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Il corpo come luogo di negoziazione di significati

digital Il corpo come luogo di negoziazione di significati
issue COMUNICAZIONI SOCIALI - 2019 - 2. Generations, Time, and Media
title Il corpo come luogo di negoziazione di significati
The Body as a Place of Meanings in Transaction
publisher Vita e Pensiero
format Article | Pdf
online since 09-2019
doi 10.26350/001200_000037
issn 03928667 (print) | 18277969 (digital)
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The paper focuses on the relation between body, subject and identity in the field of performing arts (i.e. dance and theatre). The starting point of the reflection is that, despite Identity Studies (Disability Studies, Feminism Studies, Queer Studies etc.) and artistic practices which question the categories of body, health, subjectivity and identity, theater scholars are far from adopting methodological and linguistic instruments that are suitable for the interpretation of the artistic and philosophical contemporary scenario. Today, the scene is populated by actors with strong physical connotations that challenge the adoption of uniform and stable categories in the interpretation of the actor’s work. Is it not reductive to designate the person-actor with the generic term “body”, despite the pluralism and differences present on stage today? What are the most appropriate tools to read, deconstruct and interpret the work of a disabled actor? To give an answer to these questions and to avoid the situation where my reflection returns the body to disciplines of social discourses, I propose to begin this exploration with an analysis of Chiara Bersani’s artistic production. Chiara Bersani is a performer with “imperfect osteogenesis”, a congenital bone disorder characterized by brittle bones that are prone to fracture. She takes her vulnerable embodiment as a starting point for her performative work and the concept of the “political body”. With this term, Chiara Bersani means the display of a perpetual dynamic between the self and the other, between the individual and society, the singular and the universal, personal responsibility and the political dimension. The assumption of the paper is that the actor’s phenomenology cannot be grasped by remaining within the limits of the scene and of theater pedagogies. Chiara Bersani’s works can  perhaps offer a starting point to rethink the relationship between body and subjectivity in the field of the contemporary theatrical practices, provided that we rethink the latter category within the broader philosophical debate.


Body; subjectivity; disability studies; theater; actor.

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