Pois é sempre em espaços reais e num tempo real que se passam as representações e são sempre corpos reais que se deslocam nestes espaços reais. Dito isso, o espaço real, a cena, pode simbolizar diversos espaços ficcionais; o tempo real que dura o espetáculo não é idêntico ao tempo da peça e o corpo real de cada ator representa em geral um outro: uma figura dramática, um personagem. Tais circunstâncias deram, frequentemente, espaço a inúmeras transgressões entre o ficcional e o real e continuam a fazê-lo.
This article examines a particular aesthetic experience that is brought about by a destabilization, even a collapsing, of the dichotomous pair of concepts the ‘real’ and the ‘fictional’. While a tension between the two, even in differing degrees, proves characteristic of all kinds of theatre, recent developments on European stages emphasize this tension. In the paper it is examined with respect to 1) the actors' bodies and 2) the theatrical spaces. In each case, the point of departure is two examples which are analysed with regard to the particular function that the tension between the real and the fictional might serve. It is argued that what in everyday life is neatly separated into two different worlds to be fully grasped by the dichotomous pair of concepts becomes blurred in the performances discussed here. The particular aesthetic experience coming into being in such performances is an experience of ‘betwixt and between’ (Turner) – a liminal experience. This way, they stimulate a new discussion of the concept of aesthetic experience, so central to all forms of art in the Western world since 1800.
In the course of the 1990s, a new paradigm in cultural studies seems to have arisen. In the humanities, the metaphor of ‘culture as text’ held true until the late 1980s; culture as a whole and different cultural phenomena were understood and interpreted as structural sequences composed of single elements (signs) to which a particular meaning can be attributed. In the 1990s, however, the focus of interest shifted to the processes of making, producing, creating, doing and to the actions, processes of exchange, negotiation and transformation as well as to the dynamics which constitute the agents of these processes, the materials they use and the cultural events they produce. Thus, it seems that the metaphor of ‘culture as performance’ is gaining ground. Whereas the humanities prevailingly dealt with texts and monuments as the results, manifestations and greatest achievements of modern European culture, they are now concerned with all kinds of performative processes which are, by their very nature, bodily processes. Thus, it seems that the discovery of the performative nowadays directs the humanities and cultural studies in particular.
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