Criticism as a Political Event
Methodological and Theoretical Propositions
15th December @ 5.00pm
This paper explores criticism as a meeting point between performance theory and political philosophy. Drawing on the work of Jacques Rancière (particularly his conceptualisation of politics as dissensus and a strategy for the re-distribution of the ‘sensible’), I suggest an approach that might posit criticism as a political process in and of itself. I will begin by elaborating on the methodological concerns of my study, before proceeding to briefly touch on the ways in which the political is theorised in postdramatic performance practice. I will then look at the ways in which dissensus and the process of politics might provide a productive theoretical tool through which to construct a problematisation and politicisation of critical process. I will then extend my identification of criticism as political event by considering how further notions of policing, resistance and appearance might offer an insight into the politics of contemporary judgment. Criticism will thus be contextualised as a process at the meeting point between the legislated, the public and the visible.
Diana Damian is a London-based performance critic and dramaturg. She is currently a funded PhD candidate examining performance criticism through the lens of political philosophy at Royal Holloway, University of London. She is a part-time Lecturer at Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, Guest Editor of academic journal Platform and Performance Editor at Exeunt Magazine. She has written for publications internationally in the UK, Germany, France, Romania and Czech Republic and is co-founder of Institute of Critical Practice, a nomadic organisation that aims to explore the ways in which criticism manifests itself in contemporary performance as mode of inquiry and production, strategy for visibility and practice of dissemination.