Self and no self: Buddhism as pedagogy in contemporary performance art

Clark, Pema (2016) Self and no self: Buddhism as pedagogy in contemporary performance art. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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Self and No Self: Buddhism as Pedagogy in Contemporary Performance Art is a
practice-based investigation into the development of an autobiographical
performance art practice based on Buddhist meditation. Specifically, the
performance work, entitled Sutra: Five Works for Performance, is a response to
trauma testimony and the performance art event as a catalyst for transformation.
The performance projects are examined alongside literary and performance theory
in order to further understand the ways in which Buddhism is absorbed and
expressed in contemporary Western performance culture.
The practical work asks the question, What is the role of Buddhist practice in the
creation and performance of autobiography? The thesis investigates this further
through an examination of literary theory that pertains to Sutra such as trauma and
affect theory. Specifically, the work of Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick contributes to an
understanding of the workings of the genre through her notion of the ‘beside.’
Contemporary artists whose work is directly influenced by Buddhist philosophy
and/or practice is also examined as a way of foregrounding the intertextuality of the
genre. Beginning with John Cage as the ‘father’ of Buddhist-influenced performance
art, artists include the Happenings and Fluxus movements, Marina Abramović,
Meredith Monk and Ann Hamilton as exemplars in the field. To the degree that
contemporary Western Buddhist art can be said to reflect as well as influence new
expressions of religious faith, it can also be said that they question fixed views of
institutionalized religion and foster inter-religious as well as secular dialogue on
shared humanitarian principles which are the key components of Buddhistinfluenced
arts praxis. It makes the conclusion that the framing of Buddhistinfluenced
performance art within the context of contemporary Western society
takes on an implicit pedagogical value beyond mere entertainment or commodified

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > School of Literature and Creative Writing (former - to 2011)
Depositing User: Users 4971 not found.
Date Deposited: 12 Jul 2017 09:25
Last Modified: 30 Jun 2020 00:38


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