Derval Tubridy
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Beckett, neurodiversity and the prosthetic
The posthuman turn in contemporary art
in Beckett’s afterlives
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The conceptual frameworks through which we understand human corporeality and agency are under stress and need now to be reconfigured. The chapter examines theories of the posthuman, particularly those of Rosi Braidotti and Donna Haraway, to analyse how two exemplars – Rebecca Horn and Jess Thom – draw on Samuel Beckett’s work to question normative categories of human embodiment. It explores the interface between the machinic, the prosthetic and the corporeal in Horn’s body sculptures and machine installations (1970–2010) and examines how neurodiverse theatre performance reconfigures modalities of subjectivity and agency in Jess Thom’s Touretteshero production of Not I (2017), drawing into the discussion an analysis of ideas of silence and the somatic in Anne Niemetz and Andrew Pelling’s sound work Dark Side of the Cell (2004). The chapter concludes that the mutability of contemporary art is an essential experimental space for performative adaptation within posthumanism.

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Beckett’s afterlives

Adaptation, remediation, appropriation


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