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Palgrave Macmillan

Performing Ground

Space, Camouflage and the Art of Blending In

ISBN 9781137274243
Publication Date August 2014
Formats Hardcover Ebook (EPUB) Ebook (PDF) 
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan

What stands out when we blend in? Performing Ground is the first book to explore camouflage as a performance practice, arguing that the act of blending into one's environment is central to the ways we negotiate our identities in and through space. Laura Levin tracks contemporary performances of camouflage through a variety of forms - performative photography; environmental, immersive, and site-specific performance; activist infiltration; and solo artworks - and rejects the conventional dismissal of blending in as an abdication of self. Instead, she contemplates the empowering political possibilities of 'performing ground,' of human bodies intermingling with the material world, while directly engaging with the reality that women and other marginalized persons are often relegated to the background and associated with the properties of space. Performing Ground engages these questions through the works of some of today's most exciting performance artists such as Rebecca Belmore, Liu Bolin, Janieta Eyre, and Violeta Luna, and groups like Gob Squad, Punchdrunk, The Yes Men, and Urban Mimics.

  • Winner of the Ann Saddlemyer Award

Laura Levin is Associate Professor of Theatre at York University in Toronto, Canada, and teaches in York's MA/PhD programs in Theatre and Performance Studies and Communication and Culture. She is editor-in-chief of Canadian Theatre Review and editor of Theatre and Performance in Toronto and Conversations Across Borders.

1. World Pictures
2. Camouflage Acts
3. Performing Ground
4. Environmental Unconscious
5. Embedded Performance
6. Epilogue: Situating the Self
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'Performing Ground asks important questions about environmental responsibilities, global and local mobilities, boundaries, subjectivities, and issues of entitlement and dispossession, while remaining sensitive to conditions of gender, nationality, class, ethnicity and more. It argues persuasively that we are never solo, but always figures in a ground, embedded in dynamic and meaningful contexts, with responsibilities to others and to our environments. It is rich, admirably ambitious and fiercely compelling.' - Jen Harvie, Queen Mary University of London, UK
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