Poetic Practice: Site and Performance

Rebecca Cremin

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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'Poetic Practice: Site and Performance' is a practice based PhD which is an investigation of poetic sites under construction through academic and creative practices. The poetic is examined as a space performing towards an emergent feminist aesthetic. This thesis is interested in the dialogue between site, body, writing and the material status of the poem. This poetic framework emerges in relation to a writing of the female body and also functions as a space for collaboration and a space for theoretical dialogue. It explores writings and performance; where action becomes poetic, where document is poem, where performance is poetry, where writing is performance.

These investigations are framed and in dialogue with avant-garde poets and performers who have explored the possibilities of site and performance. In Chapter 1; ‘The Sub World: A Site OF and FOR the Female Aesthetic’, I investigate Carla Harryman’s Sub World in relation to my own practice and attempt to uncover the site of the female aesthetic as defined by Rachel Blau DuPlessis. Chapter 2; ‘A Site: A Sited Female: A Sited City: A Sited Body’, investigates the site of the poetic in the city. My creative practice is informed and in dialogue with the concerns of Fiona Templeton and Jena Osman as well as being framed by an understanding of feminist architectural practice. My research then moves towards my work with the poetic collective press free press. In Chapter 3; ‘The Collaborative Space: Locating the Poetic in Bodies’, I draw on my own experience of working as part of a collective and consider Redell Olsen and Susan Johanknecht’s text Here Are My Instructions. Chapter 4; ‘The theoretical Space: Writing ON and BETWEEN Spaces’, sees my investigations return to Carla Harryman, this time considering her text Adorno’s Noise as well as the performance series Catalysis by Adrian Piper. These are used as modes to construct my own theoretical hybrid text in relation to the feminist voice of Helene Cixous.

Throughout the thesis and creative practice presented here I engage with the relationship between conceptions of space and the female body in performance. My critical discussions are framed by the writings of Michel De Certeau, Henri Lefebvre, Nick Kay, Elizabeth Grosz and Rachel Blau DuPlessis. In particular, DuPlessis's writings are central to my account of the theorisation of space, site and the formation of a gendered and performance led poetics. In my creative and theoretical work I have sought to evoke and inhabit a space for a feminist language of poetics in performance in which the poetics is consistently re-sited through its fluctuating relationship to writing and performance.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Royal Holloway, University of London
  • Olsen, Redell, Supervisor
Award date1 Dec 2015
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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