Exploring Identity and Difference in Edward Bond’s Tune.
Theatre in Education Company Big Brum regularly wrestle in rehearsal with complex interactions between coded and uncoded states in the plays that Bond writes for them. In Tune (2011) Robert, angered by his mother’s boyfriend Vernon, transforms into a ‘boy-wall’, before Vernon deliberately wounds him to corroborate a lie. From Representation to Event: Identity and Difference in Edward Bond’s Tune will explore three scenes from Tune to investigate these shifts from representation to event; from the mimetic, iconic, or figurative ‘dominant performative discourse’ (Butler, 1993), where physicality is obliged to endorse the signifier, to what Elizabeth Wright (1998: 31) terms ‘a reality outside representation’.
The workshop will draw upon my most recent research (Katafiasz 2014), which reads Heidegger with Lacan. Their papers on ‘Identity and Difference’ and ‘The Insistence of the Letter in the Unconscious’ respectively, both appeared in 1957. The two works resonate strongly, in that each posits a non-binary affiliation between Being and beings (in Heidegger’s case), and between metaphor and metonymy (for Lacan). Each describes a fluid rapport – ‘perdurance’, ‘souffrance’ – between these coded and uncoded positionalities; the latter anti-representationalist position having been very influential, arguably forming the basis of Deluzian, Foucaultian and Lyotardian moves. Though he does not do so explicitly, Lacan claims to ‘translate Heidegger’ (2006: 528); if we follow this through as I propose, we arrive at an extraordinarily useful topological nexus, relating philosophy and psychoanalysis to notions of performance and event.
- Bond, E. ‘Tune’ in Plays: 9, (2011), London: Methuen.
- Butler, J. Bodies That Matter: On the Discursive Limits of “Sex”, (1993), London: Routledge.
- Heidegger, M. Identity and Difference (trans. Joan Stamburgh), (1969), London: Harper Row.
- Katafiasz, K. ‘Dramatic Jouissance’, (2014) in Revue électronique d’études sur le monde anglophone Numéro 12.1, special issue ‘Reading English-language Arts and Literature with the Later Lacan’, forthcoming Autumn 2014, online.
- Lacan, J. ‘The Insistence of the Letter in the Unconscious’, in Ecrits, (2006), London: Norton.
- Wright, E. Psychoanalytic Criticism: a Reappraisal, (1998), Cambridge: Polity.
Dr. Kate Katafiasz is Senior Lecturer in Drama at Newman University in Birmingham, UK. Her doctoral research followed Edward Bond’s ongoing seventeen year collaboration with Big Brum Theatre. She is also an associate postdoctoral researcher at the Centre for Fine Art Research at Birmingham City University. Her recent peer-reviewed publications include: ‘Quarrelling with Brecht: understanding Bond’s post-structuralist political aesthetic’, pp. 237-251 in Studies in Theatre and Performance, Volume 28: 3 (2008), Bristol: Intellect; ‘Staging Reality (beyond representation): a perplexing Bondian body’, in JCDE, Journal for the Study of Contemporary Drama in English: Volume 1, (2013), Berlin: de Gruyter; ‘Dramatic Leadership: Dorothy Heathcote’s Autopoietic, or Embodied Leadership Model’, in The Embodiment of Leadership, a volume in the International Leadership Association’s ‘Building Leadership Bridges’ series, (2013), San Francisco: Jossey-Bass/Wiley; ‘Failed embodiment, silent speech, and ontological intermediality in Edward Bond’s production of The Under Room’, in Body, Space & Technology Vol. 11 No 2 (2013), [online]
Duration: 40 min