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Aesthetics of Presence: Philosophical and Practical Reconsiderations
 1527562069, 9781527562066

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Copyright © 2020. Cambridge Scholars Publisher. All rights reserved.

Aesthetics of Presence

Sauter, Willmar. Aesthetics of Presence : Philosophical and Practical Reconsiderations, Cambridge Scholars Publisher, 2020.

Copyright © 2020. Cambridge Scholars Publisher. All rights reserved. Sauter, Willmar. Aesthetics of Presence : Philosophical and Practical Reconsiderations, Cambridge Scholars Publisher, 2020.

Aesthetics of Presence: Philosophical and Practical Reconsiderations By

Copyright © 2020. Cambridge Scholars Publisher. All rights reserved.

Willmar Sauter

Sauter, Willmar. Aesthetics of Presence : Philosophical and Practical Reconsiderations, Cambridge Scholars Publisher, 2020.

Aesthetics of Presence: Philosophical and Practical Reconsiderations By Willmar Sauter This book first published 2021 Cambridge Scholars Publishing Lady Stephenson Library, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE6 2PA, UK British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library Copyright © 2021 by Willmar Sauter All rights for this book reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the copyright owner.

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ISBN (10): 1-5275-6206-9 ISBN (13): 978-1-5275-6206-6

Sauter, Willmar. Aesthetics of Presence : Philosophical and Practical Reconsiderations, Cambridge Scholars Publisher, 2020.

Copyright © 2020. Cambridge Scholars Publisher. All rights reserved.

Franz Geiselbrechtinger in memoriam

Sauter, Willmar. Aesthetics of Presence : Philosophical and Practical Reconsiderations, Cambridge Scholars Publisher, 2020.

Copyright © 2020. Cambridge Scholars Publisher. All rights reserved. Sauter, Willmar. Aesthetics of Presence : Philosophical and Practical Reconsiderations, Cambridge Scholars Publisher, 2020.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Prologue....................................................................................................... 9 Experiences of Presence Frames.................................................................................................. 12 Situations ............................................................................................. 13 About the Book .................................................................................... 16

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Part One ..................................................................................................... 19 Histories of Presence Alexander Gottlieb Baumgarten .......................................................... 20 Moses Mendelssohn ............................................................................. 26 Gotthold Ephraim Lessing ................................................................... 33 Jean-Jacques Rousseau ........................................................................ 40 Friedrich von Schiller .......................................................................... 44 Preliminary Overview .......................................................................... 51 Part Two .................................................................................................... 55 Parameters of Presence Perceiving ............................................................................................ 57 Performing ........................................................................................... 63 Playing ................................................................................................. 70 Placing ................................................................................................. 79 The Model ............................................................................................ 85 Empirical Methods ............................................................................... 87 Perceiving Beholders – Performing Agencies – Atmospheres of Playing – Placing in Location Part Three .................................................................................................. 98 Variations of Presence Antigone’s Diary.................................................................................. 99 From Sophocles to Husby – Appearance of Presence – Mediated Performance Bloomsday ......................................................................................... 116 The Diamond Model – Bloomsday and Mr. Bloom –Dimensions Padjelanta ........................................................................................... 132 Sami Land – Mobile Landscapes – Cyclic Time

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Table of Contents

Anna O – Unknown Woman .............................................................. 146 Performing Anna Odell – Ten Years Later – Being Present Epilogue................................................................................................... 164 Dynamics of Presence The Sublime ....................................................................................... 164 Presence at the Old Vic ...................................................................... 168 Ötzi’s Coat ......................................................................................... 172 The Four P:s – A Model, A Method, and the Pleasure of Ugliness ... 180 Notes........................................................................................................ 184 Bibliography ............................................................................................ 193 List of Illustrations .................................................................................. 198 Acknowledgement ................................................................................... 200 Appendix A: An expanded model of theatrical communication.............. 202 Appendix B: The Theatrical Event – The Diamond Model ..................... 203

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Index ........................................................................................................ 204

Sauter, Willmar. Aesthetics of Presence : Philosophical and Practical Reconsiderations, Cambridge Scholars Publisher, 2020.

PROLOGUE EXPERIENCES OF PRESENCE

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In spring 1975, the Royal National Theatre was still performing at the Old Vic on the South Bank of London, waiting for the new premises to open only a few blocks away. I had, together with Sylvia, my new girlfriend and ever since my wife, bought tickets for the show that was scheduled during our stay in London. It happened to be Henrik Ibsen’s John Gabriel Borkman, one of his last and rarely performed plays. The story is sad, and in a way rather trivial. Borkman was in love with Ella, but he married her sister Gunhild due to her richer dowry. He wasted the fortune in his bank, cheated his customers, spent time in prison and has now retreated to the upper floor of his house. This is the situation when the play begins. During three acts we followed the well-acted intrigue with intense attention, but at the beginning of the fourth and last act, something extraordinary happened. Standing in front of the house, Borkman, his wife Gunhild and her sister Ella witness the departure of young Erhart Borkman and his lover. Gunhild, his mother, is desperate and while the bells of the young couple’s sledge disappear, the three of them remain in the yard. It had been snowing, which the set designer marked by a small white mound, in contrast to the black stage floor. All of a sudden there was a complete silence, there were only the three performers standing on the mound: Peggy Ashcroft as Gunhild, Wendy Hiller as Ella and Sir Ralph Richardson as John Gabriel. For some time, they were just staring at each other and while we were staring at them, a tangible tension emanated from the stage. During the short dialogue between husband, wife, sister, lover, swindler, mother, and despised mistress, the intensity grew. Every word that was uttered fell to the icy ground and evaporated with a silent gist. We both remember this moment that condensed three persons’ misguided lives and their insight of irretrievable losses. The immense tautness between the actors also included us as spectators. This tightening tension was so strong that we almost leapt up from our seats, which were on the side of the first balcony, rather close to the stage – I remember this exactly. I do not know

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Prologue

how long this situation lasted on stage, but to us it seemed like an eternity. It was one of those rare moments in the theatre when the actors succeed in totally involving the spectator. The triangular relation that Ashcroft, Hiller and Richardson created on stage cast its spell over the auditorium. We understood that we shared this emotion with others. We had experienced the magic of presence.

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We tumbled out of the Old Vic and ever since that evening I have been wondering what makes such experiences possible. Was it the extraordinary quality of the performers? True: Peggy Ashcroft and Wendy Hiller were among the leading British actresses at the time, with the experiences of a long career on stage and in film; Sir Ralph Richardson was by then over 70 years old and had performed Shakespeare and other classics with great stars such as Laurence Olivier and John Gielgud. Their excellence was beyond doubt, but still – the magic moment occurred only in the last act, lasted only some (long) minutes until Gunhild left the group and the talkative figure of Foldal appeared and brought the play to an end. It remained a mystery. These moments of deep-felt involvement in theatrical situations are rare and nevertheless we are waiting for them in every performance we attend. Even when spectators are utterly pleased with what they see and hear on stage, there is no guarantee that such a remarkable moment will occur. At the same time one realizes that such moments, such notions of immediate presence, are far from limited to experiences in the theatre. A piece of music, a painted canvas, a photo in a newspaper, the sight of a city or even a view of ‘pure’ nature might all provoke the beholder’s total engagement. And again there is the question: is it a particular quality of the object that facilitates these strong reactions? Moreover: would such a quality be an aesthetic quality? Let me change perspective by describing a real, material object: Ötzi’s coat. Ötzi, also called the Iceman, is the nickname of the mummy that was discovered high up in the Ötztal of the Alps in September 1991. After some dramatic guesswork, a C14 test confirmed that the corpse has been covered by snow and ice since the year 3350 BCE, approximately. In other words: this is a well-preserved, male person from the Stone Age. The place where Ötzi was found was first identified as Austria, so the mummy was brought to Innsbruck; in 1998 it was agreed that Ötzi was actually ‘Italian’ and he was moved to Bolzano. There Ötzi has been placed in an impressive museum. The corpse itself is preserved in a room with a temperature of minus eight degrees Celsius. Since the natural

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mummification process had preserved not only bones but also muscles and skin, numerous analyses have been carried out, considerably expanding our knowledge about the living conditions of Stone Age people, from eating habits to worn-out joints. The fact that Ötzi was killed adds to the fascination of the discovery of a man in the snow on the crest of the Alps between Italy and Austria.

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In the fall of 2018, some friends, my wife and I decided to visit Ötzi in Bolzano. We had prepared ourselves by hiking uphill towards the place where Ötzi was found. We did not go as high as Ötzi, but we nevertheless saw (or imagined) the area where his life ended. When we visited the museum in Bolzano, we were mentally ready for the encounter with a mummy that predated the pyramids of ancient Egypt. There was a moment of reverence when we saw Ötzi for the first time through the small glass window that separated him from us. But it was rather our knowledge than the sight of the mummy that produced this feeling: not the way he looked, but the mere fact that he was still there was impressive. Although Ötzi is displayed as a naked corpse today, he was found fully dressed and with the necessary equipment of bow and arrows, backpack, knife, etc. These finds are also displayed, from the wolfskin cap to the bearskin shoes. What fascinated me the most was his coat. The kneelength coat was sewn from pieces of goatskin and pieces of lambskin. The skin from goats was dark, reddish to brown. The sheepskin remained bright grey and made up the basic material of the coat. However, the coat had a dark horizontal stripe at the top, following the shape of the breast, from shoulder to shoulder, and two vertical stripes from the breast to the knees. Each stripe is about 10-12 cm wide. They were sewn together with threads made of animal sinews. And it was so beautiful! So tastefully composed. Any fashion designer could use the pattern five thousand years later and would be applauded. I was standing there at the display of Ötzi’s clothes and fell silent in amazement. I was stunned. In this moment Ötzi was completely present and something like a notion of eternity struck my mind: have human beings always had the desire to look beautiful – not just to keep warm? Did the design of the coat signify anything in particular? Was he a clan leader who was murdered in an ambush or was he only a shepherd who was robbed in the loneliness of the high Alps? We cannot know, but the question remains as to whether the creation and perception of that which is beautiful constitutes an organic part of all human behaviour, provided there are the means and the time to craft them. And obviously there have always been observing eyes to appreciate and interpret beautiful things.

