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En un instante: la teoría de la representación como crítica queer/feminista de la violencia

In One Breath: Performance Theory as a Queer/Feminist Critique of Violence
Em um instante. A teoria da representação como crítica queer/feminista à violência
Katharina Pewny
p. 96-103

Resúmenes

El presente artículo analiza distintos acercamientos que las teorías feministas y queer presentan frente a las categorías de género. Si bien las primeras buscan rotular explícitamente la feminidad y la masculinidad, las segundas cuestionan el sistema binario de género. No obstante, ambos cuerpos teóricos son confrontados cuando se trabaja la violencia: ¿Cómo nombrar la masculinidad de un victimario sin naturalizar el orden sexual? ¿Qué función puede cumplir la violencia en los procesos de género? La autora utiliza la representación “Who wants to, can come” para ejemplificar los medios sensoriales de las construcciones de género. La vista, el sonido y el movimiento son recursos empleados para irritar la percepción de la audiencia y, así, su acercamiento a la dicotomía tradicional de los sistemas de género.

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Notas de la redacción

Fecha De Recepción: 17 De Abril De 2007
Fecha De Aceptación: 9 De Julio De 2007
Fecha De Modificación: 31 De Octubre De 2007

Texto completo

  • 1 I use “queer/feminist” to indicate the connections between the two while still separating both wor (...)

1Queer/feminist movements of thought the very power relations on which discrimination and violence are founded11. This pertains to all social spheres including the sciences and their institu- tions: queer/feminist movements criticize structures of dominance and in doing so they intentionally disrupt the symbolic order of academia. These movements are not conceived as simply appending to the traditional scien- ces, but rather as transgressing them. In the following, I will offer a critical reading of categories of academic discourses – i.e. of their premises. I hope that by denatu- ralizing these discourses I will contribute to altering their hetero/sexist dynamics.

  • 2 This particular focus is related to the interest of the conference “Queering the humanities” (Berl (...)

2From the perspective of queer/feminist theoretical develo- pments, I will first address the question: ¿What could “we” possibly “get out of” theater and performance theory. Second, I will give a brief summary of a queer/feminist cri- tique on violence, which I will then bring together with certain aspects of a performance by Barbara Kraus2.

Theatrical Categories In Conceptualizing Gender

  • 3 Although performativity has become a familiar term, particularly through Judith Butler’s reading o (...)
  • 4 Roland Barthes’ proclamation of the “Death of the Author” (1974, p.29) can be read as symptomatic (...)
  • 5 Susan Leigh Foster discusses the problems linked to a perpetu- ation of the hierarchy between thou (...)

3I will begin with some thoughts on the categories of the- atrical repertoire. Theater, performance theories, and practices as art forms have rarely been taken into account in recent European discourses on genders. Frequently researched topics include film, video, cyberart and club cultures. Categories of theater and performance such as staging, mimesis, masquerade, performativity have been circulating within gender and other post-structuralist the- ories since the 1980s. For at least twenty years, theatrical repertoire has supplied diverse gender theories with its concepts3. Taking a look at the history of theater studies (Theaterwissenschaft) as a discipline could help explain why theater-related categories have provided quite illu- minating insights when thinking about gender. In Ger- man-speaking countries, what started out as text-based studies within German literature departments, Theater- wissenschaft (literally: “theater science”) emerged as a discipline in the 1920s (Corssen y Kirsch, 1992). This new discipline recognized the power of signification of space, stage, acting, music and directing in its analyses and allowed for differentiations to be made in content and method. Theater and performance studies developed during the century well-known for having engendered practices that blurred clear-cut lines between art forms and those involved in it, i.e. between the “artists” and “au- dience” and for the institution of hybrid aesthetic move- ments, conventions and experiments4. Because of this, theater theory provides ways of speaking about realities that can no longer possibly be explained via (common philosophical/scientific practices of) ontology. The fleet- ingness of the “object of study” of theater studies is the specific characteristic that could explain the above-men- tioned affinity of theatrical concepts and deconstructive discourses with one another, as the de-centralization of the play script left theater studies without an epistemic foun- dation. In theater studies research there is no genuinely comprehensible central element, in contrast to studies of art history and aesthetics which have images, scores and texts as “central elements” that can fall back on for their research. Susan Leigh Foster asserts that a consequence of and reason for this is a dialectics of theorizing bod- ies as the signifiers of the ephemeral and the momentary, thus covering up underlying “scripts” or “choreographies,” which leads to a lack of visibility of such theories5.

