Sruti Bala
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Vicarious gestures of participation
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The idea for the performance project Where We Are Not (2009) by the Amsterdam-based Lebanese artist Lina Issa emerged out of the artist's own legal situation at the time. Audience participation consists at the simplest level in being or becoming aware that one is invited to be a witness to or a part of a conversation and an intimately shared experience between Issa and Cordero. Tracy Davis argues that the condition for theatricality as an artistic and social phenomenon is the audience's awareness and consciousness of being spectators. The physical gestures are never only individual expressions, they are always also the performative montage of a social habitude, of the inequalities and the violence inherent to them. The word 'potentially' needs to be emphasized, for it would be fallacious to hastily conclude that the participatory gesture is a radical performative per se.

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