Keywords:performance-as-philosophy, philosophy-as-embodied-praxis, surface, violence, flesh, economy, intensities, feedback loop, difference and repetition, corporeal trace, phantasm, intra-action, entanglement, care, intimacy, vulnerability, affectability, risk, trauma, philosophy-as-a-way-of-life, protreptic, Body without Organs, spasm, marks, eternal return, ethics, parrhēsia, attunement, bashfullness, hysteria
This paper problematizes the ways in which performance art might be philosophy, and vice versa, that is; how philosophy might operate as embodied praxis and method. The main hypothesis adopted is based on the argument that philosophy, though predominantly thought of as a rational ideological construction, is essentially an invitation towards change and a method on how to lead one’s life (Hadot 2001, 148). This position has been stressed by philosophers Pierre Hadot and Michel Foucault, who revisited ancient Greek philosophy in order to indicate how corporeal practices and techniques might operate as methodologies towards "new forms of life" (Rabinow 2000, 164). Foucault was particularly interested in the Cynics because of their visceral approach to philosophy as expressed by their "radical asceticism" (Foucault 2011, 167), that stood as an indication for a life which is radically other (Foucault 2011, 269-270). It is in that respect that one should also look at Foucault’s engagement with the gay leather scene; as a laboratory (Rabinow 2000, 151) towards a "[...] possibility for creative life" (Rabinow 2000, 163). In light of the above, this paper discusses Despina Zacharopoulou's performance works in order to investigate how performance strategies related to violence might suggest a radical re-thinking and revisiting of philosophy as embodied practice and method towards a life-as-surface, that is; a life experienced in its full intensity and in pure joy.
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