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Prologue

Frames

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These two moments of aesthetic experiences, 40 years apart in time, and 5000 years apart in relation to the objects that triggered these experiences, show some similarities. In both cases the observer remains in a state of admiration, not fully understanding what affects one’s feelings. Something opens the mind to beauty in the sense of harmony and completeness, but there is also some unexpected tension. Beauty speaks emotionally, be it the actors on the mound or the Stone Age coat. There are these moments of presence when beauty is internalized and reflections and interpretations are momentarily suspended. Hannah Arendt understands beauty as part of the spiritual culture when she refers to Cicero and his sense of taste: “Even Cicero’s cultura animi is suggestive of something like taste and, generally, sensitivity to beauty, not in those who fabricate beautiful things, that is, in the artists themselves, but in the spectators, in those who move among them.”1 Beauty is rarely referred to in today’s performance theories, but it was certainly a key term in the aesthetic discourses of the eighteenth century. Alexander Gottlieb Baumgarten wrote a Latin treatise, called Aesthetica, in 1750, in which he speaks about ‘beautiful thinking’. Some years later, Moses Mendelssohn developed an intriguing outline of aesthetic experience. According to him, beauty could be experienced both in nature and in the arts and it was characterized by ‘perfection’ and ‘completeness’. The important point was the attention and mental presence of the beholder, necessary to be able to sense beauty. In addition, Mendelssohn also developed ideas about the aesthetic pleasures of ugliness. These historical ideas of the eighteenth century are profound for an understanding of a concept of presence, since aesthetic discourses of the nineteenth century shifted their focus away from the beholder towards a normative aesthetics of the artwork. Only the phenomenological philosophy of the twentieth century made attempts to recapture the priority of the beholder. Speaking of beauty seems to be at odds with a post-modern era. Aesthetics is not about formal beauty, as Theodor W. Adorno has taught us. But beauty remains a metaphor of aesthetics in the way in which the new philosophical discipline was originally discussed in the eighteenth century. Nor does it seem appropriate to speak of ‘objects’ that are observed by a ‘subject’ that observes. What is referred to as objects are things and events that exert a certain activity through which they appear to an observer. To underline this appearing, I will use the term ‘Appearance’ with a capital A, which includes both the actors of the Old Vic and Ötzi’s coat. Whatever

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the Appearance represents – music, art, drama, places, materials, filmstrips – it becomes alive when it is noticed by a listener, spectator, viewer or, more generally speaking, a ‘Beholder’ with a capital B. The many-layered relationship between A and B is at the heart of this book.

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In the course of the discussion of historical and contemporary ideas about presence, I will extract four particular parameters that constitute basic aspects of the experience of presence. Obviously, the appearance A – someone or something – is ‘performing’ which allows the beholder B to be engaged. This engagement is characterized by a certain ‘playing’ which distinguishes the Appearance that is observed from the everyday. The ‘placing’ of A and B positions the encounter in a specific context that allows the ‘perceiving’ of the beholder of the event. These four aspects of presence – perceiving, playing, placing and performing – are presented as a rhombic model with dynamic edges that illustrate the varying effects of each of these parameters. I have chosen the gerundive form of these verbs to emphasize presence as an activity rather than a static state of mind.

Fig. 1: The geometrical shape of a rhomb

Situations While these parameters as well as the model as a whole are continuously extracted from the philosophical discourses of aesthetics, they will, at the same time, be demonstrated in four situations or locations. All of these cases are quite personal experiences – although others were involved – and

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Prologue

I have presented certain aspects of those events in previously published articles.2 I will briefly describe the four situations here because some features of them will be referred to alongside the philosophical discussions in Part One. Part Three is entirely devoted to these cases and there each section will be introduced with a more elaborate presentation of the circumstances of each situation.

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Antigone’s Diary. This theatrical production can be described as a mobile, interactive radio drama. The plot refers closely to Sophocles’ classical play, but the story has been moved to an immigrant-tight suburb of Stockholm. Antigone is a young local woman who has disappeared; only her mobile telephone with a recorded diary has been found. The audience can download her diary entries on their own phones and via a GPS device, each spectating participant will be guided to twelve stations. As soon as a participant comes close enough to the next location, a new entry of the diary can be heard in the earphones. Each diary section ends with a direct question to the participant: When are you afraid? When do you feel lonely? What does freedom mean to you? Etc. Each participant has the opportunity to immediately respond to these questions via text messages. As soon as one’s own answer is sent, the responses of all other participants are displayed on the mobile screen. At the next location Antigone’s story continues, until the walk ends in the central square of a suburb, in which 80% of the population is of foreign origin. The production by Rebecca Örtman premiered in 2011 and was performed in the same suburb over several years. Audience surveys as well as analyses of the incoming text messages were carried out. These theatrical experiments were part of the research strategies of the Department of Computer and System Science at Stockholm University, within a project on democratic decision making. These aspects will be discussed in Part Three of the book. Bloomsday. The term refers to James Joyce’s novel Ulysses, in which Leopold Bloom is one of the main protagonists. I participated in the 100th anniversary of the day that Joyce picked as the date on which all events of the book happened to occur. The anniversary took place on 16 June 2004 and I happened to be present in Dublin, together with my wife Sylvia and two of our friends who lived in the city. We spent the entire day visiting various places in and around Dublin which are mentioned in the novel and are therefore bestowed with a particular significance on this date. In all these places, special events could occur, although all these arrangements were not really organized: one had to find out where to go and what to

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expect. But even just strolling along O’Connell Street in the centre of town could be rewarding, watching various scenes in historical outfits, which people executed just to enjoy themselves and those who were in place to see them.

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Bloomsday is an annual event in Dublin. It started in 1954 as the 50th anniversary and has ever since increased and also given James Joyce a visible place in Irish culture. Only towards the end of the last century was he accepted at home as one of the world-famous Irish writers, alongside Shaw, Yeats, Synge, Beckett and Heaney. One of the fascinating aspects of Bloomsday for visitors coming from Sweden and Germany was the complete absence of a visible organisation. People, groups of people, some formal institutions and various sponsors all organized exactly the events they thought would please the participants of the anniversary. Padjelanta. This is the Sami name of a national park in the very north of Sweden, meaning “the upper land”. Our experiences during some summer weeks in 2014 confronted us with unusual sights and events. While the main task could be described as carrying our 15-kilo backpacks from one cabin to the next, we were all the time surrounded by marvellous views of mountains, discoveries of rare animals, meetings with Sami people, looking for all kinds of plants and flowers, and, not least, following the changes of the weather. There was plenty of beauty to be seen, but we also had to care for the necessities of everyday business. We were constantly on the move while the mountains, glaciers, and lakes expressed majestic eternity. The experiences in Padjelanta had a strong physical side. We felt the changes of the landscape and of the weather with our own bodies. It gave beauty a concrete corporal appearance. It became the most convincing example that aesthetic experiences are not just there to be picked, but they have to be deserved. So much bigger, then, was the reward. Anna O. Her full name is Anna Odell, but in my notes she has followed me ever since January 2009 in this abbreviated form. Anna Odell was at the time an art student who intended to create an installation that would express her critical view of psychiatric health care. For this purpose, she video-documented a re-enactment of a suicide attempt on a high bridge in Stockholm that she had carried out thirteen years earlier. Just like on this earlier occasion, she was again taken by the police and brought to the nearest psychiatric clinic. The chief physician of the hospital leaked this ‘fake’ suicide to a newspaper and a fierce debate over Anna O’s behaviour

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Prologue

took off. When her installation, called Unknown Woman, was shown later in the spring, the public was no longer so interested. In the fall, she was sentenced for ‘fraudulent’ behaviour. I am mainly concerned with two questions: what is an enactment in terms of performance? How can such actions be described? In the debate, Anna Odell was accused of ‘pretending’ ‘cheating’ and so forth, but the people who passed her saw her as authentic. This assumed authenticity created another problem: passers-by left this (obviously really) psychotic woman on her own on that freezing winter night in Stockholm. When she did not respond to their attempts to communicate with her, they simply continued on their way. This behaviour of the pedestrians shocked me more than any of Anna O’s actions. In my mind, it took ages until one passing couple stopped and finally called an emergency number. Although the focus of each of these cases will be on one of the four parameters, they will also demonstrate that all of these aspects are simultaneously needed to arouse strong feelings of presence. The four examples will be referred to and discussed within the philosophical trajectory and the explications of the model so that at the end of the three parts a new concept of presence as well as a workable methodology can be summarized.

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About the book The manner in which my text is written is slow and rather meandering, picking up on topics that might appear marginal in view of the overall aim of the book. Sometimes, there will be biographical extensions in order to locate the philosophers in their eighteenth-century contexts. I will also introduce ad-hoc examples, similar to the Old Vic and Ötzi, in order to concretize aesthetic discourses. The four situations that I briefly described represent personal experiences which I will refer to in various manners throughout the book. The previously published articles about these situations are available, but it is my ambition to be explicit enough in my presentation of those events so there is no need to have read these texts. From my short presentation of these situations it becomes obvious that none of them deals with traditional theatre performances such as the Old Vic’s production of Ibsen’s Borkman. As a theatre scholar I have always been tempted to explore marginal fields of the discipline, be it reception and audience research, Bronze Age rock carvings, the dramaturgy of computer games, the theatricality of landscapes, and so forth. Since my concept of presence exceeds the limitations of stage performances (which I

Sauter, Willmar. Aesthetics of Presence : Philosophical and Practical Reconsiderations, Cambridge Scholars Publisher, 2020.

