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TitleAnarchival dance: choreographic archives and the disruption of knowledge
AuthorParker, Alan
TypeDoctoral Thesis
AbstractThis thesis details a practice-led investigation of the archive, explored through choreography and the creation of three anarchival performances. The research theorises the anarchival as a creative research methodology for archival questioning and epistemological disruption, enacted through the body. Through a critically reflexive thinking-through of choreographic practice, alongside an interpretivist analysis of performance works by six contemporary South African artists, the thesis surfaces specific ways in which an anarchival disruption of the archive facilitates a re-thinking of colonially inherited knowledge systems, implicit in the archive. The research thus frames anarchival disruption within the broader decolonial project in South Africa as a necessary and valuable strategy for developing a decolonial archival praxis. Chapter One positions the archive in relation to poststructuralist and postcolonial critiques and establishes the archive as a system of knowledge production deeply implicated in the proliferation of colonial epistemologies and the subjugation of bodies and embodied ways of knowing. Chapter Two conceptualises the anarchive, through process philosophy and Deleuzian ontologies, as an alternative archive comprised of the virtual traces of the past that the traditional archive excludes. These traces constitute points of contact for creative research and, when engaged with through the body, become sites for recreation and reimagining. Chapters Three, Four and Five each explicate specific approaches to this encounter in creative practice, departing from three forms of archival remains: objects, bodies, and ghosts, respectively. The disruptive effects of these practices are then developed further through the analysis of specific performance works where related anarchival disruption is evident. Chapter Three considers affect as a disruptor of hierarchical divisions between subject and object in Steven Cohen"s Put your heart under your feet… and walk!/To Elu (2017) and Dineo Seshee Bopape"s Sa koša ke lerole (2017). Chapter Four analyses the blurring of past and present temporalities in Nelisiwe Xaba"s The Venus (2009). In Chapter Five, Gavin Krastin"s Rough Musick (2013), Sello Pesa"s Limelight on Rites (2014) and Igshaan Adams" Bismillah (2014) are each examined as haunted temporalities where the living and the dead co-exist and affect one another.
PublisherFaculty of Humanities
PublisherDepartment of Drama