Dramaturgies of Reality - shaping and being shaped by things
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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OriginalversjonInFormation - Nordic Journal of Art and Research. 2021, 10 (3), . https://doi.org/10.7577/information.4659
New dramaturgy expands beyond the theatre and stage, working on the ways in which things in each time and space are organised and produce meaning. I link this to object-oriented ontology (Morton, 2013; 2016; 2018) and the ethics of relating to things (Benso, 2000) in my discussion of three works of art in public space: House of Commons (2015) by Marianne Heske, Movimento HO (2016) by Eleonora Fabião, and The Viewer (2019) by Carole Douillard. All three works temporarily introduce specific material into a public space, working with time to open up the ‘thingliness’ (Heidegger, 2001/1971) of the material, thus changing the dramaturgy of the place and how people relate to it. The works subtly introduce the potential of experiencing reality in new ways, changing narratives through a reciprocal process of shaping and being shaped by things. This is the result of the fact that every thing is always in motion, morphing without purpose or direction. ‘Things rock’, as Timothy Morton puts it. I use Morton’s concept of tuning, and Silvia Benso’s concept of tenderness when discussing how the materials in the three works – a house, bricks and human bodies – tune into a place, and how the viewer also tunes through what Benso calls ‘tender touch’, sometimes touching the material concretely, at other times touching the common ground or breathing the same air.