Aesthetics, theatricality and performativity: an introduction

Maddalena Mazzocut-Mis


Contemporary theatre allows for a script, a scenario, that is exclusively visual. If action is no longer supported by dialogue, this does not mean that it will disappear. It will undoubtedly return in gestural exchange and in a temporality that is expansive or contracted and condensed. Action becomes an opaque enigma. The interpretation of performative action is a journey that the spectator undertakes in a foreign country, where we are forced to learn a new language. It remains to be seen what the reaction and the work of interpretation of the spectator would be when confronted with an action knowingly deprived of any meaningful anchor or referent. Would it merely be confusion? Confusion and an interpretative effort that often comes to an end by a harsh defeat: the aesthetic of the performative represents a moment of rupture in the process of rethinking of the traditional relationship between artist and spectator.


Performance; Theatricality; Marina Abramović; Aesthetics

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