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Between negativity and resistance: Jean Genet and Committed Theatre.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>1/11/2006
<mark>Journal</mark>Contemporary Theatre Review
Issue number2
Volume16
Number of pages15
Pages (from-to)220-234
Publication statusPublished
Original languageEnglish

Bibliographic note

Early Career Researcher. In this article, Lavery argues that the politics of Genet's theatre are not ideological or party political, but rather oblique acts of resistance that locate his work somewhere between Adorno and Baudrillard. The article is based on a close reading of Genet's complex text 'Avertissement au Balcon' (1960), and claims that his rejection of committed theatre in that piece of writing cannot be taken, as it usually is, as a rejection of political performance per se. On the contrary, Lavery goes against the critical grain in this essay and argues for Genet as one of the most politically astute playwrights of his generation. The essay starts by positioning Genet's critique of commitment within its proper historical context in the 1950s and then goes on to show that his notion of political theatre anticipates a resistant model of postmodern political performance advanced by Hal Foster and Philip Auslander. Lavery ends by sketching out a new genealogy for performance artists and companies such as The Wooster Group and La Carniceria Teatro. Along with an article ' The Politics of The Wound' (2003), this essay forms the cornerstone of Lavery's forthcoming monograph Spaces of Revolution: Genet and the Assault of Theatre (MUP, 2008), for which he received an AHRC grant for study leave in August 2007. Lavery was also invited to speak about the politics of Genet's aesthetics as part of Goldsmith College's series of Theatre and Performance Seminars in 2007. RAE_import_type : Journal article RAE_uoa_type : LICA