tension of Jackson’s two poles. Performance, then, as it is used here is any purposeful action taken in front of an audience, even when that audience is only the person taking the action. 2 The analysis offered below is intended to enrich and inform the daily performances of care. Nicholas Ridout describes performance ‘as an opportunity to experience an encounter with someone else’ ( 2009 : 8). Most of our interpersonal encounters come without a script. The performative and aesthetic aspects of careethics have received little attention. I contend that careethics has
The book advances our understanding of performance as a mode of caring and explores the relationship between socially engaged performance and care. It creates a dialogue between theatre and performance, care ethics and other disciplinary areas such as youth and disability studies, nursing, criminal justice and social care. Challenging existing debates in this area by rethinking the caring encounter as a performed, embodied experience and interrogating the boundaries between care practice and performance, the book engages with a wide range of different care performances drawn from interdisciplinary and international settings. Drawing on interdisciplinary debates, the edited collection examines how the field of performance and the aesthetic and ethico-political structures that determine its relationship with the social might be challenged by an examination of inter-human care. It interrogates how performance might be understood as caring or uncaring, careless or careful, and correlatively how care can be conceptualised as artful, aesthetic, authentic or even ‘fake’ and ‘staged’. Through a focus on care and performance, the contributors in the book consider how performance operates as a mode of caring for others and how dialogical debates between the theory and practice of care and performance making might foster a greater understanding of how the caring encounter is embodied and experienced.
CareEthics and Political Theory
( Oxford : Oxford University
Press ), pp.
165 – 86 .
( 2006 ), The Ethics of Care: Personal, Political, and
Global ( Oxford :
Oxford University Press ).
called ethics of care , to illustrate the claim that careethics is vital for understanding any claims to justice. The chapter will end with an outline of what an aesthetics of care may look like in the preparation, execution and exhibition of projects, and finally return to the process of caring for Antoine.
In looking to base community-engaged arts work within the framework of care, I hope to expand its radical potential rather than reduce it. Rather than dismiss the incident of a colleague drama worker living in my house as the unfortunate intervention of the
objects could form an important part of careethics because the performance of the processes involved in their maintenance and repair can be an important vehicle for caring for the self and other people. I want to make the claim that to build a more caring, nurturing – identity-enhancing – life in care homes, residents need to experience a performed engagement with the care of objects that was part of their everyday routines before they entered institutionalised care.
The project I discuss included a series of ten-hour-long weekly sessions that took place in a care
: 127). Pointing to interrelational modes of being, careethics acknowledges the value of inter-human relationality and dependency, invoking the affective qualities of ‘attentiveness, sensitivity, and responding to needs’ (Held, 2006 : 39).
Placing care in dialogue with performance, in the critical engagements that follow, contributors examine how some performance work that addresses itself to the care and support of other people enacts a form of resistance to the ‘care-lessness’ of contemporary life. The contributors to this edited collection are interested in how
ethicists have been particularly aware not only of the progressive
potential of careethics, but of the very real possibilities for
domination that inhere. Thus Joan Tronto has suggested, ‘There is
always implicit in care the danger that those who receive care will
lose their autonomy and their sense of independence’ (Tronto 1993 : 146). Because care ethicists are
concerned to highlight moral (and political
, an act of redistributing the sensible relations between members of this group.
As I note above, there is a danger in assuming that this is a complete metaphor for an aesthetic realisation of a caring relationship. Requiring one person to close their eyes, hints at the disabling metaphor at the centre of the exercise. There is, of course, the danger of paternalism in the relationship between the carer and the ‘blind’ cared for, where one ultimately maintains the direction and power over the other. Careethics, as discussed above, is concerned with the inequalities
does not count as autonomous– for example because the patient lacks understanding of
what is proposed (see Walker, 2013).
Archard, D.W. (2007) ‘Children’s consent to medical treatment’, in R.E.
Ashcroft, A. Dawson, H. Draper and J.R. McMillan (eds), Principles of Health
CareEthics, 2nd edn. Chichester: John Wiley and Sons Ltd.
Arpaly, N. (2003) Unprincipled Virtue: An Inquiry into Moral Agency. Oxford:
Oxford University Press.
Beauchamp, T.L. and Childress, J.F. (2009) Principles of Biomedical Ethics, 6th
edn. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Applied drama, ‘sympathetic presence’ and person-centred nursing
between people – as a set of such transitive actions and reactions. Basic actor training can improve the performance of such actions. In the process, actors can learn to attend more closely to the responses of other people. This ‘attentiveness’ is a key element of Tronto’s model of careethics, which posits it as a primary necessity in the delivery of care ( 2013 : 34). The cultivation of conscious attentiveness can help carers to recognise and clarify their intentions (both conscious and subconscious) and the consequences of their actions within the caring relationship