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Previsualisations. ‘they are just there’: Gertrude Stein’s ‘Landscapes’ and their finite possibilities

Previsualisations. ‘they are just there’: Gertrude Stein’s ‘Landscapes’ and their finite possibilities

Dunlop, Jane Frances ORCID: 0009-0000-4350-5381 (2023) Previsualisations. ‘they are just there’: Gertrude Stein’s ‘Landscapes’ and their finite possibilities. In: London Conference in Critical Thought 2023, 30th Jun - 1st Jul, 2023, School of Social Sciences and Professions, London Metropolitan University, London.

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‘they are just there’ will be a [performative paper], perhaps more like a performance, in which I return to my long time obsession with Gertrude Stein’s essay ‘Plays’ to consider her conceptualising of ‘landscapes’. Stein’s ‘landscape’ is a performance tactic she sets against the ‘nervousness’ of storytelling in the theatre: ‘all these things that might have been a story [...] as a landscape they are just there” (Stein, p. 131). ‘Landscape’ locates the meaning and value of a work in the relations it stages, relations that somehow escape the syncopations of time (and with it, emotion) that usually accrue to actions on stage. I will think this concept through my own work, through theatre history as well as recent political performance and artistic efforts to capture an idea of the future in the present. Reading Stein alongside more contemporary feminist and queer theories (Ahmed; Barad; Braidotti; Haraway; Muñoz; Russell; Tsing), I will consider how a ‘landscape’ might provide both a theory and practice through which to approach and understand futurity as a situated and intraconnected [action]. Here, ‘landscape’ becomes a means of considering the overlay of what the future might be with how we understand the futures that are always continuously arriving. In a ‘landscape’, the sensation of “just there” allows one wander across past, present, and future; through messy entanglement of the digital and synthetic, human and non-human. Ultimately, it is in this performative movement that the ‘landscape’ might be found to contain a speculative and critically utopian epistemology.

Item Type: Conference or Conference Paper (Paper)
Uncontrolled Keywords: landscapes; performance studies; metaphor
Subjects: N Fine Arts > N Visual arts (General) For photography, see TR
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General)
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN2000 Dramatic representation. The Theater
Faculty / School / Research Centre / Research Group: Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences
Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences > School of Design (DES)
Related URLs:
Last Modified: 11 Mar 2024 13:14

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