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    80219
  • Actors and the Art of Performance DOI: 10.1057/9781137596345.0001

    Performance Philosophy

    Series Editors:

    Laura Cull Ó Maoilearca (University of Surrey, UK) Alice Lagaay (Zeppelin University, Friedrichshafen, Germany) Freddie Rokem (Tel Aviv University, Israel) Performance Philosophy is an emerging interdisciplinary field of thought, creative practice and scholarship. The Performance Philosophy book series comprises monographs and essay collections addressing the relationship between performance and philosophy within a broad range of philosophical traditions and performance practices, including drama, theatre, performance arts, dance, art and music. The series also includes studies of the performative aspects of life and, indeed, philosophy itself. As such, the series addresses the philosophy of performance as well as performance-as-philosophy and philosophy-as-performance.

    Editorial Advisory Board:

    Emmanuel Alloa (University of St. Gallen, Switzerland), Lydia Goehr (Columbia University, USA), James R. Hamilton (Kansas State University, USA), Bojana Kunst (Justus-Liebig University Giessen, Germany), Nikolaus Müller-Schöll (Goethe University Frankfurt am Main, Germany), Martin Puchner (Harvard University, USA), Alan Read (King’s College London, UK)

    Titles include:

    Laura Cull & Alice Lagaay ( eds)

    ENCOUNTERS IN PERFORMANCE PHILOSOPHY ( 2014) Broderick Chow & Alex Mangold ( eds)

    ŽIŽEK AND PERFORMANCE ( 2014)

    Will Daddario & Karoline Gritzner ( eds) ADORNO AND PERFORMANCE ( 2014)

    Stuart Grant, Jodie McNeilly & Maeva Veerapen ( eds) PERFORMANCE AND TEMPORALISATION ( 2014)

    Bojana Cvejic ( author)

    CHOREOGRAPHING PROBLEMS

    Expressive Concepts in European Contemporary Dance and Performance ( 2015) Forthcoming titles:

    Mischa Twitchin ( author)

    THE THEATRE OF DEATH

    The Uncanny in Mimesis ( 2016)

    Published in association with the research network Performance Philosophy www.performancephilosophy.ning.com DOI: 10.1057/9781137596345.0001

    Actors and the Art of

    Performance: Under

    Exposure

    Susanne Valerie

    Professor, University of Music and Performing Arts, Vienna, Austria

    Translated from the German by

    Laura Radosh with Alice Lagaay

    Except where otherwise noted, this work is

    licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution

    4.0 International License. To view a copy of this license, visit https://creativecommons.org/version4

    DOI: 10.1057/9781137596345.0001

    Published with the support of the Austrian Science Fund (FWF): PUB

    357-Z24. Research results from Austrian Science Fund (FWF) [TRP12-G21].

    actors and the art of performance: under exposure Copyright © Susanne Valerie, 2016

    Translation © Laura Radosh and Alice Lagaay

    Softcover reprint of the hardcover 1st edition 2016 978-1-137-59633-8

    All rights reserved.

    Open access:

    This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the work’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

    First published 2016 by

    PALGRAVE MACMILLAN

    The author has asserted her right to be identified as the author of this work in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.

    Palgrave Macmillan in the UK is an imprint of Macmillan Publishers Limited, registered in England, company number 785998, of Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire RG21 6XS.

    Palgrave Macmillan in the US is a division of Nature America, Inc., One New York Plaza, Suite 4500 New York, NY 10004–1562.

    Palgrave Macmillan is the global academic imprint of the above companies and has companies and representatives throughout the world.

    ISBN: 978-1-349-92744-9

    E-PDF ISBN: 978-1-137-59634-5

    DOI: 10.1057/9781137596345

    Distribution in the UK, Europe and the rest of the world is by Palgrave Macmillan®, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited, registered in England, company number 785998, of Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire RG21 6XS.

    Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data is available from the Library of Congress

    A catalogue record for this book is available from the Library of Congress A catalogue record for the book is available from the British Library

    Schauspieler außer sich: Exponiertheit und performative Kunst. Eine feminine Recherche, Susanne Valerie Granzer, Originally published in German in 2011 Copyright of the first edition: transcript Verlag, Bielefield, Germany.

