Helsingin yliopisto


Helsingin yliopiston verkkojulkaisut

Helsingin yliopisto, Helsinki 2006

Kirurgisen operaation teatteri:

Teatterillinen kuva ja ihmismuodon esitettävyys avantgardistisen väkivallan näkökulmasta

Petri Tervo

Väitöskirja, joulukuu 2006.
Helsingin yliopisto, humanistinen tiedekunta, taiteiden tutkimuksen laitos, Teatteritiede.

Dissertation considers the birth of modernist and avant-gardist authorship as a reaction against mass society and massculture. Radical avant-gardism is studied as figurative violence done against the human form. The main argument claims avant-gardist authorship to be an act of masculine autogenesis. This act demands human form to be worked to an elementary state of disarticulateness, then to be reformed to the model of the artist's own psychophysical and idiosyncratic vision and experience. This work is connected to concrete mass, mass of pigment, charcoal, film, or flesh. This mass of the figure is worked to create a likeness in the nervous system of the spectator. The act of violence against the human figure is intended to shock the spectator. This shock is also a state of emotional and perceptional massification.

I use theatrical image as heuristic tool and performance analysis, connecting figure and spectator into a larger image, which is constituted by relationships of mimesis, where figure presents the likeness of the spectator and spectator the likeness of the figure. Likeness is considered as both gestural - social mimetic - and sensuous - kinesthetically mimetic. Through this kind of construction one can describe and contextualize the process of violent autogenesis using particular images as case studies. Avant-gardist author is the author of theatrical image, not particular figure, and through act of massification the nervous system of the spectator is also part of this image. This is the most radical form and ideology of avant-gardist and modernist authorship or imagerial will to power.

I construct a model of gestural-mimic performer to explicate the nature of violence done for human form in specific works, in Mann's novella Death in Venice, in Schiele's and Artaud's selfportaits, in Francis Bacon's paintings, in Beckett's shortplat NOT I, in Orlan's chirurgical performance Operation Omnipresense, in Cindy Sherman's Film/Stills, in Diamanda Galás's recording Vena Cava and in Hitchcock's Psycho. Masspsychology constructed a phobic picture of human form's plasticity and capability to be constituted by influencies coming both inside and outside - childhood, atavistic organic memories, urban field of nervous impulses, unconsciousness, capitalist (image)market and democratic masspolitics. Violence is then antimimetic and antitheatrical, a paradoxical situation, considering that massmedias and massaudiences created an enormous fascination about possibilities of theatrical and hypnotic influence in artistic elites. The problem was how to use theatrical image without coming as author under influence. In this work one possible answer is provided: by destructing the gestural-mimetic performer, by eliminating representations of mimic body techniques from the performer of human (a painted figure, a photographed figure, a filmed figure or an acted figure, audiovisual or vocal) figure. This work I call the chirurgical operation, which also indicates co-option with medical portraitures or medico-cultural diagnoses of human form.

Destruction of the autonomy of the performer was a parallel process to constructing the new mass media audience as passive, plastic, feminine. The process created an image of a new kind of autotelic masculine author-hero, freed from human form in its bourgeois, aristocratic, classical and popular versions.

The title page of the publication

Julkaisu on tekijänoikeussäännösten alainen. Teosta voi lukea ja tulostaa henkilökohtaista käyttöä varten. Käyttö kaupallisiin tarkoituksiin on kielletty.

© Helsingin yliopisto 2006

Viimeksi päivitetty 30.10.2006

Yhteystiedot, Contact information E-thesis Helsingin yliopisto, University of Helsinki