  • 6 This analysis is situated within Case’s reflections on the trans- formation of the order of the bo (...)

4This may explain why theatrical concepts (mirror, mask/ masquerade, stage/staging, mimesis, performativity) have been appropriated by post-structuralist “gender” theories. Theatrical concepts can be employed to describe unstable and variable relations as they refer to aesthetic – in terms of the original meaning of aesthesis as “sensuous percep- tion or awareness” – processes of constructing meaning, which are not based on objectifiable conditions. In thea- ter the construction of meaning takes place on the bodies physically present within a certain space. Sue-Ellen Case shows that analyses surrounding the concept of “performativity” have receded from the foreground in favor of a “performativity of writing” that guarantees the physicality of the body, specifically for performance theorists. The concept of “performative writing” is established, accor- ding to Case, through the traditional dominance of wri- ting over the body, of theory over art (1996, pp. 20-23)66. If performativity is deemed to have problematic effects in theater and performance theory, then, to a large extent, it remains unclear as to what art-specific implications “per- formance” holds in gender theories.

5The indistinguishability of “art” from “reality,” implied by the “theater” concept, has all but disappeared in the con- cept of “performativity” and in performance art practices that, since the 1960s, have managed to cancel out any possible distinctions between everyday life and art, i.e. in relation to spaces, such as performance art in living rooms, store windows, etc. “Performance” indeed implies a specified double meaning, or more precisely, a simulta- neity (of the performer and the “figure”). In contrast to theater, which is understood in its classic form as a re- presentation, a “representation of” (a reality); “performan- ce” suggests a transgression of the binary per se. In the following, I will sum up the implications of “performance” for understanding “gender”.

“Performance” places emphasis on gender as a per- ceptual process and on the incoherence within the individual subject (gender is not seen as ontologically self-evident, but as “something that is perceived”) (Iri- garay, 1994; Butler, 2001; Felman, 1981 and Vinken, 1992). This is the point of intersection with notio- ns of “queer”. “Queer [...] tears apart the seemingly obvious relationship between sex and gender, sexual desire and object choice, sexual practices and poli- tical identities, and renders subjectivities infinitely indeterminant” (Walters, 1996, p. 835).

  • 7 dis. danse (Corinne Stelzer), Kosmostheater Wien, 28 April 2004; Namanli Han (Emre Koyuncuoglu, di (...)
  • 8 See also Schlichter, 2000.

Performance does not privilege linguistic significa- tion, rather it focuses on the synchronicity of the sign character and the materiality of bodies visible. The tit- le In One Breath alludes to this. In the performances Zwischenräume (Spaces In Between) and Home Sweet Home77, the breathing of the dancers/performers crea- ted a level of visual and acoustic signs, which are dis- tinctly clear in these “dance theater” pieces that both have parts without music where the breathing took on the role of the music8. The synchronicity of the sign character and materiality of bodies – that has to be mentioned in one breath for them to flow into one another – is in line with a “queer” definition of sex/ gender (Butler, 2001 and Polymorph, 2002).

An understanding of materiality and sign character that gives primacy to the synchronicity of the material being and sign character of bodies has the power to uproot unproductive dichotomies (especially “femi- nist” and “queer” theories) of the “constructed” body versus the “natural” body.

  • 9 “Veiled phallus” (Garber, 1990) points at the phantasmatic char- acter of phallic power, which is (...)