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still love as a spectator), I wanted to present the Aesthetics of Presence in a broader cultural context.

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Part One: Histories of Presence, begins with the historical establishment of aesthetics as a philosophical discipline and its basic principle of aesthetics as ‘sensory perception’. One of the central figures of this movement towards an independent aesthetic philosophy was Moses Mendelssohn. His aesthetic writings have recently been edited and allow for a more detailed analysis of the various arguments in the discourse. Other names that appear in this chapter are Baumgarten, Lessing, Rousseau and Schiller, whose work will be discussed to some extent, while many others will only be mentioned in relevant contexts. The four situations and my personal experiences are interfoliated with the philosophical arguments to maintain a relationship between the eighteenth and the twenty-first centuries. This part ends with an introductory presentation of the four parameters of presence. Part Two: Parameters of Presence, examines the four parameters one by one in the order of perceiving, performing, playing and placing. The aesthetic viewpoints of the eighteenth century are extended and completed by later philosophies and authors such as Gadamer, Huizinga, Lefebvre, Derrida and some recent contributors to aesthetic discourses. Thereby the aesthetics of presence appears as a complex web of these parameters. Social positions, cultural views and communicative mechanisms will be taken into consideration. In addition, questions of duration and immersion are discussed. In conclusion, the parameters will be presented as contingent corners of a rhombic model. To make this rhomb workable, a section on Empirical Methods has been added. Part Three: Variations of Presence, focuses on the four situations presented above. Each section will begin with an elaborated description of the circumstances in question. Through the lens of an aesthetics of presence, the topics of these situations are widened and deepened beyond the limits of the earlier published articles. My comments and analyses are intended to penetrate aspects of special interest in the view of philosophies of presence, thereby illuminating possible effects of the concept of presence as it is presented in the foregoing chapters. Epilogue: Dynamics of Presence, returns to the examples of this Prologue, i.e. the actors on the stage of the Old Vic and the coat of the Stone-Age Ötzi. An unsuccessful effort is made to label these experiences as sublime. Eventually, a last effort in answering the questions asked throughout this

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Prologue

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book is made: How do we get involved in aesthetic experiences? Is it reasonable to speak of beauty in the twenty-first century? Last but not the least: has presence a time frame?

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PART ONE HISTORIES OF PRESENCE

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The experience of presence is described in various ways in the history of aesthetics. A constant feature seems to be the relationship between an object and a subject or, as I have called it, between an A(ppearance) and a B(eholder). Is it the Appearance that invites or provokes the Beholder to an aesthetic experience or is it, in contrast, the Beholder who projects an aesthetic notion onto an Appearance? The question of the priority of A and B has followed the history of aesthetics and it has been answered in opposite ways. I have observed a distinction between linear and circular concepts of aesthetics with regard to A’s relation to B. The linear concept follows the production of A, be it things or events, from the initial intention to the finished artwork which eventually is presented for B. One could also call this a production aesthetics with a time line following the creative process. The circular concept focuses the actual experience of an artwork, the moment when A is perceived by B. One could speak of an aesthetic event that affects A and B simultaneously; their relation is circular. These distinctions disclose different ideas of aesthetics, namely an aesthetics of production and an aesthetics of perception. Historically speaking, the caesura between linear, production-oriented and circular, perception-related aesthetic concepts occurs around the turn of the eighteenth century. At this point, the romanticists and the German idealists began to give privilege to the artwork, its production and not least its creator – the genius – over the beholder’s actual experience. A was thought to dominate B. The spirit of the genius A achieved priority and it was up to B to learn to understand and appreciate it. Before this shift, during the second half of the eighteenth century, the relationship between Appearance and Beholder was rather the opposite. The sensitivity of B determined what and when an aesthetic experience occurred. This is of course a simplification, but it aroused my curiosity to find out what an aesthetics of perception could offer in the twenty-first century.

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Part One

To get a better understanding of these aesthetic concepts it is rewarding to revisit the early discourses of aesthetics in the eighteenth century, which is the primary aim of this part of the book. The establishment of a philosophy of aesthetics can be seen as an effect of the broadening discourses of the Enlightenment. With enlightened rationality as the guiding principle, even aesthetic experiences could be illuminated. Of course, the ancient Greeks were already concerned about aesthetics – this is where the term aisthesis comes from, translatable as sensory or sensitive perception. The term was related to beauty, poetry and tragedy, despised by Plato and defended by Aristotle. Seven hundred years later, Church Father Augustine involved God, the creator of all beauty. In the thirteenth century, Thomas Aquinas got access to Aristotle’s writings, which he combined with his own theological view of a world, established and regulated by God. The French classicists of the seventeenth century attempted to establish normative rules of taste and thus privileged what I call production aesthetics. Following the premiere of Pierre Corneille’s Le Cid in December 1636, a fierce debate took place concerning the dramatic principles that an author had to apply to tragedy. Nicolas Boileau intensified these arguments in his L’Art poétique, published in 1674 and became the leading theoretician of a classicist normative poetics. Leaning heavily towards the Roman writer Horace’s principles of artful poetry, Boileau advocated a traditional style of dramatic and poetic writing. The German Johann Christoph Gottsched still followed the French classicist rules as late as 1734 when his book Erste Gründe einer gesamten Weltweisheit (Primary principles of the entire world knowledge) appeared. He had studied the philosopher Christian von Wolff’s world-ordering principles and applied these to a Regelpoetik, a rule-governed poetics, regarding poetry and especially dramatic writing.1

Alexander Gottlieb Baumgarten A heavy German tradition awaited Alexander Gottlieb Baumgarten when he decided to study philosophy, but he definitely contributed lasting new perspectives. Being the son of a Protestant pastor, he learned Latin early in his life and became proficient in this language. His older brother Siegmund Jakob Baumgarten became a famous theologian, whereas Alexander Gottlieb studied philosophy at the university in Halle, at the time a hub of rationalistic and logic thinking. One of the philosophers teaching in Halle was Christian von Wolff, who became an important source of inspiration for Baumgarten. Wolff was himself a disciple of the seventeenth-century philosopher Gottfried Wilhelm Leibnitz, most famous

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Histories of Presence

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for his idea of monads as the indispensable but immaterial building blocks of the world. Wolff continued Leibnitz’s construction of philosophical systems. In the years between 1720 and 1725, Wolff published five books with titles that all began with “Vernünftige Gedanken von …”, i.e. reasonable thoughts about … The topics of these volumes were theology, society, natural science, psychology, and finally biology. His intention seems to have been to create an overview of all these concepts; furthermore, he also invented the concept of concepts, in German the “Begriff” of a thing. When Baumgarten came to the university in Halle, Wolff had just left to become professor in Marburg. To begin with, Baumgarten met systematic philosophy through one of Wolff’s collaborators, Johann Peter Reusch, in nearby Jena. At the age of twenty-one, Alexander Gottlieb Baumgarten defended his doctoral dissertation, called Meditationes, devoted to Latin poetry and written in Latin. In this first book, traces of his ideas on aesthetics can be found.2 Four years later, in 1739, Baumgarten published a book on Metaphysica, written in Latin like all serious scholarly publications at the time. This treatise on metaphysics was widely appreciated, translated into German in 1766 and used as a handbook at universities. Immanuel Kant’s students read this text until the end of the century. This book was indebted to Wolff’s systematic view of philosophy, but Baumgarten had the strong feeling that something was missing in Wolff’s logic, in particular the experiences we make with our bodies and for which no exact concepts existed. Baumgarten felt that he had to complete Wolff’s system and in 1750 he published the first part of his Aesthetica – again written in Latin. For any scholar interested in aesthetics, Baumgarten’s book seems to be a sine qua non. What does he say? One of today’s leading experts, Dagmar Mirbach, points explicitly to the difficulties of accessing Baumgarten’s writings, because the problem is to have knowledge of the entire text of Baumgarten’s Aesthetica – which stretches over more than 600 pages in two octavo volumes, containing in sum 904 sections, entirely in Latin, written in a quite complicated, or rather, grammatically sophisticated, hypotactical style. The fate of the Aesthetica, which is rightly and deservedly famous for being the work by which Baumgarten established aesthetics as its own, ontologically and epistemologically founded philosophical discipline, seems already to have been in the 18th century what it still seems to be today: the Aesthetica is famous, it is recognized to be of great importance in the history of philosophy as well as in respect to historical and systematic questions central to the development of aesthetic theory, the Aesthetica is regularly

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Part One named and mentioned – but it has hardly ever, at least until some years ago, been read and studied in its entirety.3

Since I am neither a Latinist nor a philosopher by trade, my understanding of Baumgarten’s writings is limited by my own shortcomings. In the following I will lean heavily towards Dagmar Mirbach’s explications as well as Sven Olov Wallenstein’s investigation of the genesis of Aesthetica in Baumgarten’s early writings. Wallenstein evaluates Baumgarten’s contribution to philosophy like this:

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If many details in Baumgarten’s work are heavily dependent on an unquestioned tradition, and some are admittedly obscure, this is because his work occupies a point of transition. This does however not prevent it from being both original and consistent, in fact, such a reading allows us to grasp it as a vantage point from which his rationalist predecessors as well as his Kantian successors appear in a different light. In Baumgarten’s breakthrough nothing was yet decided, which perhaps is what makes him relevant to our present uncertainties.4

