This paper examines how the shift across discourses or media within the dramaturgy of a performance can create a caesura and how this is can then contribute to building a relationship with the audience rooted in witnessing and shared vulnerability.
As part of an ongoing practice based research project which explores performing vulnerability, my recent work And by the Way the Cat is Dead, moves between three discursive threads: an autobiographical sharing of a story, a series of fragments struggling to be a dirge and a literature review mapped on to the floor. Each of these has its own mode of expression and deals with processes of grieving from a different perspective.
In this paper, I examine this space left open between these processes on stage, in relation to the following: first, as an intermedial in-between which ‘communicat[es] gaps, splits and fissures, and broadcast[s] detours, inconsistencies and contradictions’ (Boenisch, 2006: 115) and thus draws attention to my struggle and manifest failure to create a dirge; second through postponing narrative closure, to allow space for the experiences of the audience to sit alongside my process in the work; and finally, drawing on Ettinger’s work on ‘matrixial aesthetic borderspace, where rhythms of the interval capture and trace co-engendering with/by the stranger’ (Ettinger, 1999: 90). Here, I examine how the caesura or interval can allow the unsaid, the traces of loss to play into the shared vulnerability of transsubjective encounter.