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  • Zaccarini, John-Paul (Artist)
    Stockholm University of the Arts, Circus Department.
    The Socio-Political Dimension of Circus: How to get to ethics2014Artistic output (Unrefereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Some of these pieces were made to explain something. Some were made as therapies, as pieces of closure. So I could move on and make other things. Some of these pieces were made so that other things could be made, by others. Tools then, although they have the look of artifacts. Hidden in the artifact is a tool and that is the process, which is where the writing comes in, as a means to mop up the unwarranted excess that is not permitted at the site of performance. (Appendices 1 and 2.) Many of them, I hope, expose process. Since I’m not that interested in final product. Which means they have the texture of the unfinished, because it probably will not be me that will finishes them. There was an exhibition element which you experience on entering. There was a lecture element which I guess started the second I said hello. Also a performance element, and I'm not quite sure when that started, if at all, since part of the ambition of this project was to break down the barriers between artist and other. A writing element too, that informs it all but really only comes into being when you read and finally a fairground element which emerged slowly as spectators were asked to participate in our actions. These elements were sometimes not discretely parceled in this piece, a form of which you are reading now. They formed compounds, some of which were stable some of which are not and so continue to have life. This amounts to a 32-day research project taking off from the concluding paragraphs of my PhD in psychoanalysis and circus - in those paragraphs I hoped that within circus practice, within each circus practice there was an ethics at play that the circus itself, as an apparatus of the market repressed and excluded. That in the product, (this does not only go for circus) the ethical dimension was unwanted or unwarranted, an excess and therefore the possibility of any political dimension or potential was foreclosed. Let me be clear - I'm saying that ethics are the precondition for politics, they are meta-politics or proto-politics. So, an exploration of ethics, this comportment or orientation towards the other, came to be the focus, as if I could not even begin to explore the socio-political dimension of circus before I had dealt with its potential ethics. To get at this ethics one would have to phenomenologically bracket what one could term the manifest values of circus – the ones it proudly displays – to extract a practice that was no longer circus, whose central, organising motivation was not circus. What else could be that central organizational point that would draw into its orbit the appropriate signifiers with which to write an ethics? Well, the human beings that do it might be a good start, I thought. If some of this seems naïve to you, it could be that I have tried to cultivate a momentary wonder at what appears to us as simple things, simple processes. I place a lot of emphasis on child-like desire in circus, on a simplicity and directness of experimentation and reality-testing that is difficult to complicate or problematise due to the sheer gain of pleasure. So, having done the psychoanalytic account of that pleasure I decided to focus on the materials that get produced, the materials that get the thing produced. I became fascinated again with the human body, and the kind of ethics it might imply. The report that follows aims, like the presentation, at a popular readership and is the ground work for a Research application and is therefore not fully referenced.

  • Zaccarini, John-Paul (Artist)
    Stockholm University of the Arts, Circus Department.
    Falling: The Thought of Circus2017Artistic output (Unrefereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Sex, death, seduction, trauma and an intimate yet distanced relationship to an amorous other: circus and psychoanalysis have much in common. This book looks to the story circus tells when it is on the couch; a love story of impossible desires, improbable fantasies deeply indebted to masochism and utopian longing. However, trapped as it is in its conservative and narcissistic aesthetics of infatuation – stunning, erotic and impressive – its queer core of anti-normative and anarchic desire has been co-opted as the poster-child for neoliberal success. This work looks to its fundamental and disavowed romance with failure to show how progressive its thinking could be.

v. 2.35.7