Baumgarten’s § 1 of the Aesthetica reads: “Aesthetica (…) est sciencia cognitionis sensitivae,” aesthetics is the science of sensory cognition.5 This is a short and distinct statement, but it also indicates that there can be different kinds of cognition. Leibnitz had already referred to such a difference as, on the one hand, the distinct knowledge of logic, and, on the other hand, the confused or blurred knowledge of sensation. In this respect the traditional distinction between the higher (superiores) faculties of logic and rationality and the lower (inferiores) faculties of sensory perception, continued to have a strong influence. Now, in my understanding, Baumgarten attempted to establish equivalence between logic thinking and sensory cognition.6 He divided these lower faculties of cognition into a number of sub-species such as sensory perception and sensations, sensory perspicacity, sensory memory, sensory judgement, the faculty of fiction, the sensory faculty to foresee, and the sensory knowledge of signs. The whole area of sensory cognition thus became the subject of an analysis through which the lower faculties can be rationally understood. When sensory experiences can be understood they are no longer excluded from philosophical thinking. In this way, Baumgarten lifts the lower faculties of sensory cognition to the same philosophic level as the rational logic disciplines. Still, there are some differences: logic requires necessary predicates, whereas sensory cognition in addition operates with contingent predicates. The aims of Baumgarten’s aesthetics are summarized by Dagmar Mirbach in four points:

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All these determinations give us a clue to what Baumgarten conceives the new discipline of aesthetics to be: (1) Aesthetics shall be a theory of cognition, namely a theory concerning the lower, sensory faculties of cognition; (2) it shall be, as a science, an equivalent supplement to logic; (3) it shall contain an explication of the beautiful; and finally (4) it shall serve as a theory of the arts.7

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Here, a new term enters the discourse: beauty (pulcritudo), a phenomenon of perfection. Human beings – and probably many other living creatures – have a “natural disposition of the entire mind to think beautifully.”8 The beautiful is in no way limited to the arts, but can be experienced in all strands of life. Especially the beauty of nature was of great importance in eighteenth-century thinking. In today’s aesthetic discourses, the idea of the beautiful has almost been eliminated, but during the Age of Enlightenment beauty was tightly connected to truth and goodness – as moral aspects of the beholder rather than characteristics of an appearance. ‘Beautiful thinking’ depends on the sensory faculties of the beholders, which have to be developed through education and exercises. A person who has reached the perfection of sensory cognition Baumgarten calls a felix aestheticus, a happy aesthetician. The successful aesthetician needs to combine intellect and sensitivity as well as an “innate graceful and elegant spirit.”9 Baumgarten summarises his view of a felix aestheticus like this: Altogether it will be allowed to assign to aesthetic characters a certain innate greatness of the heart, an excellent instinct to strive for great things, especially in those characters who keep attention to how easy the transition is from here to the absolutely greatest things.10

To me it is important to underline that Baumgarten’s aesthetic theory appears as a theory of cognition, of how things are perceived by the beholder. It is not predominantly a normative theory of art, although the perfection of the phenomenon is mentioned more than once. In the end it is the beholder’s sensory cognition that creates the aesthetic experience. Suchlike experiences occur under certain circumstances and in certain moments. Baumgarten explicitly points to the necessary presence of the mind when he writes: If such a noble mind really wants to approach strenuously to things, which have to be thought as being greater, it must, as if it had forgotten itself and its ordinary state, be excited and so to speak be torn off to a higher theatre than the one on which it is playing its role day-to-day, it must in such a way be united with the Gods and the heroes, that it seems that it had found a certain heavenly acquaintance with them, not as if it had been expelled to

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Part One a foreign country, but as if it had been at home in such a community already for a long time.11

The distinction that Baumgarten makes between the roles we play in everyday life and the (rare) moments when we are elevated to celestial heights, is an important point. Aesthetic experiences can of course occur in vernacular circumstances, but they are still characterized by the break with the quotidian, the break that allows for a lift into another sphere. At least, this is how Baumgarten sees it – or: this is how I understand him. When Baumgarten uses the term ‘sensory cognition’, one should pay attention to both parts of this expression, the sensory and the cognition. The sensory refers to the five senses, namely seeing, hearing, and touching. But it is never enough just to feel the aesthetic sensation, it must also manifest itself as a cognitive act of knowing. But this knowing of physical sensations is not limited to the logic of pure reason. On the contrary, the sensitive ‘logic’ is open to contingent interpretations, to experiences that, according to Dagmar Mirbach

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can ultimately reveal aspects of the metaphysical truth which will always escape logical and scientific knowledge, but which nonetheless belong to the reality of things in the divine mind. Aesthetics, then, as the theory and science of sensory cognition, is rightly established as an organon or a philosophical instrument to broaden our cognition in regard to that which, in the eminent sense of the word, really is.12

Mirbach clarifies a number of points that are difficult to see in Baumgarten’s own paragraphs. Nevertheless, her description remains rather abstract, so I tried to think in more concrete terms. I returned to one of my experiences that I have written about, the one about our hiking experience in Lapland. * Did I experience “the metaphysical truth which will always escape logical and scientific knowledge” when I was standing at the shore of Lake Sårjåsjáurre in Padjelanta? In front of me I had in my view the small, pink flowers of Moss Campions and in the distance the majestic glaciers of Lina in Norway and Ålmåjiegna in Sweden. There was beauty to behold, no doubt about this. The contrast between the small insignificant flowers, the icy water of the huge lake and the immobile grandeur of the mountains made major imprints in my memory. There was astonishment, admiration, a feeling of experiencing an exceptional beauty. And I can very well remember this feeling. But the sensory perception, the aesthetic emotions

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and the safety of friends around me also triggered some thoughts that Baumgarten might have allocated to the higher faculties, namely my reflections about the littleness of human beings when confronted with the power of nature. This is not a very original reaction, but at that moment in Lapland it became an absolutely personal insight. My own insignificance was similar to the pink Moss Campion, whose existence is limited in time and leaving no traces other than some seeds flying off at the end of the summer.

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Ill. 1: The Moss Campions at Lake Sårjåsjáurre in Padjelanta

Outside of the picture, slightly to the right, there is Consul Persson’s cabin close to the waterfall at the outlet of the lake. It takes only a slight turn of the body to get this alternative view, which contrasts sharply with the original position. Consul Persson’s cabin caused no existential reflections other than a reminder of the futility of human enterprises – his dream of mining in the area never came true and the cabin is the only witness of his unsuccessful endeavours. The waterfall next to the cabin was noisy and dangerously sucking us near to the edge. This threatening roaring water, which jolted down in huge cascades of some 60 metres, destabilized my mood. The unruly bay of the lake became even more threatening when a huge, thick ice floe came closer and finally was pushed out into the waterfall, where the thick ice broke into small pieces.13 The noise of the breaking ice was deafening. The power that broke the massive floe into pieces was scary and at the same time fascinating. There was a sense of beauty, for sure, and at the same time an unpleasant threat of the water masses. Not a real threat, we were quite safe, but an almost aesthetic

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feeling of something repelling, something dangerous or haunting or whatever we call it: A sensory cognitive process that was ambiguous, mixed, even contradictory, some might say sublime, and still, in some sense, also aesthetic.

Moses Mendelssohn

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In an article about our hike in Lapland, I mention another philosopher, contemporary with Baumgarten and in a way also his successor. His name is Moses Mendelssohn and he observed that certain objects provoke ‘mixed emotions’, similar to my experience of the waterfall of Lake Sårjåsjáurre. Mendelssohn’s basic assumption was that aesthetic experiences are built on the principle of pleasure: “Every imagination that we want to have rather than not have, we call a pleasing sensation and on a higher level pleasure.”14 This simple statement has far-reaching consequences. In his Letters on Sentiments, first published anonymously in 1755 and reprinted under his name again and again during his lifetime, Mendelssohn identifies three sources of pleasure: impulses that are sensuous, beautiful or intellectual. He is still heavily indebted to Leibnitz’s and Wolff’s ideas of higher and lower faculties that were also the guiding lines of Baumgarten. But Mendelssohn’s idea of pleasure as the basis of aesthetic perception opens up for other concepts of a philosophy of aesthetics. The Letters on Sentiments consist of an epistolary exchange between the rational Palemon – namesake of one of the shepherds in Virgil’s Bucolica as well as of the Duke of Shaftesbury’s Moralists, a philosophical rhapsody from 1709 – and the less rationalist and dreamier Euphranor.15 As in all well-written philosophical exchanges of letters, the correspondents have different and distinguishable opinions. In the beginning of Mendelssohn’s On Sentiments, Euphranor complains about the absence of Palemon, so he attempts to think of beautiful things. “Beauty depends, according to the meaning of wise men, on the unclear imagination of perfection: lust and pleasure, yes, even peaceful contentment, affect our soul only vaguely, unless they are accompanied by a sweet agitation of the blood and the various movements of our limbs.”16 Palemon finds it difficult to accept such a romantic view of beauty, which echoes Leibnitz’s categories of distinct/rational versus confused/intuitive knowledge. Here, Mendelssohn’s alter ego claims: “The truth is that no distinct and no completely dark concepts harmonise with the feeling of beauty.” And he continues: “the clearer our image of a beautiful thing, the livelier the emotions, the fierier the pleasure that emanates from it.”17 Mendelssohn