6Following my reflections on theater theory, I will now ex- pand upon the specific practices. One particular type of theater that has found its way into queer theory is Shakes- pearian theater. Similar to the way ancient Greek theater has been constructed as the “ideal” origin by early feminist research in theater studies (Pewny, 1993), Shakespearian theater seems to have initiated and pushed forward queer theater theory. Research on so-called boy actors who pla- yed women (characters) who played men (or male roles) has worked toward further staging and rendering ambi- guous the correspondence between sex, outer appearan- ce and desire (Stallybrass, 1991). The ambiguity of the actors’ gender literally “clung” to their bodies and the “la- yered” manner in which they wore gender(s) contributed substantially to the representational order of the theater. According to Marjorie Garber the invention of the stage curtain and its integration into the theatrical architecture moved the indistinguishability between real and non-real away from being based on bodies and moved it toward the difference between art and reality (Garber, 1990, 244f). Movements that muddled the distinction between (thea- ter) art and reality, between theatrical and other types of spaces and between two (clearly separable) sexes were turned around in the 20th century, the most prominent examples of which can be found in performance art. The concept of the “veiled phallus” (Garber, 1990, 244f)9 9re- turns here and is re-enacted as difference within the in- dividual subject. The theater’s “curtain” has been (at least for the most part) physically done away with, and now is enacted within the characters on stage/performers them- selves as well as in the gaze of the audience (Brandstetter, 2002).

Differential Politics Of Categorization

  • 10 This is particularly obvious in the case of “performativity.” For more on the various implications (...)

7Theatrical concepts such as “masquerade”, “staging” and “role” employed in thinking about gender uncover the in- consistencies and ambiguities of sexuality10. They highlight gaps between a (seemingly consistent) self and its repre- sentations. But the different theatrical concepts bear im- plicit constructions of subjectivity and thus, of gender. For example, a term like “role” that stems from classic dramatic theater implies a self that can take on a role and afterwards return to its former self. So, in this context the following questions come up: ¿What happens when we try to unam- biguously name gender relations? What (terminological) limits are we confronted with when naming the varying categories of gender? The following section was developed based on my interest in a critique of concepts treated as self-evident and in queer/feminist thought. Here I step into contentious fields of inquiry and am concerned with frui- tful contributions made by feminists and queer theorists to a critique of sexualized violence. The above named ques- tions are among the most crucial topics, and, therefore, some of the most promising points of encounter between feminist and queer analyses and understanding.

8In giving a brief overview of this discussion, I will incorpo- rate both writings and debates from political movements. In the 1970s, feminist critiques erupted – also as part of the (personal experience of) making the private politi- cal – and they strongly focused on relations of dominan- ce and on a critique of (sexualized) violence by men on women and girls. “Men” and “women” – the conceptual framework of gender duality – functioned as necessary categories in order to be able to describe the immense number of perpetrators and the women and girls affec- ted. There aré many different terms that name many di- fferent realities: in order to expand the meaning of the word “rape,” women began to speak of “sexual violence” against women/girls. “Sexual violence of men” made an explicit reference to the sex of the violator. The use of the terms “sexual violence of men” against “women, lesbians and girls” was an attempt to differentiate the positions of those involved and to clearly specify different forms of violence (misogynist, lesbophobic violence). “Naming ‘sexualized violence’ also strengthens the exertion of power by means of violence that is exercised sexually” (Unterweger, 2001). Hence, “sexualized” violence stres- ses that a physical attack does not constitute the begin- ning of violence; rather it is embedded within numerous other societal norms.

  • 11 Here I am referring to the debates – which were disproportiona- tely larger in Germany than in Aus (...)
  • 12 See the above-mentioned publications by Hacker, 1998; Hart, 1994; Ebner, Coltre and Newald, 2001.

9Feminist critiques of violence have sounded out a spec- trum ranging from women as victims/survivors to women as perpetrators – with all of its nuances in between (such as considering the possibility that a woman could simul- taneously be both a perpetrator and a victim) – that are still valid today. In German-speaking countries, the “com- plicity” debate (which focused on the complicity of wo- men in National Socialism) initiated by Christina Thür- mer-Rohr put a spotlight on women as perpetrators, both within heterosexual and lesbian contexts (Ebner, Coltre and Newald, 2001, p.14)11. From the mid-1990s, further work has focused on women/lesbians as aggressive and (potentially) violent subjects, also uncovering how the mainstream has marketed “lesbians” as “violent”12.

