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The Erotic Reduction: Crossed Flesh in Lea Anderson’s The Featherstonehaughs Draw on the Sketchbooks of Egon Schiele

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This chapter presents a case study of The Featherstonehaughs Draw on The Sketchbooks of Egon Schiele, a key work by leading British choreographer Lea Anderson (b. 1959). I consider the way in which Anderson’s choreographic techniques re-frame the art works of the great Austrian artist Egon Schiele (1890–1918), including his apparently “pornographic” depictions of young Viennese women. Anderson’s techniques seem to re-present those depictions with a brutal detachment. However, with reference to the work of Husserl (1895–1938), Merleau-Ponty (1908–1961) and especially Jean-Luc Marion (b. 1946), I argue that those techniques suspend the natural attitude through which the body is otherwise constituted as a measurable and specular object to reveal, instead, a different kind of corporeal encounter: a crossing of flesh that it is chiasmic, suspended in time, magnetised by the other and, in a special sense, anonymous and automatic.