    DOI: 10.1057/9781137596345.0001

    Why could the world

    which is of any concern to us –

    not be a fiction?1

    We are simply fools of the theater!2

    1 Friedrich

    Nietzsche,

    Beyond Good and Evil, trans. R.J. Hollingdale (London: Penguin, 1990), 66.

    2 Susanne Granzer, “Being on Stage,” in Ereignis Denken, Arno Böhler and Susanne Granzer (eds) (Vienna: Passagen Verlag 2009), 78.

    DOI: 10.1057/9781137596345.0001

    To my husband, Arno – my joy

    DOI: 10.1057/9781137596345.0001

    Contents

    Acknowledgments x

    About the Author

    xi

    Nous Pathetikos

    1

    Why do you want to be an actor?

    2

    Part I Hits

    1 Auditorium

    X

    5

    Double

    stalemate

    6

    Turning point, peripeteia

    10

    Turn

    around

    12

    i,

    mine

    14

    2 Speculations

    15

    Actors’

    fears

    16

    Crying

    18

    Child’s

    play

    22

    Exposed

    23

    With-out

    me

    30

    3 Black

    Out

    34

    First time at the theater

    35

    Part II Experts in Being?

    4 The Actor: A Creature of Fable

    41

    Why do you want to be an actor?

    42

    5 The Causa Corpora

    48

    The kiss of Olympia

    49

    viii

    DOI: 10.1057/9781137596345.0001

    Contents

    ix

    Machine against man

    50

    The actor’s trump card

    52

    6 The Gift of Acting

    58

    Skipping

    59

    Prejudice

    61

    Subject-based thinking versus stage experience 64

    Master and servant

    67

    Bodies on stage

    74

    Innocence of becoming

    76

    Language and speaking

    79

    Digesting

    speech

    81

    Counterwords

    83

    The Other, the others

    84

    Affect versus thought

    87

    Thinking and acting

    91

    Repetition

    93

    7 The Gift of Death

    103

    Tu es mort

    104

    Theater as a symbolic death

    105

    Point of no return

    109

    Felicity – a salto mortale

    111

    Our friend Touchstone

    115

    8 Finale and Punctum

    119

    Why do you want to be an actor?

    120

    DOI: 10.1057/9781137596345.0001

    Acknowledgments

    Special thanks are due to the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) for generously funding the translation of this book, which was originally written as part of the FWF research project “Generating Bodies. Corporeal Performance”

    (TRP 12-G21/2010–2013). I am currently undertaking research within the framework of the follow-up PEEK

    project, “Artist Philosophers – Philosophy as Arts-Based-Research” (AR 275-G21/2014–2017). I would like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to the philosopher Arno Böhler, the instigator and director of both these FWF research projects.

    My heartfelt thanks go to Laura Radosh, who, with careful attentiveness to the polyphonic layers of my book, has provided an English translation with a skill and sensitivity that do justice to the various philosophic and artistic references at play. This was surely no small feat. The translation was commissioned and supervised throughout by Alice Lagaay, without whom this book would not be available to English readers now. Alice’s philosophic and multilingual competence, her dedication, and the infectious enthusiasm of her spirit made working on this project a real pleasure, for which I am immensely grateful to her.

    x

    DOI: 10.1057/9781137596345.0002

    About the Author

    Susanne Valerie Granzer. Professor and actress. Starring roles at National State Theatres in Europe (Vienna, Basel, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, and Berlin). Parallel to her professional work as an actress, she studied Philosophy at the Goethe-University Frankfurt and the University of Vienna and received her PhD in 1995. In 1988, she received a call for a full professorship in the central artistic subject “Acting”

    at the University of Music and Performing Arts, Vienna, Max Reinhardt Seminar. Together with the Austrian philosopher Arno Boehler, she founded in 1997 the Viennese art factory GRENZ-film and in 2005 the philosophy festi-val “Philosophy on Stage” based on their artistic research.

