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‘Crisis’ in Excess: Performing Europe Today

20th April 2016

Sound recording of the day

The performingborders research has been invited to ‘Crisis’ in Excess: Performing Europe Today on Friday 29th April at Winchester University where I will present the work of Núria Güell with the 15-minute provocation ‘Núria Güell: Exceeding financial and identity European policies through the body of the artist’. The event is free and everybody is welcome to attend.

From the event text:

Since 2008, the term ‘crisis’ has marked the institutional, socio-political, cultural and academic landscapes of contemporary Europe. This rather malleable, ‘sticky’ term seems to operate as both the cause and the result of the pathologies of the present moment – but, ultimately, it has been voided of meaning. The discourse of ‘crisis’ is producing a limited perspective on the present, haunted by ghosts of the past or doomed to a perpetual route to nowhere. At the same time, this volatile moment of ‘crisis’ has generated a body of writing and cultural works, which are directly aiming to engage with the ‘crisis’; by such means, the ‘crisis’ is both critiqued and normalized.
In an interview (‘A precarious dialogue’ Radical Philosophy autumn 2013), Jacques Rancière has pointed out that ‘we must try to think what we ourselves mean when we use the very word “crisis”’; in this symposium, the Inside/Outside Europe Research Network aims to do that. We wish to consider the value and political purchase of the term, which we have been using constantly since the formation of our research network in 2013, by focusing particularly on the ways in which theatre and performance (as practices and studies) can undo or offer insight into the semantics of ‘crisis’. If the crisis, as Rancière proposes, ‘is an excess in the logic of the system’, how can performance exceed such excessive logics? What is the place of history and memory for approaching the ‘crisis’ and the ways in which Europe is conjured through the prism of the ‘crisis’? What can we learn from the archives of the past about the archives that are assembled in the present? Ultimately, do we still need to use the term ‘crisis’ or might it be useful to return to the writings of Walter Benjamin, who in his 1940 Theses on the Philosophy of History reminds us that ‘the “state of emergency” in which we live is not the exception but the rule’?

The event aims to offer a platform for sharing methodologies of historicizing and contesting dominant discourses around ‘crisis’, excess, pathology, emergency and ultimately the need for ‘cure’.

For more information about the programme and how to join the event click here:

10.00 – 10.30: Arrival/ coffee & tea

10.30: Welcome and Opening Remarks: ‘Crisis as Excess’ [Marilena Zaroulia]


10.45 – 12.15: PANEL 1 ‘Ghosts of Times Past’: Temporalities and the Crisis

Giulia Palladini (Kunsthochschule Berlin-Weißensee) Testing the Present, Delaying the future: on Work, Metrics and Value in Times of Crisis

David Calder (University of Manchester) Thinking Theatrically: The Spatial and Temporal Logics of Post-industrial Europe

12.15 – 13.30: PANEL 2 Memories, Imagination, Spectacle

Aylwyn Walsh (University of Lincoln) Crisis and dis-imagination: spectacle and disposable futures

Philip Hager (Winchester/Kingston) Athens re-membered: 17 November 1973 and the geographies of memory

13.30 – 14.30: Lunch break


14.30 – 15.45: PANEL 3 Bodies, Space and Excess

Alessandra Cianetti (Central St Martin’s/Something Human) Núria Güell: Exceeding financial and identity European policies through the body of the artist

Noyale Colin (Winchester) A ‘planetary problem’: contemporary responses within European dance theatre to the ‘crisis’ of belonging 

15.45-16.15: Coffee/ Tea break

16.15 – 17.30: PANEL 4: Agency, affect and performance [

Marissia Fragkou (Canterbury Christchurch) Crisis or Precarity? ‘Navigating what’s overwhelming’

Lisa Alexander Personal address and collective witness: short acts of gifting and poetic agency

Love Letters to a (Post-)Europe, BIOS, Athens 2015

17.30 – 18.00: Responses/ Plenary conversation

Sound recording of the day

Featured image credits: Pile of life vests at the shores of the Greek island of Lesvos, 30 September 2015 [Getty Images]