10In recent years, the discourses listed below have been developed and added to the initial feminist analyses of sexualized violence:

Distortion through media and conservative portrayals that was aptly dubbed the “abuse of the abuse deba- te” (Heynen, 2000, p. 306).

Psychology/trauma theory that interweaves socio- political analyses with internal psychological pro- cesses (of the victims), and others that limit the- mselves to “therapeutic” discourses in the stricter sense (Herman, 2003; Heynen, 2000; Rothschild, 2000).

National and supranational juridical discourses, sym- posia and debates (on “women’s shelters” and other institutions, including the debate on rape as a war crime or as grounds for asylum, etc.).

  • 13 Ebner, Coltre and Newald, (2001) and Tost, (1999) are excep- tions in the German-speaking discours (...)

11In German-speaking countries, (academic) publications of violence critiques from the perspectives of anti-racist, queer and dis/ability studies have increased in circulation in the past years (for example Ohms, 2000; Castro Varela, 2003; Steyerl and Gutiérrez Rodríguez, 2003). Although these analyses intricately work through the interplay of different forms of violence and see these not simply as “supplemental,” but as having emerged “intertwined” with one another (for example Haritaworn, 2003), these works often remain separate from the past history of feminist debates on sexualized violence13. One difficulty in brin- ging together these violence critiques could be posed by their differing politics concerning the use of categories. While “queer positions” (despite this problematic gene- ralization) aim to dissolve the principle of gender dua- lism, “feminist” positions rely on designating (two) sexes, as in the model of the perpetrator and victim. The main discrepancy between feminist and queer critiques of vio- lence is not to be found in putting women exclusively in the position of the victim, but rather it lies in the gender dualism posited by feminists who maintain that the sex of the majority of the perpetrators is male and that of the victims is female. “The insistence on ‘queer’ – a term defined against ‘normal’ and generated precisely in the context of terror – has the effect of pointing out a wide field of normalization, rather than simple intolerance, as the site of violence” (Michael Warner quoted in Walters, 1996, p. 834).

  • 14 These different focal points are not directly correlated with the changes in the political movemen (...)

12I find that the connection between a critique of sexua- lized violence based on gender dualism and the critique of instating a dualistic distinction of gender as a form of violence1414 is a very productive point of departure, and I would therefore like to begin with a definition of violence that encompasses both critiques. Carol Hagemann-Whi- te states thatviolencewithingenderrelationsiswhenaperson’sphysi- cal or emotional integrity is violated, in a way that has to do with the sexuality of the victim and the perpetrator, and has been brought forth by the structurally ‘stronger’ person taking advantage of their position in the power structure (Dackweiler in Koher and Pühl,2003, p. 47).

  • 15 Film critic Stefan Grissemann describes Dandy Dust (1998) as follows: “A cyborg with a split perso (...)

13In order to be able to name this power structure, it is necessary to have categories that – following the line of argument of critiques on sexualized violence – relate to gender (relations). Sexualized violence is – in line with a structural strengthening of (a male) position to be viewed as a political institution that produces the hierarchical orders of compulsory heterosexuality that embodies a male part, defined by its power over the female, and a female part constituted by subju- gation (against one’s own will). The analysis of esta- blishing hetero/sexist norms through the assertion of (e.g. via sexualized) violence could be a common field of interest for queer/feminist thought. I would like todemonstrate this point by means of an analysis of the film Dandy Dust1515 by Doro Wiese:

14Compulsory embodiment of a differentiated self that invents itself from within categories that bring about identity, such as family background, historical memory, unambiguousgenderandheterosexual desire, are staged here […]. In Dandy Dust the self is staged as inconsis- tent and a means to transport these outgrowths that are bodies embedded in a fragmented narrative structure and that function as nodes within the collective family experiment and the constitution of the subjects that are violently brought about, and which – despite the will to be a family – escape being rendered unambiguous.