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points here to a misunderstanding about beauty that one frequently meets still today: beauty is assumed to be perceived as pure emotion and when we start to think about it, it disappears. For Mendelssohn this is nonsense. He contends that the clarity of our perception of beauty, i.e. our consciousness of what makes an appearance beautiful, heightens rather than disturbs our immediate feelings. In another letter, Mendelssohn lets Euphranor make a discovery. Euphranor agrees with Palemon that beauty gives pleasure to the beholder due to the perfection of an appearance. He also understands that perfection is not equal to unity, but rather a completion of the manifold. This is certainly true when we see stunning views of nature and in this case even some disorder or an ugly detail might heighten the perfection of a panorama. However, Euphranor exclaims, how could you, Palemon, appreciate the painting of a ship close to being wrecked against a rock that you saw many times in the entrance hall of my house? He describes the desperate figures of the painting who realize their own destruction – how could you take delight in such a piece of art?18 Of course, Palemon has to respond to such a question, but the epistolary dialogue digresses and problems such as real destruction and even suicide are discussed. Only in the concluding remarks, ‘written’ by Palemon, does Mendelssohn return to the aspect of mixed emotions.19 By introducing the concept of compassion, he distinguishes between two kinds of appreciation. In the gladiator games of the Romans, the tournaments of the Middle Ages and also the bearbaitings and other cruel English animal fights, compassion is eliminated and the spectators enjoy the skills of the fighters. In tragedies or the painting of the shipwreck in Euphranor’s mansion, compassion is supposed to be aroused due to the skills of the dramatist and the painter. In these cases, the beholders find pleasure in the skills of the artists, while the content makes them shudder with disgust. This is the nature of sentiments. When some bitter drops mix with the honey-sweet cup of pleasure, they raise the taste of pleasure and double its sweetness. But only when the two kinds of emotions, of which the mixture consists, are not completely turned against each other.20

Palemon reminds his friend of the tears of happiness they shed when they remember past miseries: the concept of past incompleteness joins the feeling of present completeness and together they cause the pleasure of remembrance, even though the past itself might have been painful. Many people share this experience: An occurrence that made us angry and

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distressed at the moment when it happened can be told as an entertaining story the next day. We can laugh at our own anger. The principle of pleasure that Moses Mendelssohn emphasizes in his discourses about aesthetics meant a big step forward in the broadening of the concept. Aesthetics was liberated from the dictate of beauty. If ugliness could evoke aesthetic pleasure as well, then aesthetics was no longer a matter of defining beauty, although Mendelssohn spends many pages on explanations of the relationship between beauty and completeness and perfection. Beauty became just one aspect of aesthetics, but since it cannot be defined it cannot be the sole reason for aesthetic pleasure. The creation of beauty – be it a god in nature or the painter in a studio – takes a prominent place, but it was the beholder’s recognition of the skills that remained in the foreground of Mendelssohn’s writings.

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According to Anne Pollok’s introductory explications of the latest edition of his Ästhetische Schriften, Mendelssohn was not fully pleased with his own concept of mixed sentiments. The reference to the artist’s ‘skills’ seemed too simple. Soon after the publication of On Sentiments, Mendelssohn engaged in a real correspondence with the dramatist Gotthold Ephraim Lessing and the publisher Friedrich Nicolai. One of the points they discussed frequently was mixed emotions. In a passage of a letter that Mendelssohn seemed to take to his heart, Lessing wrote: In this we can obviously agree, dearest friend, that all passions are either strong desires or strong disgust? Also in this: that we at every strong desire or disgust are aware of a higher degree of reality, and that this notion is nothing but pleasant? In consequence, all passions, even the most unpleasant, are pleasant as passions.21

In a text called Rhapsody, or A Supplement to the Letters on Sentiments, published in 1761, Mendelssohn proposed some corrections, which were further elaborated in the 1771 edition of his Philosophische Schriften. At this point Mendelssohn had arrived at the following description: Mixed sentiments have the special characteristics that they are not as soft as pure pleasure, but they penetrate deeper into the mind and they also seem to stay there longer. That which only is pleasant leads straight to satisfaction and eventually to disgust. Our desire stretches further than just delight and when it is not satisfied, then our mind yearns for change. The unpleasant, however, mixed with the pleasant, attracts our attention and prevents too swift satisfaction. Our sensory taste in everyday life shows that pure sweetness soon changes into repulsion when it is not mixed with

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something spicy. Although this remark remains general, experience confirms these sentiments of the mind.22

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With quite simple references to daily life, Mendelssohn describes here the deeper meaning of mixed sentiments. He does not argue against the appreciation of artistic and technical skills that he mentions in the original text of On Sentiments, but expands the range of its significance. Mixed sentiments also trigger a certain confusion of the mind, just like the tongue enjoys a certain bitterness of sweet ale. The human mind is capable of experiencing several emotions at the same time and this opposition creates an uncertainty that attracts special attention. The idea of double sensations that characterize aesthetic experiences occupied Mendelssohn throughout his life. He corrected his original concept of the 1750s, improved it and changed his mind again later on. In some way, the roots of this interest in the doubleness of aesthetic theory I found in the doublings of his personal life.23 “The history of any given personality is far older than the individual as product of nature, begins long before the individual’s life, and can foster or destroy the elements of nature in his heritage,” as Hannah Arendt stated in her book about Rahel Varnhagen, a younger Jewish contemporary of Mendelssohn.24 Every aspect of Mendelssohn’s life was doubled by the circumstances of quotidian as well as intellectual activities, which mirrored his dialectical philosophy. He was born in 1729 as the son of a poor Jewish scribe in Dessau, a provincial town southwest of Berlin. His father, whose name was Mendel, earned his living by writing the Hebrew texts of Thora scrolls. In the family, the first language was Yiddish, but early on Moses learned Hebrew and composed his first poems in this language at the age of ten. His religious education was taken care of by the local Rabbi David Fränkel, who introduced his young pupil not only to the holy scriptures of Judaism, but also to such Jewish classics as Moses Maimonides, a twelfthcentury philosopher, who had read Aristotle, the Thora and the Koran side by side. When David Fränkel became the chief rabbi of Berlin, the fourteen-year-old Moses joined him. Anecdotes claim that the Jewish boy was not allowed to enter the capital city of Prussia through the main gate, but had to step through a side entrance used for pigs and tramps. In Berlin, he began to call himself Moses Mendelssohn. He continued his education with Rabbi Fränkel and at the same time he acquired reading skills in Latin, Greek, French and English. And he learned German. Later, he was many times admired for his command of the German language in speaking and writing. He also studied mathematics and the philosophies of Leibnitz and Wolff.

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At the age of twenty-one he was hired as private tutor to the children of the Jewish silk merchant Isaak Bernhard. Only due to such a work place could he stay on in Berlin. Soon, Mendelssohn was also engaged as a bookkeeper, and later he became a partner of Bernhard’s silk business. He remained an active companion of the firm throughout his life, handling import and export, custom regulations, state subsidies, economic transactions and staff recruitment. He became an expert in the production and dyeing of silk textiles. The company owned five factories in and around Berlin and more than one and a half million mulberry trees. Mendelssohn was said to have been in the habit of getting up very early in the morning, making his own coffee and starting the day by studying and writing. At about eight o’clock he left for his work with the company. He stayed there for about six hours, rushed back to his studio at home and in the evening he met his friends. In 1762 he married Fromet Guggenheim from Hamburg and together they had three daughters and three sons. In time, they had more than a dozen grandchildren, but all of them were born after Moses’ death in 1786. Many of the Mendelssohns became important and famous merchants, bankers, chemists, geographers, and maybe most well-known today, are the musicians Fanny and Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy. However, Moses Mendelssohn became not only a prominent member of the Prussian business world, he first and foremost excelled as a philosopher of the German Enlightenment, often referred to as ‘the German Socrates’ and ‘the Jewish Luther.’25

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* Life as a template of philosophy can easily be transferred to the arts, with equally confusing results. Mendelssohn’s daily business gave him the economic as well as mental basis on which his enlightened philosophy could prosper. Anna Odell’s lived experiences as a psychologically unstable youngster and as an ambitious art student became the stuff of which her art was made. However, the relationship between art and life was consciously blurred when she re-staged her suicide attempt on a high bridge in central Stockholm. I am saying ‘staged’ because it was the staging of an earlier – so to speak ‘authentic’ – suicide attempt that she had undertaken thirteen years earlier. When she performed this act, the people who saw her could not possibly understand that the pathological actions of this young woman were not ‘real’. Even when it became known that the activities on the bridge were enacted and documented, the media had difficulties in finding words for Anna Odell’s actions: pretence and fake were frequently used terms, cheating and lying were other descriptions, and the court sentenced her for a ‘fraudulent’ act. The fact

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that her performed actions were a re-enactment of previous suicidal actions which were intended to be documented in order to serve as material for an art installation, was not taken into account either by the media or by the court.

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Performing those actions was a necessary condition for Anna Odell’s aesthetics, in which life, art and perception formed an intricate weave of threads. For her, it was important to personally carry out – re-enact – those actions. Ironically, the consequences turned out to be exactly the same as during her first, real suicide attempt: public intervention, police, psychiatric ward, tranquillizing shots, etc. In the public sphere, her actions were no longer an enactment, but the direct outbursts of a pathologic mind. The doubleness of her performance had become invisible. For Anna Odell, her actions on the bridge were extremely calculated and she was mentally absolutely detached from her role-playing, as she told me in interviews.

