TaPRA 2019 has ended
Welcome to TaPRA 2019 at the University of Exeter!
avatar for Roberta Mock

Roberta Mock

University of Plymouth
Professor of Performance Studies
Plymouth, England
I will be welcoming folks to the conference, hosting a lunchtime salon (with a focus on practice-research), chairing the AGM, and presenting the following paper.

CU(N)Ts: Gendered Blood, Performance, and Spaces of AppearanceMaurice Merleau-Ponty chose the word invagination to designate how the visible surface of the body is extended through “provisional partitioning”, in such a way so that the “doubled up over” relationship between interior and exterior “horizons” of “flesh” creates the possibility of and condition for the operation of the sensible. Using the concept of invagination as point of departure, this paper takes a phenomenological approach to analyse how three women artists have used or produced blood in 21st century performance in order to negotiate the shifting relationships between the individual lived body and gender (both understood, here, in Iris Marion Young’s terms, whereby gender signifies the social structures which “have material effects on the environment in which people act and reproduce relations of power and privilege”). The work of these artists – Marisa Carnesky, Effy Beth, and Regina José Galindo – mirrors Merleau-Ponty’s location of an invaginated somatic ontology in the indeterminate spaces between interior/exterior and subject/object binaries. Building on long-standing associations of menstruation and vulvas with “gashes”, “cuts” and what the sexologist Havelock Ellis called the “periodically wounded” body, this presentation will explore how these performers convert personal and collective trauma into symbolic corporeal imaginaries of ritual healing and protest. In the process of doing so, they are able to activate fragile “spaces of appearance” in and through which, Hannah Arendt proposed, the potentiality of power may be produced through plurality.

Roberta Mock is Professor of Performance Studies at the University of Plymouth and Chair of TaPRA. Her most recent book, co-edited with Mary Paterson, is Joshua Sofaer: Performance / Objects / Participation (Intellect, 2020). She is currently a Co-Investigator for the AHRC-funded project, Sustainable Materials in the Creative Industries, and is working on two books: The Methuen Drama Handbook to Gender and Theatre (co-edited with Sean Metzger) and The Routledge Companion to Bodies in Performance (co-edited with Hershini Young and Victor Ladron de Guevara).