By Marianne Kesting
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Additional resources for Das epische Theater - Zur Struktur des modernen Dramas 7. Auflage
As such, it is a useful starting point for thinking about the aesthetics of camouflage, a form of art-making uniquely concerned with the ways that subjects negotiate the terms of their appearance in relation to a larger world picture. In many respects, the traditional photo-portrait conjures an image far removed from the animal disappearing into the wilderness or the soldier hiding in enemy terrain. Here, a bounded and wholly discrete entity is placed under a microscope. The individual subject appears as the primary focus of the photo, its rationale and cause.
104 One of the central interventions of this book is to challenge artists and theorists to be more aware of the multiple, differentiated bodies that constitute the invisible ‘ground’ of performance practice. At the same time, it recognizes moments in performance when this positioning as ground models a productive and permeable relation between self and world and reveals unexpected power in the ‘not yet’ of placelessness. Camouflage in practice While the spatial theories that I have discussed thus far can illuminate features of contemporary performance, performance practice can, in turn, 26 Performing Ground invigorate and even radicalize these theoretical approaches.
101 We need to consider how these bodies structure the spaces of aesthetic and everyday performance, and how they complicate those facile binaries of figure/ground and onstage/ offstage that emerge if one develops a spatial politics merely around one aspect of identity. Further, it is imperative to examine how camouflage, and related ideas of passing, fitting in, and mimicry, have very different meanings for racially and culturally marked subjects when, for example, the privilege of blending into a larger, predominantly white picture may be not only a form of selling out but also a literal impossibility, or when becoming part of a larger environment necessitates giving up one’s own culture, history, or background.