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  • 2016eatoughphd

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From Plato’s cave to tragic truth: a theoric journey between theatre and the visual arts

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

Published
  • Graham Eatough
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Publication date22/07/2016
Number of pages220
QualificationPhD
Awarding Institution
Supervisors/Advisors
Award date28/04/2016
Publisher
  • Lancaster University
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

This thesis provides a critical and practice based exploration of a recent ‘theatrical turn’ in the visual arts from the point of view of a theatre maker engaged in interdisciplinary practice, and asks what implications these developments may have for theatre making. As a context, I explore ideas of anti-theatricality which rely on a Platonic definition of truth that find expression within certain discourses and practices within the discipline of visual art. Through referencing the ancient Greek cultural practice of theoria that was appropriated by Plato, as well as Heidegger’s alternative concept of truth as aletheia (unconcealment) and his theorising of the festival, I examine the possibility of a re-instigation of a theoric festive mode which reconnects the idea of theory to its practice based antecedents and acknowledges the potential of theatricality to stage an aletheic form of truth. My first piece of practice, the film The Making of Us, explores the use of framing and theatricality in an interdisciplinary artwork, drawing on Derrida’s ideas of the parergon and Heidegger’s concept of technology and Gestell (enframing), to propose an interdisciplinary practice that might ‘rest on the frame’ (Derrida, 1987). Finally, my play How To Act is an attempt to create a contemporary Greek tragedy in order to investigate the expression of aletheic truth within a ‘mono-disciplinary’ theatrical frame and provide a theoric return to my own practice as a theatre maker.