Exotic Birds: Working Through Otherness in Contemporary Interdisciplinary Performance by Women

Elizabeth-Jane Burnett

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This article explores the relationship between performer and audience, how the body in performance is subject to readings of its gender and ethnicity, and how such readings can affect audience response. Practice discussed includes the Exotic Birds poetry sequence I performed at the Cross Genre Festival and work by Tara Betts, Kristin Prevallet and Fiona Templeton. The Exotic Birds poems and their performance aim to create a space somewhere between Nicolas Bourriaud’s placing of utopian thinking as restricted to artworks in the interstices of the given (the real-time of the performance) and Joan Retallack’s sense of poethical writing’s capacity to extend into everyday life, engaging an audience beyond the duration of the live performance. Disengaged or unknown reactions also figure in this experiment into audience response.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of British and Irish Innovative Poetry
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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