Ill. 2: Anna Odell on the Liljeholms bridge in Stockholm

The detachment of the performer was a big issue during the eighteenth century. Dennis Diderot, the French writer, dramatist and editor of the grand encyclopaedia project, supported what at the time was called ‘cold’ acting. In his posthumously published dialogue on the Paradox sur le

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comédien (Paradox of the Actor), he claimed about the – male – actor’s work: In this moment when he moves you, he listens to his own voice, and his gift is not to feel – as you might think – but to reproduce exactly the outward signs, so that you are cheated. /…/ If it were any other way, the actor’s situation would be the unhappiest of unhappy situations. But he is not unhappy, he only plays him, and he plays him so well that you think he is this way. The illusion is yours; he knows very well that he is not this person.26

Diderot speaks of professional actors, whereas Anna Odell was only an art student. The purpose of her actions was to involve the pedestrians in her re-enactment of a suicide. She certainly succeeded and thereby laid the foundation for her art installation. She was detached like Diderot’s ideal actor, while displaying a segment of her real life. The effect was the same as Mendelssohn’s doubling of life and thought, of business and philosophy, of performing and playing, which became the red thread of his emancipative aesthetics.

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* Mendelssohn’s main interests as a philosopher were metaphysics, natural theology, rational psychology, and political theory. His passion for aesthetic theory was profound but rather marginal in his overall body of works. One of his most famous books was published in 1767 under the title Phaedon or On the Immortality of the Soul. This volume, paraphrasing Plato’s title and the dialogic form, was read all over Germany. Three thousand copies were sold during the first weeks after its publication and the text was translated into several languages. In this book as in all his theological writings, he remained faithful to both his Jewish heritage and to the ideas of religious, social and political equality that characterized the late Enlightenment. His book Jerusalem or On Religious Power and Judaism from 1783 is seen as a cornerstone publication of the Haskala, the Jewish enlightenment movement of the early nineteenth century. Besides being a highly respected Maskilim, i.e. a representative of the Jewish Enlightenment, Mendelssohn continuously published articles and book reviews in the two journals that his friend Friedrich Nicolai edited, Bibliothek and Literaturbriefe.27 Among those who had their work scrutinized by Mendelssohn were Pope, Burke, Rousseau, Sulzer and other prominent writers of the eighteenth century. Immanuel Kant, four years older than Mendelssohn, sent a draft version of his Critique of Pure Reason to him, asking him for an evaluation. In the journals of Nicolai he

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originally published his thoughts on aesthetics, in part inspired by his early and lifelong friendship with Lessing.

Gotthold Ephraim Lessing Born in 1729, Gotthold Ephraim Lessing and Moses Mendelssohn were the same age. In 1754, their friend Aaron Gumpertz invited the two young men to a game of chess. Lessing already had experience of writing successfully for the stage. In 1748, he had his first play, Der junge Gelehrte (The young scholar), premiered in Leipzig by Caroline Neuber, known as Die Neuberin, the most famous theatre leader in Germany at the time. A year later, the same troupe performed Lessing’s second play, Die Juden (The Jews). Since this little comedy remains a credo of Enlightenment dramaturgy, a brief digression might be motivated.

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Two figures with long beards attempt the robbery of a rich Baron, but a Traveller prevents the attack from succeeding. The grateful Baron assumes that the bearded robbers were Jews and invites the Traveller to his mansion. The Baron’s daughter falls in love with the Traveller. Meanwhile, it is discovered that the Baron’s own men, Martin Krumm and Michel Stich, had long fake beards in their pockets. Now it can be stated that the robbers were not Jews; but the noble Traveller discloses that he is Jewish. Rather than accepting gifts of gratitude, he asks his host to think more favourably of Jews and to accept the equal rights of all religions. Mendelssohn and Lessing – sons of a Jewish scribe and a Protestant pastor – understood each other perfectly well. When the game of chess was over, a lifelong friendship began. Whenever Lessing lived in Berlin, he and Mendelssohn met several times per week to discuss issues that were central to Enlightenment thinking. In the year they met, Moses had to defend his friend Gotthold Ephraim’s play about the Jews against the racist review of a Protestant theologian.28 They even wrote a piece together and with the publisher Friedrich Nicolai, they edited the two journals mentioned above, which became a platform for many of Mendelssohn’s articles, reviews and so-called dissertations, i.e. his treatises about aesthetics such as the Letters On Sentiments. In 1761, Mendelssohn was persuaded to publish two volumes of Philosophische Schriften, in which he partly revised his earlier essays. These revisions also continued in the 1771 version of his philosophical writings, so it is mainly this latter edition that I have been quoting from.29

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While Mendelssohn prepared his grand opus Phaedon, which was eventually published in 1767 and spread rapidly all over Europe, Lessing moved to the then German city of Breslau (today Wroclaw) to serve as secretary to Governor von Tauentzien. He translated Denis Diderot’s plays with the author’s adjoining essays, which were published in 1760. In the following years, Lessing wrote one of the first classical German comedies, Minna von Barnhelm. At the same time, he stayed in contact with Mendelssohn to discuss, among other things, an aesthetics of presence. Inspired by Johann Joachim Winckelmann’s Geschichte der Kunst des Altertums (The History of Art in Antiquity), which appeared for the first time in 1764, Lessing set about discussing the old question of which of the arts was the leading or superior art form. Lessing’s treaty is entitled Laokoon: oder über die Grenzen der Malerey und Poesie (Laokoön: Or the Limits of Painting and Poetic Arts), which he eventually published in a still fragmentary form in 1766 when he had returned to Berlin.30 As a motto, he translates Plutarch as saying that “irrespective of the similarity of their efficacy, they [painting and poetry] are different both in their content and in their way of representation.”31 Many of the examples are taken from Winckelmann’s book, which was completed with Lessing’s own broad knowledge of Greek and Roman poetry. His initial example, which also appears in the title, is the fate of Laokoön as it is expressed in a Hellenistic sculpture and in Virgil’s story, told in Aeneis (19 BCE). Laokoön, a Trojan priest, warned his countrymen to trust the wooden horse the Greeks had left behind. At this moment, a huge snake came out of the sea to kill his two sons and, while he tried to rescue them, squeezed Laokoön himself to death. Lessing begins with a long quotation of Winckelmann’s description of the statue of Laokoön, preserved in the Vatican Museum, of which Winckelmann had become a curator. The statue catches the moment when the snake bites the hip of Laokoön. Winckelmann describes Laokoön’s face as characterized by a suppressed pain, groaning rather than screaming, in any case not crying out so loudly and violently as Virgil had described Laokoön in this situation. According to Winckelmann, this depends on the greatness of the soul, meaning both Laokoön’s soul and, at the same time, the artist’s soul. Lessing agrees with Winckelmann’s description, but not with his explanation. Lessing deviates to all kinds of reasoning, trying to show that the Greek soul was no different from that of Romans or later generations. He discusses the aim of science to give us truth as opposed to the aim of the

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arts, which is to give us pleasure. Returning to Laokoön, Lessing arrives at the conclusion that the artist could not show the Trojan priest in extensive agony, because this would hurt our sense of beauty. A distorted face, twisted with pain, would not give an air of splendour to a sculpture because of the following paradox: the artist depicts only one exact moment, but this particular moment lasts for ever, as long as people observe the statue. If the artist creates this moment at the climax of painful expression, the beholder cannot add anything more. If the artist shows Laokoön in a moment of suppressed pain, the viewer can imagine the next moment when Laokoön no longer can withhold an outcry of pain and despair; the sculpture depicts a dramatic flow, not just a frozen moment. Laokoön’s tormented body has not yet broken the beauty of the bearded face and it is this beauty that fascinates the beholder. This is how Lessing interprets the groaning face of the statue of Laokoön.32 But what about the screaming mouth in Virgil’s written story? Lessing explains the following:

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When Virgil’s Laokoön screams, who thinks of the fact that screaming necessitates a big mouth and that such a mouth is ugly? Enough that clamores horrendos ad sidera tollit contains an elevated measure for the ear, while it may affect the face in whatever way it will.33

The Poet is not tied to one particular moment. The flow of the story allows for an unlimited time dimension that the Painter cannot afford. In the imagination of the beholder, the relation between time and timelessness is reversed. The static picture of the Painter stimulates the fantasy of the beholder, asking what had caused the situation in a picture or in a sculpture and what will happen next. Thus the time dimension of the viewer’s imagination surpasses the painter’s limitation to the moment. The Poet is free to move on with the story, while the reader or listener transposes the words into images – pictures of moments in the flow of the narrative. Lessing summarizes: Painting, as a coexisting composition, can only utilize one single moment of an action and therefore has to choose the most precise moment, from which the previous and the following become most understandable. In the same way, Poetry, as an advancing representation, can only utilize one single aspect of a body and has to choose the most sensible image of the body, in a situation that serves it. From this we can conclude the rule of the unity of painted compositions and the thrift of bodily things in narratives.34

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Time becomes a crucial aspect in Lessing’s argument. The present moment, that the Painter catches, remains present in eternity, for all of the beholders to come. The Poet’s dramatic description of one moment is quickly passed by another moment, while the beholder tries to remember the image of a particular situation. This complicated relation becomes even more complex when Lessing extends his argument to include the Dramatic Poet. “The impression of a scream that the storyteller makes is different from the scream itself,” says Lessing.35 He thinks that the performer should keep to the rules of the painter, i.e. not screaming like Virgil’s Laokoön, but rather withholding the expression of pain. At this point, Lessing leaves Laokoön and instead follows an existing drama, Sophocles’ Philoctetes. The title role is one of the most demanding characters to bring to the stage. Lessing compares the ancient play to Chataubrun’s recently celebrated production in Paris and wonders how performers can manage to ‘scream beautifully’. By way of discussing Adam Smith’s The Theory of Moral Sentiments from 1761, Lessing encircles two sensitive points: performative illusion and sincere compassion. Together with the dramatist, the actor needs to awaken our compassion with the fictive character. Once the spectator feels this compassion, the performer can also try to show extreme, even excessive pain. Whether any actor can create such screams and convulsions that give an illusion of such pain, Lessing cannot answer; but he maintains that even if the famous David Garrick might not have been able to reach such an illusionary expression, he still thinks that the ancient actors could do it due to their superb declamation, which we cannot even imagine any longer.36 Compassion as an emotion is related to presence. It is an immediate reaction to something that causes it, be it a real or fictional situation, painting or poetry, ancient or contemporary: it is the moment of the beholder’s encounter with the cause that provokes compassion. More often than not, we are not prepared to feel compassion – it catches our attention in the moment. Two hundred and fifty years after Lessing, I felt this immediate compassion when I met the Laokoön group in the Vatican Museum and still remember the moment.37 I was also struck by compassion when I saw Anna Odell on the bridge in Stockholm attempting to commit suicide. * I was not present on the Liljeholms bridge on this cold evening in January 2009. I did not observe Anna Odell there in the flesh, I only saw the

