Taking Place: Parrhesiastic Theater as a model for artistic practice
This research project of Eleni Kamma adresses the question how local and traditional European forms of parrhesiastic theater—by which I mean events, actions, and performances staged by characters who courageously speak their minds through scenes of excess and laughter, that take place in public view and incite the spectator’s agency to speak their own minds—possibly relate to and/or provide new insights into critical artistic practices today. In this context, the project also examines the place and role of caricature today.I approach the issue as an artist-researcher concerned with socially engaged artistic practices. The experience of the playful, humorous, and sharply critical attitude of Gezi Park protesters speaking their minds in Istanbul in 2013 led me to critically reconsider my own courage in positioning myself within contemporary artistic production. Throughout the dissertation I work along a Moebius strip schema, which continually shifts from me as individual artist to dialogic collaborations to writing about the process. The research subject is investigated through a circulation process within which concepts such as communication, dialogue, and listening are continuously performed and put to the test. The dissertation aspires to provide new insights into how tensions between the roles of individual and group, “I” and “we,” may open up a parrhesiastic space for critical artistic practices.