  • 16 In this section Wiese stresses that the perpetrator is repulsed by homosexual desire, which drives (...)

15Furthermore, “If Dandy had always been a son to Sir Sidore, with whom he homosocially engaged, for example when he took him* hunting, he made him a girl/woman through rape. […] Rape rendered Sir Sidore heterosexual” (Wiese in Ko- her and Pühl, 2003, p.119-128, my translation)16.

  • 17 Gesa Heinrichs, in her analysis of a film version of Brandon Tee- na’s life, uses a similar way of (...)

16Here, Dandy Dust is raped into becoming a girl/woman (Heinrichs, 175f)1717. In Wiese´s argument, it is not clear why rape makes a multiple gendered person a woman. In continuing with the genealogy of feminist critiques of vio- lence I would like to point to the significance of linking “being raped” to “becoming a woman/girl,” and “man” (men) to perpetrator(s). Therefore, we could add that “Sir Sidore rendered himself [not only, K.P.] a heterosexual man through rape” (Wiese in Koher and Pühl, 2003, p. 128, my emphasis).

17From a queer/feminist view we can point out the follo- wing aspects of sexualized violence as hetero/sexist con- ditioning:

Feminization as/through the object status, masculini- zation through the perpetrator status;

Sexualized violence as heterosexualization, and as

a mechanism that renders gender unambiguous.

18In differentiating these approaches in order to offer a cri- tique of violence, I aim to demonstrate that sexualized violence is a product of hierarchically structured compul- sory heterosexuality that “calls for” sexual dualism: for a masculinity that has power over femininity and for a femi- ninity defined along the lines of involuntary sexual(ized) subjugation.

Touching

19Accounts of sexualized violence are “touchy” to deal with, because they underscore both the materiality of bodies and their sign character that is linked to ways of thinking about performance. Hence, rape or beating are assaults on the body that touch, hurt and make incisions on the body on both material and symbolical levels. This dual effect has been taken on as a theme by numerous au- thors, performers, and theater-makers (Pewny, 2002). In this third and final section I will bring performance theory and violence critique together by examining the perfor- mance Wer will, kann kommen (Who wants to, can come, my translation, Vienna, 1999) by Barbara Kraus through the lens of Ann Cvetkovich’s reading of queer/feminist performances as expressions of culture that also have the potential to “preserve” traumas. Cvetkovich understands lesbian cultures (songs, films, everyday events, photogra- phs, artwork etc.) as “archives,” e.g. of traumatic memory (Cvetkovich, 2003). In contrast to discourses that are generally based on the psyche, Cvetkovich’s approach concentrates on visible and perceptible expressions of culture that often employ different practices to bring out into the open that which is unspeakable and repressed. She works with the collective dimension, into which she “integrates” sexualized violence. She writes: “trauma cul- tures are actually doing the work of therapy” (Cvetkovich, 2003, p. 10), which she does not mean as a reference to processes of individualized therapy but rather public and cultural manifestations, such as concerts and workshops during the Michigan Women’s Music Festival.

  • 18 Austrian performer Barbara Kraus is by now well known in the middle European performance -and danc (...)
  • 19 For this reason, it came as no surprise that during the public discussion that followed the perfor (...)
  • 20 Small details of the performance changed with the years. Some- times the performers are handing ou (...)

20Performances are public, cultural manifestations. The performance Wer will kann kommen portrays a single fi- gure (Barbara Kraus) as she transforms into diverse cha- racters of different genders without employing a “stage curtain,” thus rendering her transitions transparent and making her body the site where the ambiguity of gender is performed18. This indifference toward difference (man/ woman) corresponds with the lack of spatial signifiers in the performance space (clearly delineating the audience or stage) and with the missing stage curtain1919. One “sce- ne” that stands out because of its unconventional spa- tial and aesthetic setup is when a tape recording of the performer’s voice (in the character of Johnny) is heard na- rrating a text about sexual acts and acts of sexualized vio- lence. Beforehand, the performer distributed eye masks or suggested that the “spectators” close their eyes for this part. The performer moved throughout the room lightly touching the “audience” on their shoulders, necks etc. and handing out eggs and strawberries to everyone20.

