Performance Research Volume 13 Issue 4

On Appearance

Issue editors: Richard Gough & Adrian Kear

ISBN: 978-0-415-49442

Beginning from the conviction that appearance matters – and matters as the very ‘stuff’ and substance of the kind of things we call performance – this issue examines the materiality of appearance as a key component of theatrical and social events. Exploring the role appearance plays in a range of cultural forms – from body art to live TV, shamanic invocation to video installation, magic show to ‘non-professional’ performance – On Appearance charts the construction, circulation and contestation of some of the imagined possibilities, lived realities, political identifications, and performative opportunities opened up by thinking through the logic of appearance. As well as examining the correlation between modes of appearance and practices of disappearance, and investigating their inscription in the recuperative dynamics of power, On Appearance explicates the ways in which appearance matters in affecting and positively producing the conditions, forms and relations structuring what Jacques Rancière calls ‘the distribution of the sensible’: the political organisation of sense-making activities within the intelligible framework of the visible.

Editorial: On Appearance

Adrian Kear

pp. 1 - 3

Susan and Darren: The appearance of authenticity

Geraldine (Gerry) Harris

pp. 4 - 15

Intensities of Appearance

Adrian Kear

pp. 16 - 24

Figuring the Face

Simon Bayly

pp. 25 - 37

Returning Appearance to Itself: Trisha Brown, Koosil-ja and the materiality of appearance

Musetta Durkee

pp. 38 - 47

Wanted [artists’ pages]


pp. 48 - 55

How to Act, How to Spectate (Laughing Matter)

Joe Kelleher

pp. 56 - 63

Body Events and Implicated Gazes

Jim Drobnick

pp. 64 - 74

Appearance, Reality and Truth in Magic: A personal memoir


pp. 75 - 81

Theatre and the Technologies of Appearances: The spirit of apprehensions

Anthony Kubiak

pp. 82 - 92

Extracts from the Notebook of Xavier Valery

Carl Lavery, Gerry Davies

pp. 93 - 99

Ambivalent apparitions: the pop-psychic art of TV medium John Edward

Bryoni Trezise

pp. 100 - 110

Appearing to Play: A Memory Toy Theatre to Cut-Out and Collect [artists’ page]

Richard Allen, Kasia Coleman

pp. 111 - 114

Girls Interrupted: Gendered spectres. Atlantic drag

Kathleen M. Gough

pp. 115 - 126

The Picturesque World Stage

Glen Mcgillivray

pp. 127 - 139

Sweating Blood: Intangible heritage and reclaimed labour in Caribbean New Orleans

Joseph Roach

pp. 140 - 148

Notes on Contributors

pp. 149 - 150