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Politics and Performance in Post-Dictatorship Argentine Film and Theatre

Politics and Performance in Post-Dictatorship Argentine Film and Theatre

Series: Monografías A
Volume: 301
Copyright Date: 2011
Published by: Boydell and Brewer,
Pages: 200
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  • Book Info
    Politics and Performance in Post-Dictatorship Argentine Film and Theatre
    Book Description:

    This comparative study examines the strategies of re-politicization and socialization employed in contemporary Argentine film and theatre produced in the wake of the 1976-83 dictatorship. It focuses on the socio-political facets of performance across a range of films and dramatic compositions. The book highlights the manner in which the trope of performance represents the place in which film and theatre experiment with generic and mediatic hybridization. Each chapter takes as its point of departure a series of politically motivated appropriations made by cinema and theatre from neighboring genres/media. In each case, genre is shown to take on the role of mediator between competing aesthetic forms: between aesthetics and politics; aesthetic performance and social performance; reality and fiction; postmodern heterogeneity and an increasingly present modern anxiety regarding the perceived need to preserve artistic purity/autonomy, thus restoring what is specific to theatre and cinema's type of communication. Philippa Page has managed the cultural programme at the Maison de l'Argentine in the Cité Internationale Universitaire, Paris and continues to research in the field of Argentine performance studies.

    eISBN: 978-1-78204-006-4
    Subjects: Language & Literature

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-vii)
    (pp. viii-ix)
    (pp. x-x)
    (pp. 1-23)

    The overriding feature in Argentine theatre and cinema of the post-dictatorship period is without doubt the anxiety to re-establish their agency as politically and socially engaged art forms: to recover the Utopian sense of passion and engagement that both theatre and cinema had experienced during the 1960s and early 1970s. ‘Era una época muy rica, muy llena de pasión,’ recalls playwright Ricardo Halac, lamenting the ambivalence of the post-dictatorship period, whilst remarking that one of his plays written in the 1960s was even rejected because it failed to represent young people endeavouring to change reality (in Osvaldo Pellettieri 1989: 21)....

  6. 1 ‘Theatre[s] of Cruelty’ and Politics of Performance in the Work of ‘Teatrista’ Eduardo Pavlovsky and Filmmaker Fernando E. Solanas
    (pp. 24-62)

    Undoubtedly the most obvious point of comparison between theatre and cinema is to be located in their shared status as performance arts. It is these common codes of performance that cement the cinematic and theatrical hybrids that will be examined in this chapter. Richard Schechner’s basic definition of performance was given in the Introduction as ‘an activity done by an individual or group in the presence of and for another individual or group’ (2003: 22). However, Schechner’s positioning of film in relation to the performance continuum is somewhat ambiguous. Although in cinema the actors and audience are not in the...

  7. 2 De-mythifying the Postmodern ‘Opium of the People’: Theatre and Cinema versus Television
    (pp. 63-95)

    If one were to define a cultural institution, industry or medium as paradigmatic of postmodernity —although arguably not of postmodernism, which allows for a greater diversity of media— it would more likely than not be television.¹ For not only is television emblematic of consumer society ‘mediocrac[ies]’ (Hal Foster 1983: xi) —that is, of the commodification of cultural production and the consequent propagation of (image-)signs throughout society— but, as will emerge here, it plays a fundamental role in constituting its spectators as both social and ideological subjects. A hyper-medium of communicative, epistemological, political and, not least, entertainment value, television is the...

  8. 3 ‘Metáforas del Fracaso’ or ‘a Family Romance’? Resuscitating Aesthetic Lineages
    (pp. 96-126)

    There exist conflicting opinions as to whether the postmodern is capable of political engagement. This issue largely centres on the representational function of intertextual citation —or ‘ironic quotation’, ‘parody’ and ‘pastiche’ as it is varyingly called (Hutcheon 2002: 89). For Fredric Jameson, intertextual citation —or pastiche— represents nothing more than a superficial mimicry of old styles, which when pulled out of their original contexts initiate the collapse of historical time into a ‘pseudo-historical depth’ (1991: 20). In this conception of the postmodern —spatially reduced to surface level and temporally reduced to the present— the imagined future (or Utopia) is no...

  9. 4 Biodramas/Biography/Biopolitics: Projects of ‘Convivencia’ in New Argentine Cinema and Theatre
    (pp. 127-160)

    One of the most interesting points of comparison to be made between recent cinema and theatre is in the appropriations that certain films and plays make from the documentary genre. New Argentine Cinema is a well established critical label for what in fact represents a somewhat heterogeneous group of films produced since 1995. The lack of any unifying ideology or programme, however, means that it falls short of qualifying per se as a movement (Wolf 2002: 30). New Argentine Cinema is generally characterised by its minimalist aesthetic (blurring documentary with fiction), its emphasis on micro- political, everyday existences, also typical...

  10. Conclusion
    (pp. 161-169)

    In the introduction to this study I suggested, with reference to the work of Jacques Derrida (1980) and Hayden White (2003), that genre was by no means a redundant concept within the context of postmodernism, rather that it should be reconceived as a contingent or performative construct which is symptomatic of the prevailing context. Certainly the reflexivity of many of the plays and films discussed in this book is evidence enough of their preoccupation with both generic boundaries and the boundaries of the aesthetic in more general terms, which maintain art as a separate category in relation to the political,...

  11. Filmography
    (pp. 170-172)
  12. Bibliography
    (pp. 173-182)
  13. Index
    (pp. 183-190)
  14. Back Matter
    (pp. 191-191)