21This “scene” shows a particular point where several aspects I have mentioned above intersect, i.e. it provides a site for them to un-ravel. In this way, this scene could be seen as a “binding element” for queer and feminist criti- ques of violence. Some such conjunctures made possible here are:

From a position identifiable as that of a man, Johnny tells about his acts (or fantasies) of violence. His rela- ying of this story could be interpreted as the presen- tation and critique of a “negative” reality, or it could also be read as (uncritically) repeating this kind of a reality.

A male (possibly perpetrator-) identified woman tells the same story of her experiences or fantasies. This could be read as alluding to the psychological concept of identifying with the enemy/perpetrator and as the story being a product of female fantasy.

A person with a male-connoted name and a female- connoted voice speaks of her/his own acts, fantasies or experiences.

22The disassociation of “voice” from “body” in theatrical representation makes reference to the fragmentation that can come about due to sexualized violence and the incoherence between the subject, the body, desi- re and sexuality.

23The instability of the speaker’s position increases when the performer constantly changes her location (the voice on tape is easily identifiable as that of the performer) and when the audience is denied all visual images (they are void of any visual reassurance because they have their eyes shut or blindfolded); which clearly points to the interpretative authority of one’s own perception and to the dominance of one’s own (and society’s) conceptualizations about gender. Hence, (this) contemporary performance shifts differentia- tions, e.g. between visible/invisible, theater/reality and sta- ge/audience to become situated in the gaze (the eyelid as a curtain), thus shifting them into the realm of the imaginary, behind the spectators’ eyelids. Here, the impressions one gets from the performance are no longer conveyed through the visual images, but rather through the physical presence of the body, through touching and through the body’s me- mory of sensual perception and the feelings experienced. In this way, the performance evokes the materiality of the body and of violence and destabilizes seemingly fixed posi- tions (through performing fragmentations).

24In one breath, two (hetero/sexist) gender constructions of the violent male and suffering female are installed and are simultaneously constituted, evoked and irritated. In politi- cally engaged theater, “evocation” is a contentious element, because it is disputable whether evocation is an affir- mative or rather a subversive gesture. In addressing this question, I will answer and conclude in one breath, using Ann Cvetkovich’s words: “The subversive possibilities of repetition with a difference, which have been valorized in discussions on butch-femme, drag and other queer cultu- ral practices, therefore provide the basis for healing rituals and performances […]” (Cvetkovich, 2003).

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Notas

1 I use “queer/feminist” to indicate the connections between the two while still separating both words in order to point to their differences.

2 This particular focus is related to the interest of the conference “Queering the humanities” (Berlin 2004), which sought to ex- amine productive additions to and contentious fields of queer and feminist approaches. I have chosen to address some tensions between queer and feminist approaches in order to reveal the strengths of their connections.

3 Although performativity has become a familiar term, particularly through Judith Butler’s reading of John Austin’s linguistic phi- losophy, it is also a theatrical term.

4 Roland Barthes’ proclamation of the “Death of the Author” (1974, p.29) can be read as symptomatic for this change in paradigm, which took place specifically in text-based arts where the main focus moved away from the (artistic) subject toward discourses.

5 Susan Leigh Foster discusses the problems linked to a perpetu- ation of the hierarchy between thought and deed that enables “performance” to emerge as an uncontested concept of theater studies, making a compelling argument for the use of the concept of “choreographies of gender”.

6 This analysis is situated within Case’s reflections on the trans- formation of the order of the book (or print culture) and that of the screen. Here, the highly contested field that works on the meaning of “performativity” is holding on to a culture of the book while simultaneously proclaiming its end.