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documentary video in her art installation in the summer in Kalmar, a small city in the south of Sweden. Since there are big gaps of time and of place between the actual event and my observing it, the aspect of presence becomes quite complex. What I actually saw on the screen of the installation was a young woman, inappropriately dressed for the cold and wet weather, walking back and forth on the bridge. She carries a plastic bag that she tosses away and picks up again, she throws her boots over the railing into the water and she takes off her jacket. Obviously, this woman displays a psychotic condition that we do not normally encounter, not even in the urban environment of Stockholm. The video, shot from a nearby balcony, also documents the people who passed this disturbed woman on the bridge. I can see that most of the pedestrians hesitate, look at her twice, but decide to continue with their own business. A few stop and try to communicate with the woman, but since she does not respond they leave her alone. Some bicyclists react in a similar manner. This goes on for quite some time, until, finally, a young couple stop, try to speak to her, but since the woman does not pay them any attention, they call an emergency number. Soon after, a police car arrives, the officers wrestle Anna Odell to the pavement and take her towards the blue flashing lights of the emergency vehicle. I was deeply affected by this scene. The uncanny question in my mind was: what would I have done if I had passed Anna Odell in her state of psychosis? I hope I would have been the one who called for help, but I am afraid I might have been among those pedestrians who only looked at her in passing. This moral problem will of course never be solved, but the shock of seeing people neglecting a person in obvious need of help hit me in the exhibition hall where I watched the video. While the moment of compassion and self-reflection was overwhelming right then and there, I was also aware that I was (just!?) watching an artwork. I acknowledged the authenticity of the pedestrians’ behaviour, although I knew full well that the event as such was not authentic. As mentioned earlier, Anna Odell had staged this event as a re-enactment of her own suicide attempt on the same bridge that had happened thirteen years earlier. She is not an actress, but she succeeded in presenting a mentally disturbed woman so convincingly, that neither the pedestrians nor the policemen – and later not even the medical personnel at the psychiatric hospital – were able to unmask her performance. For all of them, she was a psychotic woman and they reacted accordingly. Not even the court could accept that Anna Odell’s appearance on the bridge was an artwork or, more correctly, was staged in order to become part of an art

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installation. Also, the long and intensive public debate refused to accept that the so-called fake-illness was integrated into a broader concept: a critique of the psychiatric ward. When I stood in front of the video screen in Kalmar, I was very much aware of all these circumstances, except for the trial that had not yet taken place at the time. Nevertheless, my ethical reaction was immediate and strong. The granular texture of the recorded video increased the documentary character of the scene. The pedestrians’ behaviour with which I was confronted was documented as their authentic reactions. Although I knew that all this happened half a year earlier, the shocking impression came in the moment I saw it on the screen. The presence of the aesthetic experience concerned only my being in the exhibition, whereas the physical absence of the artist did not matter. *

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There are some striking similarities between my reflections about Anna Odell’s video installation and Lessing’s view of the ancient sculpture of Laokoön. These concern the relationship between the moment that the sculpture eternalizes and the presence of the scene that the artist represents. Presence is naturally related to the moment, but is not limited to it. Since presence occurs, it has duration. While the moment is related to the artwork, presence indicates the flow of time, the span of attention that the beholder avails to the agency of an appearance. In his preliminary notes to Laokoön, Lessing states the following: To every finite thing, a triple form can be attributed. One in the mind of the artist who created it, the second in the nature of things or their materiality, and lastly in the mind of the beholder. The first form in the mind of the artist is the most complete one, constituting the ideal of the artist or the subjective ideal. The objective ideal is the maximum of beauty. Nature has reached this in the whole of the universe, but therefore not in all its parts.38

Lessing’s distinction between three aspects of an artwork is remarkable but not unique in the eighteenth-century discourse of aesthetics. To begin with, Lessing seems to apply an aesthetics of production. The artist’s own perception of a work appears to be the most perfect one, but Lessing admits that it might not even be fully expressed in the work itself, as a material object – be it a painting or a poem. As a third step, the beholder meets the work, interprets and judges it in a process that might be either

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close to the artist’s intentions or move away from them. Interesting from a twenty-first-century perspective is Lessing’s openness to accept the beholder’s right to understand and appreciate a work of art according to the circumstances that the viewer or reader brings along: education, experience, effort, and so forth. The beholder is seen as an independent participant in an aesthetic experience, which moves Lessing away from production aesthetics and brings him very close to an aesthetics of perception. As mentioned above, the dramatic poet encounters particular problems. The words of the dialogue are supposed to be spoken loudly and visibly on a stage. Lessing was at the time an experienced dramatist and would return to writing drama, although he had become the librarian of the ducal collection of books and antiquities in Wolfenbüttel. The close ties between him and Moses Mendelssohn continued. Moses and his wife Fromet visited Gotthold Ephraim who felt quite unhappy in his library. An amazing work of literature emanated in the late phase of their friendship: Lessing’s masterpiece Nathan der Weise (Nathan the Wise). The title figure Nathan, who defends the ideas of the Enlightenment and claims the equality of all religions, is nothing less than a literary portrait of Lessing’s friend Moses. Even their first meeting is reproduced in the play: When the Jew Nathan and Sultan Saladin’s treasurer are introduced to each other in Jerusalem, they play a game of chess. Published in 1779, it was not performed before 1783 at a time, when Lessing was no longer alive. The play, although rarely seen outside the German-speaking countries, deserves an in-depth presentation, but it would divert from the discourses of aesthetics; let me just quote Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s prophetic words about Nathan: “May this well-known story, successfully performed, remind German audiences of all times that they are called upon not only to watch but also to listen and to understand. May also the divine sense of tolerance and compassion, expressed in the play, remain a holy value for the nation.”39 After Lessing’s death, Moses Mendelssohn had to defend his friend against allegations that he was an atheist. Religion and in particular Judaism occupied much of Mendelssohn’s attention in the 1780s. Again, he felt the doubleness of his life: he was almost unanimously voted into the Prussian Academy, but King Fredrik used his veto to prevent a Jew from sitting in ‘his’ Academy. One morning, Moses Mendelssohn and his children were on a walk, when youngsters hurled anti-Semitic abuse and stones after them. The children asked why the kids were doing so and the father had no answer for them.40 Jews were tolerated in the centre of

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Protestantism, but absolutely not more than tolerated. Mendelssohn remained an outsider in Prussian society and although he had a permanent residency in Berlin, he never became a full citizen of the city. His position of being a respected part of the German and Jewish Enlightenment is clearly mirrored not only in his philosophical and theological writings, but also in his sophisticated contributions to the new discipline of aesthetics. In Mendelssohn’s thinking, aesthetics became an ever more sophisticated pattern of emotional and cognitive responses to works of art. A painting or a play certainly gave the impulses, but from an aesthetic point of view what mattered was how the beholder reacted to these impulses. Aesthetics equalled to a very high degree the behaviour of the viewer, listener or reader and the various phases of sensing, perceiving, and desiring an object or a view or a sound. Aesthetic experience remained the major aspect of aesthetic thinking.

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Jean-Jacques Rousseau Mendelssohn and Lessing were not the only ones in Europe who discussed the beholder’s share in an aesthetic event. A philosopher of special interest for them was Jean-Jacques Rousseau. In 1756, Mendelssohn translated Rousseau’s Second Discourse into German and added his personal comments in the form of a Letter to Lessing, which was added as an appendix.41 A few years later, Mendelssohn wrote a review about Rousseau’s Julie ou la nouvelle Héloise (The New Héloïse). At the same time, he remained critical towards Rousseau’s writings. “Rousseau has collected everything wicked, of which one could accuse the fine arts and letters and concluded from it that they ruin the morals.”42 Mendelssohn does not explicitly refer to Rousseau’s Lettre à M. d’Alembert from 1758, but the quotation certainly reflects the spirit of that book. Rousseau had collected literally everything bad that he could say about theatre and drama in his argument against Monsieur d’Alembert’s suggestion to establish a theatre in Rousseau’s home town of Geneva. Rousseau had recently returned to Geneva and once again become a citizen of his native city, due to his re-conversion from Catholicism to Calvinism. His fierce criticism against d’Alembert’s idea of a Genevan theatre was equally directed against Diderot and against Voltaire, who at the time resided in the village of Ferney on the French side of Geneva. His Lettre provoked many reactions, not least by women, who for Rousseau became the symbol of bad morals and thus were not included in the ‘equality of man’. The Swedish poet Hedvid Charlotta Nordenflycht published an ironic but

