Arati Kumari: In search of an “other” theater with Elfriede Jelinek



Jelinek’s theater is a product of the complexity of the present (Gegenwart), which emerges out of human progress in different spheres of knowledge in the vast span of time and space of human history. While drawing from different sources (literature, philosophy, history, news, fiction, discourses, other mediums (like television, radio) etc.), Jelinek makes diverse rhizome, and this research work aims to work around those tubers, which link different territories to each other. This research work, which looks at Jelinek’s theater work, as a “complex whole”, is premised on the idea that Jelinek’s theater works are rhizomatic in nature. If written in a rhizomatic fashion, the writings, as they come into the contact of “other” territory, for instance, Jelinek’s theater texts, as they join the field of performance art, they make more rhizomes and hence expand the territory of a particular theater text as well as the piece of performance, which is based on the particular theater text, further. There is where an “other” aesthetic emerges and this emergence of ‘other’ aesthetics is not one time phenomenon, a new aesthetic emerges each time, the text and the performance field join each other. In other words, the deterritorialization of the territories of the literature and the theater is to be achieved in the “other” theater that Jelinek proposes. This research work aims to study the process of this “deterritorialization” in four chapters:
I. Understanding Performance, its Aesthetics and its Emergence Properties: In the first part of the proposed research work, the focus will be in understanding the theories which can be supportive towards exploration of Elfriede Jelinek’s concept of “other” theater.
II. Reading Theater in Jelinek’s Plays: This chapter will takes into account those tubers from the rhizome that Jelinek’s work creates that appear to be carrying properties for the emergence of other ways of doing theater.
III. Engagement with Elfriede Jelinek’s Texts on Theater: This chapter engages itself with Jelinek’s texts on theater and attempts to conceptualize the theater aesthetic that emerge out of her texts.
IV. Analysis of the performance of the Über Tiere and Begierde und Fahrerlaubnis : First, there will be a reading of the two theater texts, Über Tiere and Begierde und Fahrerlaubnis, which will follow with the analysis of the, performance of the texts, Über Tiere under the direction of Nicolas Stemann in 2007 in Berlin and Begierde und Fahrerlaubnis under the direction of Ulrike Ottinger in 1986 in Graz.


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