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210 × 148 mm
176 pages
60 illustrations
20 Oct 2014

Performance Projections Film and the Body in Action Stephen Barber

Performance Projections explores the dynamic relationship between film and performance, from the origins of film in Europe and the U.S. to examples in the world of contemporary digital media. Although these two forms – performance and film – have been vitally connected for more than a century, this is the first book to look with originality and depth at their intersection, particularly in relation to issues and theories of space.

The rendering of performance into film has been a seminal preoccupation for both performers and film-makers. Film always does far more than document performance; it actively recreates time and space, and overhauls its rapport with the spectator’s eye and body. Deploying a wide range of examples, many centred on filmic depictions of Berlin but also notably from Japanese and Chinese performance art and street cultures, this book argues that the act of filming has held the enduring power to draw distinctively performative dimensions out of unruly human gatherings, such as riots and political protests, accentuating the outlandish and aberrant aspects of performance.

Performance Projections spans the special focus on performance of formative moving-image cultures to such contemporary film-making as the often-lethal camera-phone recording of snipers in Syrian cities. It proposes that the future conception of filmed performance now needs to be radically expanded in response to the transformations and flux of contemporary digital cultures.

‘The book is broad-ranging and ambitiously far-reaching in its scope, a genuine and impressive interdisciplinary undertaking that moves from performance art to clandestine musical performance, from Eadweard Muybridge’s precinematic experiments to smartphone footage of the Occupy movement, from 1930s Berlin to 1970s Japan.’ – Screen

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Stephen Barber is a Fellow of  Interweaving Performance Cultures research centre at the Freie Universität Berlin and a professor in the Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture at Kingston University, London. His previous publications include Projected Cities: Cinema and Urban Space (2002), Jean Genet (2006) and Abandoned Images: Film and Film’s End (2011), all published by Reaktion Books.