The narrative of this dissertation, rather than following a linear and progressive timeline, is a movement across temporality. Extending Walter Benjamin’s notion of the constellation of images and Nicholas Mirzoeff’s complex of visuality as modes of historiography, these chapters seeks to understand Indonesia theatre history from a viewpoint of, what I coined as “constellations of performance remains” as a way to entangle Indonesian theatre’s “complex of corporeality”. The confluence of coloniality, centrality of the body, and amateurism, will be key in connecting these chapters, looking various constellations of performance gestures and remains through several recurrent keywords such as drifting, wandering, haunting, repeating, reenacting and disappearing as marker of tactical positioning of performance as a search for decolonial aesthetics.
Chapter 1. Contemporary Passing in Indonesian Theatre: against the binary of modern and tradition
History began with the making of other time and, in this chapter, the making of the past as marked by two deaths. In the early twenty first century, the passing of several Indonesian theatre artists served to mark an end of certain historical epochs, such in the case of Asrul Sani and Rendra, that represents two respective times. However, two unexpected deaths of the more recent generation of frontier artists, Ags. Arya Dwipayana and Slamet Gundono, foreground the beginning of this dissertation. As the passing were so sudden, history seems to drift. The chapter dwells their respective working trajectories, as both represented two different sources and mode of production, as the first came from the autodidactic and amateur field of experimental theatre scene in Jakarta, ...
... middle of paper ...
...nfortunately, is a perpetuation of a western theatre of the east.
Chapter 5. Battered, buttered, bruised, falling, bodies: once again the political society
This chapter is looking closer at how the bodies continue to serve as the last decolonial site, especially from the viewpoints of two contemporary performance works, Melati Suryodarmo’s Butter Dance and Jompet Kuswidananto Java’s Machine: Phantasmagoria. Both performance locate the extreme flows of drifting and wandering body at the center of their work, as the first depicts a repetitive movement between standing and falling, while the latter depicts disappeared bodies, leaving residues of vacuumed corporeal frames. Presented in the first decade of the twenty-first century, both works invite us to complicate the thinking of the body and the critical departure for the formation of political society.
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