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Transcultural transgression & transformation, with focus on Greenlandic avantgarde performance - Birgit Kleist Pedersen

3:30 PM, Saturday 5 Oct 2019 (30 minutes)
Break   04:00 PM to 04:15 PM (15 minutes)
Despite a very young tradition of modern theatre in Greenland (since 1975), the theatrical activities are in a rapid change – or development - in many experimenting directions, primarily due to increasing transnational exchanges and inspirations during the last 40-50 yrs. Inspired by the concepts of vertical transculturalism (e.g. Jerzy Grotowski), horizontal interculturalism (e.g. Eugenio Barba); Antonin Artaud’s The Cruelty of Theatre; Pia Arke’s Ethno-Aesthetics (1995) and Erika Fischer-Lichte’s the transformative power of performance & new aesthetics, this presentation will focus on an artist, writer and performer, born and raised in Greenland, now living in Denmark since 2002, Jessie Kleemann. This performer is the only one of her kind in a Greenlandic context– experimenting body theatre performed to the extreme, provoking the senses of audience everywhere, be it in Greenland, Denmark or transnationally, for some people perceived as too transgressive in a taboo sense. Her performances transgress conformity, focusing on the abjected, the marginalized and on ugliness – mostly without the spoken work. The ugliness is transformed into art; spaces are created in spaces; audience is included as part of the performance – and the meaning of written words are expanded and combined beyond the ‘dictatorship of words’ (cf. Artaud) in form of lyrics - lyrics are mostly used as part of her performances. The question here is whether Greenlandic – or other - audiences are becoming more open and understanding to her kind of transgressive performance - or, whether the audiences are still not culturally prepared for this kind of performances. If so, why is her performances so hard to comprehend?
University of Greenland