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Unmarked: The Politics of Performanceby Peggy Phelan
Synopses & Reviews
As feminist film theory has made clear, representational visibility has psychic and political limitations. Simply being in the public eye does not guarantee access to power. Still, among the Left and within the field of cultural/performance studies, there is an almost ubiquitous assumption that visibility is a crucial aspect of progressive struggle. In Unmarked, Peggy Phelan looks at the relation between political and representational visibility within both the mainstream and the avant-garde. Phelan examines the limitations of visibility politics, suggesting that there may be political power inherent in disappearance from the visual field.
Unmarked is a controversial study of the politics of performance, employing the emerging theories of psychoanalysis, feminism and cultural studies to examine an unusually broad conception of what Phelan considers performance; she cites examples from photography, film, theatre, anti-abortion demonstrations and performance art in her arguments. A boldly speculative analysis of contemporary culture, Unmarked is of interest to performance theorists, cultural studies scholars, art critics and enthusiasts, intellectuals and activists.
Examines the fraught relationship between political and representational visibility and invisibility within both mainstream and avant-garde art. The text takes as case studies photography, film, theatre, the iconography of anti-abortion demonstrations and performance art.
Unmarked is a controversial analysis of the fraught relation between political and representational visibility in contemporary culture. Written from and for the Left, Unmarked rethinks the claims of visibility politics through a feminist psychoanalytic examination of specific performance texts--including photography, painting, film, theatre and anti-abortion-demonstrations.
Includes bibliographical references (p. -202) and index.
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