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Research Seminar: Prof. Ildikó Ungvári Zrínyi

April 24, 2018 2:30 p.m.

Becoming actor, becoming animal – and the cage of theatre’s institutional practice

(How to apply Animal Studies in the research of actor training, contemporary Theatre Aesthetics and institution critique)

Professor Ildikó Ungvári Zrínyi (University of Arts, Târgu-Mures)

Every theatre today wishes to attract audience by using real elements: the irruption of the real is a characteristic of contemporary postmodern and postdramatic theatre, which treats with suspicion or disapproves of the human-animal distinction of the old “anthropological machine” (Agamben). The presentation of real animals in the performance is a widespread method, mostly known in the work of Castellucci, or Jan Fabre.

But beyond the introduction of animals in the show, there is the much problematic process of the human representation of animals. In the examination of these processes created by external and internal methods we shall follow Gilles Deleuze’s term “becoming animal”, associated with “becoming object” – which leads us to the non-human dimension and urge the redefinition and re-thinking of the concept of human. Comparing theories of the avant-garde (Meyerhold, Grotowski) about the animal presence and actor’s pedagogy with the contemporary practices and theories (see the work of XavierLe Roy, Silviu Purcarete, or Peter Kárpáti) – will outline the phenomenological changes, the plurimedial body and the problematics of the non-anthropocentric view.

A case study will thematize to what extent these processes can be housed by contemporary theatres’ institutional frame: a recent event of directorial theatre questions the ‘institutional’ tradition and whether the aesthetics of risk is linked with aggression and asymmetrical relations in the creation.

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