rights doctrine.

MilohniŠ managed to create a theoretical work that is exceptionally informative and at the same time theoretically convincing. A richly illustrated book with numerous examples from contemporary performing arts and the author’s outstanding writing style is indispensable reading for every lover of theatre, dance, performance art and contemporary art in general.

TRANSformacije series, no. 25
240 pages, 60 black-and-white photos, paperback
Price: EUR 19

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