The performing body in the event of writing : 'Lad Broke', Camp & Furnace, Liverpool, April 2012

Greenwood, Mark (2012) The performing body in the event of writing : 'Lad Broke', Camp & Furnace, Liverpool, April 2012. (PhD thesis), Kingston University, .


This thesis centres on the 48 hour performance of Lad Broke in Liverpool on the 20th April 2012. This written component addresses a range of ideas that have emerged in relation to the event of durational performance including modes of inscription, the performing body and its position within a network of performance art and writing practice. By examining Lad Broke within the fields of art and wider cultural practices I am able to draw on ideas of duration that include narrative time, boredom and the effects of duration on the performing body and its spectators. I discuss duration within the context of music by examining rhythm, tempo and time signatures alongside the punk movement, where boredom and a need to act/react immediately remain significant factors in my performance and writing practice. I explore inscription as a physical act of writing, mark making and labour in order to position performance and writing as a combined practical and critical enquiry that intersects in the event of Lad Broke. I also examine notions of the inscribed body in relation to the writings of Michel De Certeau, where he describes the body as written by authority and the law. I refer to experimental writing in order to demonstrate how writing can reveal the materiality of duration and time passing, while also discussing the temporal structure of Lad Broke as a continuous present, displacing traditional narrative structures and emphasising the act of 'doing' rather than the production of a complete and finished object. The performing body is considered in a number of contexts that emerge in the performance of Lad Broke. Ideas around the labouring body are especially useful, where I draw on a lineage of labour practices that have informed my performance works. I look at ideas of labour in relation to wider cultural practice, raising questions around displaced masculinity and the role of the artist as cultural worker. I return to punk where alternative labouring practices position the body as a site of resistance and dissidence. This leads to a discussion of networks and the systems of dissemination that allow post sub-cultural groups to express themselves while evading a capitalist economy. I look at the zine as an art form that successfully provides a model of dissemination and autonomy which relates back to the formation of performance art networks, where the sharing of work displaces monetary exchange and subsumption into a capitalist economy. The event of Lad Broke is examined through a series of viewpoints including the performer, the writer and responsive representatives of the performance art network. The event is then offered to I a wider readership in the form of a zine, where the materials and leftovers of Lad Broke are reconfigured as a material response. The content and structure of this thesis discusses and argues for the performing body to be considered as a site of inscription resistant to the commodification of cultural practice. Yet, throughout this work, it is the immediacy of the live event which remains vital, an event which refuses to be recuperated through these written responses.

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