PERFORMANCE AS THEORY
Performance can be used as a way to think and to express thoughts, to the point that it is sensible to speak about theoretical performances.
This reflects the notion that there are theoretical ideas and constructions that are not expressible just with words,
but can be formed into performative situations.
Comparative Religion (2010) is my humble contribution to the field of theoretical performance or experiential theory (though you should check also Plato’s Symposium). It does not present a new theory, but like the name suggests, it works like much of the field of humanistic studies – it interprets and comments on theories written by someone else.
The performance is for an audience of one and consists of five acts, each of which is dedicated to one theorist of the sacred: Emile Durkheim, Mircea Eliade, Rudolf Otto, Rene Girard and Georges Bataille.
My aim was to capture the essence of each theory into a simple act that was also an encounter between myself and the spectator. I had been working with the possibility of performing something sacred intensively for a year and in this piece I drew lines that aimed to pierce through the theoretical canon of research into the actual experience of the sacred.
Photo: Jan Ahlstedt