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Performing like an asylum seeker : paradoxes of hyper-authenticity

By Silvija Jestrovic


This essay investigates performance events that feature actual refugees, asylum seekers and immigrants, but in instances where presence and embodiment are mediated and made ambiguous. My focus is a fashion show by Catalan designer Antonio Miro, who uses refugees from Senegal as models, and Christoph Schlingensief's public art project Foreigners Out!. In different ways and to varying degrees, these case studies exemplify the phenomenon that I call the hyper-authentic - where the authenticity of the subject is partly constructed through the gaze of the beholder. Although the projects in question use real refugees and asylum seekers as performers, exilic voices and bodies are often subordinated to the creative and/or entrepreneurial concepts of the established Western artists. Nevertheless, I would argue that the relationship between performance ethics and efficacy remains ambiguous, making these case studies difficult to dismiss as merely gratuitous

Topics: NX
Publisher: Routledge
Year: 2008
OAI identifier:

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