    Website: personal.mdw.ac.at/granzer/wp/.

    DOI: 10.1057/9781137596345.0003

    xi

    OPEN

    Nous Pathetikos

    Abstract: Actors and the Art of Performance opens with a cascade of contradictory motives for becoming an actor.

    These motives converge in the particular fascination of theater, in which ethics are realized in the aesthetic.

    Valerie, Susanne. Actors and the Art of Performance: Under Exposure. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016.

    doi: 10.1057/9781137596345.0004.

    DOI: 10.1057/9781137596345.0004

    Actors and the Art of Performance

    Why do you want to be an actor?

    This is a played-out, bland question, overused and much abused, a color-less, powerless, boring question of no worth. It is heard too often, posed too often, answered too often. Full of inescapable, preprogrammed clichés, not even productive stuttering provides a way out. It is a question best left unasked. Such is the crux of the matter.

    Or is it not an indispensable, essential, exciting question? Is it not a question that begs to be asked again and again, a disturbing, disquieting question, one that turns up the heat, knows no answer and has many answers, none of which suffice, and yet which despite it all, naive or not, embarrassing or not, promising or not, sprout up like polyphonous weeds.

    Why? For the love of playing the play. Because it is fun. Because it is thrilling, or for the love of the spectacle, for the love of mimicry, out of obsession. Because it just took hold of me. Out of curiosity. To play great roles, leading roles: Hamlet, Don Carlos, Antigone, Lady Bracknell. Not Emilia, but evil Iago, and then perhaps demented King Lear. Or Joan of Arc? Oh, definitely, and then wild Medea. To play the entire canon of the classics and, of course, what is in vogue now too. To be famous, to become a star. To change the world, not just interpret it. To give people something out of a passion for fantasy, for the imaginary, for imagination. For the love of abundance. For the love of lies, not those that make your nose grow longer, but the ones that play with truth. Out of a fascination for masquerade, a fascination for transformation, both of which are irresistible. To be someone else, to create another being, to be many. For it all never to end. To be free. To fly. Openness immemorial.

    Openness without ideologies or theologies, openness as possibility – as the vacant space within us, kept open not out of destructiveness, but as a form of affirmation.

    “To make believe,” was the answer given by Kate Falk from the New York Wooster Group, when asked why she acts in the theater.1

    1 “Theater morgen, Gespräche über die Kunst im Global Village.” Treffpunkt Kultur ORF.

    Production: GRENZ-film (production team Arno Böhler and Susanne Granzer), ORF, 1998. All translations by Laura Radosh unless stated otherwise.

    DOI: 10.1057/9781137596345.0004

    Nous Pathetikos

    Why? To remain true to that which disconcerts, to not become jaded.

    To not grovel, not conform. To keep your eye on the prize, even if it is blinding. No boorish posing whatever the form – neither the dramatic, nor the postdramatic kind. No getting all worked up about what you always knew. No matter how old or how young you are, not to adhere to any rules that cannot be thrown overboard. To hold disdain for con-ventionalists and conformists, whether their comfort zone is on the right or on the left, and to hold disdain for the poison of resentment and for every self-appointed lord, no matter what his kingdom. To maintain a deep-seated aversion to standardized utilitarianism. To resist ogling the acceptable. To oppose the dictatorship of the highest possible number.

    To be different and live differently. To maximize, not minimize, risk.

    To stand against the times, to be untimely, whatever that might mean.

    And above all to be neither a hamster in a wheel nor an administrator of being, nor a careerist, nor a singer of the swan song of a late culture.

    Maybe to become a fabled creature of truth?

    Calm down. Get a grip on yourself.

    Why?

    As G.W.F. Hegel says in the famous preface to the Phenomenology of Spirit, “The True is ... the Bacchanalian revel in which no member is not drunk.”2

    2 G.W.F.

    Hegel,

    Phenomenology of Spirit, trans. A.V. Miller (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1977), 27.

    Except where otherwise noted, this work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. To view a copy of this license, visit https://creativecommons.org/version4

    DOI: 10.1057/9781137596345.0004

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