7 dis. danse (Corinne Stelzer), Kosmostheater Wien, 28 April 2004; Namanli Han (Emre Koyuncuoglu, director), Theatre Festival Is- tanbul, 28 May 2004.

8 See also Schlichter, 2000.

9 “Veiled phallus” (Garber, 1990) points at the phantasmatic char- acter of phallic power, which is shifting and can never be finally tracked down. It is, at the same time, present and absent. This doubleness describes exactly what Barbara Kraus does in her per- formative appearance as Johnny.

10 This is particularly obvious in the case of “performativity.” For more on the various implications of different terms see Pewny, 2004.

11 Here I am referring to the debates – which were disproportiona- tely larger in Germany than in Austria – that dealt with women as perpetrators in National Socialism, yet they were almost fully disengaged from debates on sexual violence. Exceptions from this dissociation are Dan Bar-On in Weigel, and a recent publication on sexual violence in concentration camps by Amesberger, Auer and Halbmayr (2003).

12 See the above-mentioned publications by Hacker, 1998; Hart, 1994; Ebner, Coltre and Newald, 2001.

13 Ebner, Coltre and Newald, (2001) and Tost, (1999) are excep- tions in the German-speaking discourse.

14 These different focal points are not directly correlated with the changes in the political movements. (See above)

15 Film critic Stefan Grissemann describes Dandy Dust (1998) as follows: “A cyborg with a split personality and fluid gender zooms through time to collect his/her “selves” in a struggle against a family obsessed by lineage: This cartoon-like futuristic low-bud- get horror satire by the Austro-British filmmaker Hans Scheirl turns the real into the absurd, for the duration of a small cy- bernetic, chemo-sexual film adventure at least. Identity is just a matter of creativity, and far beyond cinema’s limitations.” Down- loaded September 20th, 2007 from http://verleih.polyfilm.at/ sommer99/hans_scheirldandy_dust.htm.

16 In this section Wiese stresses that the perpetrator is repulsed by homosexual desire, which drives him to “make himself hetero- sexual.” The category of “man” does not surface in the discussion of this particular scene. The sign him* is used here to indicate undefined gender status.

17 Gesa Heinrichs, in her analysis of a film version of Brandon Tee- na’s life, uses a similar way of naming her this.

18 Austrian performer Barbara Kraus is by now well known in the middle European performance -and dance scene. Wer will, kann kommen and its thrilling character Johnny, a white, low class- drag figure, travelled to numerous dance and performance festi- vals over the last decade.

19 For this reason, it came as no surprise that during the public discussion that followed the performance the most frequently asked question was about the “true” identity of the performer. Obviously, for an average festival audience, the fluid changes of “Barbaras” to “Johnnys” sex/gender provoked a requirement of a stable gender identity.

20 Small details of the performance changed with the years. Some- times the performers are handing out plums and grapes.

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Para citar este artículo

Referencia en papel

Katharina Pewny, « En un instante: la teoría de la representación como crítica queer/feminista de la violencia »,Revista de Estudios Sociales, 28 | 2007, 96-103.

Referencia electrónica

Katharina Pewny, « En un instante: la teoría de la representación como crítica queer/feminista de la violencia », Revista de Estudios Sociales [En línea], 28 | Diciembre 2007, Publicado el 01 diciembre 2007, consultado el 19 agosto 2018. URL : http://journals.openedition.org/revestudsoc/19376

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Autor

Katharina Pewny

Theater, Film and Media Studies, German Literature, Philosophy, and Women’s Studies, Universidad de Viena, Austria; Ph.D., Institute for Theater, Film and Media Studies, Universidad de Viena, Austria; actual miembro del grupo de investigación Theater and Transnationality y catedrática del Werkstatt Tanzwissenschaft (taller de estudios sobre danza) en el Gesellschaft für Tanzforschung (Sociedad para la investigación sobre la danza). Elise Richter researcher / Austrian Science Fund, Austria Correo electrónico: katharina.pewny[at]univie.ac.at.

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Los contenidos de la Revista de Estudios Sociales están editados bajo la licencia Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International.

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