Treading Old Ground in New Spaces: Authenticity in Performance Walking
This article discusses the politics of home and displacement and authenticity in autobiographical and familial performance (performing with family) through the inclusion of real (hi)stories. In 1945 Ildiko Rippel’s grandmother was expelled from her place of birth in Silesia, and walked 220 miles through the fractured landscape of Europe. In 2015 Rosie Garton and Ildiko Rippel re-walked this journey, and devised a performance based on the research. The proposed article investigates the kinaesthetic empathy sensed by the performers when re-experiencing this walk, which produced a change of the performers’ bodies, an “authentic” physicality, marked by exhaustion and the bodies’ memory of the endurance. In the No Woman’s Land performance the performers re-create the experience as they (and sometimes spectators) walk on treadmills. Through kinaesthetic empathy the audience are affected by witnessing the walking, the breathlessness, the sweat. No Woman’s Land investigates authenticity with a critical poststructuralist perspective: the familial micro-narrative of the grandmother deconstructs phallogocentric views on history often represented through the male war hero, and highlights women’s experience of migration. The authenticity of familial performance problematizes the conclusive narratives and universal truths reinforced by patriarchy. Intersected with performative notes, the article offers a subjective view on the experience of the walk as well as the individual experiences of re-performing the journey. These subjective artists’ voices will zoom into the personal experience of walking, enabling a kinaesthetic empathy though experiential writing. In conclusion the article argues that in the No Woman’s Land performance kinaesthetic empathy provides the ontological ground for historical and political knowledge.
This proposal for a 5,000 word chapter has been accepted. The 1st draft is due in June 2018. The writing uses Zoo Indigo's 'No Woman's Land' as a case study.
Citation : Garton, R. and Rippel, I. (2020) Treading Old Ground in New Spaces: Authenticity in Performance Walking. In: Dramaturgy of Migration, Abingdon: Routledge
Peer Reviewed : Yes
- School of Arts