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severe pamphlet against Rousseau as early as 1761. Mary Wollstonecraft’s responses from the 1790s are more well-known, but at that time Rousseau was dead.43 Rousseau’s anger against the encyclopaedists and their intrusion into the affairs of Geneva also included his distaste of the Parisian theatre. Although he had successfully contributed to the repertoire of the Opera in Paris, he had now turned away from what he considered to be decadent and immoral entertainment. His Lettre would not be worth being mentioned here, were it not for the very last section, in which Rousseau proposes his alternative to traditional theatre. Rousseau would like to see festivals in which the people of a city actively participate through dancing, singing, sports and playful competitions, hoisting flags and raising maypoles, eating and drinking, everything that heightens the spirits of the community. Even Rousseau searches for pleasure:

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The sorts of Entertainment are determined necessarily by the pleasure they give and not by their utility. If utility is there too, so much the better. But the principal object is to please; and, provided that the People enjoy themselves, this object is sufficiently obtained.44

In this positive spirit Rousseau encouraged his Swiss countrymen to enjoy themselves as a community rather than as spectators of conventional theatrical performances. People should feel free and creative and the difference between performers and spectators should ideally be dissolved. Though his condemnation of actresses, actors, playwrights, managers, and theatre audiences appears incomprehensible today, his fantasies of public festivities are appealing.45 These were very modern ideas which were readily picked up by the French Revolution and by nineteenth-century nationalist movements. The expansion of theatre studies to performance studies in the late twentieth century has a forerunner in Rousseau who has been quietly bypassed in contemporary theories of performance. * I came to think of Rousseau’s festival ideas when I myself experienced something of the kind that he must have thought of. In one of the first scenes of Ulysses by James Joyce, three of the novel’s protagonists gather on top of the Martello Tower outside Dublin where they are living. Buck Mulligan in his yellow dressing-gown shaves energetically, while his friends Stephen Dedalus and Haines, the Englishman, are indifferent and sleepy. Downstairs, they have breakfast, an old lady brings them milk, and while they get ready for their various businesses, the dialogue resumes:

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- Our swim first, Buck Mulligan said. He turned to Stephen and asked blandly: - Is this the day for your monthly wash, Kinch? Then he said to Haines: - The unclean bard makes a point of washing once a month. - All Ireland is washed by the gulfstream, Stephen said as he let honey tickle over a slice of the loaf.46

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After breakfast, the three friends climb down to the stony Sandycove Beach to take a swim. But only Buck Mulligan gets into the water; Stephen and Haines encourage him, then both of them quickly return to the Tower. A sweet voice calls from the sea and Buck wants to respond, but sees only the brown head of a seal. On 16 June 2004, early in the morning, a radio announcement warns Dubliners to get close to or pass Sandycove Beach due to heavy traffic congestion. The roads and the adjoining streets around the Martello Tower are full of cars and people. They celebrate the 100th anniversary of ‘Bloomsday’, the day James Joyce had chosen to describe in all its detail in his novel. The term ‘Bloomsday’ derives from one of the other main figures of the novel, maybe the main figure, by the name of Leopold Bloom. Joyce follows Leopold Bloom and Stephen Dedalus during this entire day, from early morning until late at night. Joyce had decided that this special day would have the date 16 June 1904. Actually nothing particular had happened that day, except that Joyce himself had a rendezvous with his girlfriend Nora Barnacle, who later became his wife. The novel was completed in 1922 and was controversial enough to be forbidden in several countries. In Ireland it was not forbidden because the authorities did not expect anybody to read such a terrible book about Dublin. In 1954, some enthusiastic readers of Ulysses gathered in Dublin to walk along the same streets where Leopold Bloom and Stephen Dedalus had been roaming fifty years earlier – in a novel, not in reality. In the ensuing years, they called for more ‘Bloomsdays’ and while James Joyce was gradually accepted in Ireland as an Irish writer, Bloomsday lost its inverted commas and became a tradition. Naturally, the 100th anniversary in 2004 became a great festival. I was lucky to be in Ireland that week and to participate in the activities together with my Irish and German friends.

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Ill. 3: Sandycove Beach outside Dublin during Bloomsday

We did not go to Sandycove so early, but even later in the afternoon the scene was quite similar to what photographs showed from the early morning: People – Dubliners, tourists, whoever – took a swim in the still pretty cold waters of Dublin Bay. Many of them were dressed in period swimsuits while others were wearing regular bathing costumes. There were not so many in the water as there were ‘swimmers’ standing on the rocks of the bay, watching those in the water. At a little distance from these groups, closer to the parking lot and the road, were those who watched both the swimmers in the water and the non-swimming swimmers on the rocks. In addition, one could see people passing the scene slowly in their cars, observing what was going on around the beach. All these people participated in the celebration of Bloomsday, albeit to various degrees. There were those who mimicked the scene from the novel physically in the water – they became the main players. The bystanders had dressed up but did not dare to jump into the chilly bay. They interacted playfully with the heroic swimmers. The observers kept a certain distance, they had not dressed up in old-fashioned beachwear, but were, like us, sufficiently interested to see how far other participants would be going in identifying with the heroes of the novel. Even the people in their cars showed some interest without any wish to actually

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participate – but in the overall picture of the event, they became participants as well. In his imagined description of a Geneva festival, Jean-Jacques Rousseau saw a multiplicity of events going on at the same time, so people could choose where and when to engage in the activities. This was absolutely true of the events during Bloomsday. There were readings of Joyce’s novel by celebrities of Irish culture and there were performances of his text by amateur theatre groups. People were dressed up in period costumes, as James Joyce doubles, as Leopold Bloom in his bowler hat, as Buck Mulligan in his yellow dressing-gown, or simply as ‘people’ from 1904. Whoever felt like playing along with the Joyce-theme was welcome. Some gathered around a statue of James Joyce to be photographed. Others visited certain places only for the reason that they appeared in Joyce’s story and still happened to exist a hundred years later.

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Friedrich von Schiller Playing is a basic human wish or urge, which unites the desire for material sensations and the desire for abstract forms; in other words: a sensory and a rational power join forces and control each other in a state of playing. This view has not been launched by James Joyce, nor has it been introduced by Sigmund Freud, but it was Friedrich von Schiller who argued for the superiority of human playing as early as 1794. In the twelfth to the fifteenth letters of his treatise “Über die ästhetische Erziehung des Menschen” (On the aesthetic education of humankind),47 Schiller presents his thesis that there are two forces behind human behaviour, namely the sensory desire and the formal desire. The sensory desire relates to the material world, i.e. the need to survive in the physical sense, and pushes for change and development. The formal desire relates to the human mind and requires order and stability. Both of these desires are necessary, although they might at times pull in opposite directions, while they are rather meant to complete each other, or, as Schiller has it, a person “should feel while thinking, and should be thinking while feeling.”48 The important step in Schiller’s discussion comes when he proposes that the two desires of the sensory and the formal can be joined into another type of force, the desire for playing. According to Schiller, the liveliness of the sensory desire and the shape [Gestalt] of the formal desire turn into a ‘live shape’ or ‘living form’ when united in the playing desire. Schiller explains:

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As long as we only think of a shape it remains lifeless, pure abstraction; as long as we only sense life, it remains without shape, pure impression. Only when a shape lives in our senses, and then takes form in our mind, it becomes a living shape, and this happens probably every time when we find something beautiful.49

This is how Schiller introduces aesthetics as an indispensable means of education. Aesthetics as a desire, as behaviour, as an instrument that can be used for educational purposes was Schiller’s idea of these letters. These letters were – unlike most of the philosophical letters of the time – written for a real receiver, Duke Friedrich Christian von Schleswig-HolsteinAugustenburg. This Duke had, together with the Danish minister of finances, Count Ernst von Schimmelmann, offered Schiller an honorary salary of 1000 ducats, which Schiller gratefully accepted, because he was in a difficult situation, financially, health-wise and concerning his family. After having written a number of successful dramas – from Die Räuber (The robbers, 1780) and Fiesco (1782) to Don Carlos (1787) and in addition the bourgeois drama Kabale und Liebe (1784) – Schiller accepted the position of a professor of history at the University of Jena in 1788, when only 29 years old. He started a spectacular new career, with students squeezing into his lecture hall, and he was well paid and he married. Only three years later, a severe illness of the chest prevented him from continuing his teaching. He got into economic trouble while new children were born. The Duke of Augustenburg even received the false news that Schiller had died. This was of course not true, but it motivated the Duke and the Count to help Schiller through the crisis. As a kind of re-payment, Schiller started to send these letters on aesthetic education to the Duke, with the intention to publish them in his new journal Die Horen. However, the letters burned in the castle of Copenhagen and Schiller had to rewrite them to finally publish them in his journal in 1795. It became one of Schiller’s most elaborated aesthetic texts. In the fourteenth letter, Schiller makes an interesting distinction concerning time and presence. Since the sensory desire is very much time-related, the formal desire attempts to position the human being beyond the limitations of time. These seemingly contradictory tendencies are balanced through playing. Schiller writes: The sensory desire promotes change and gives time a content; the formal desire promotes the suspension of time and avoids change. The desire that unites them […], that is the playing desire, promotes the suspension of time in time, and to bring together becoming and absolute being, change and identity.50

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What Schiller points to in this quotation is the power of play and playing. The state of playing will or can become so powerful that time is suspended in the sense that there is no difference between existence and existing. Play lifts the participants beyond the experience of time and transforms them into a continuous state of presence, an observation well worth being remembered for further deliberations. What Schiller suggests is no less than equivalence between playing and presence, i.e. presence as the duration of playing.

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In the summer of 1794, Schiller had an important conversation with Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, who had lived in nearby Weimar for a long time. The two gentlemen were not in agreement at this point. They happened to speak about Goethe’s ur-plant, i.e. a plant to which all existing plants can be traced back. Goethe was much into natural sciences, whereas Schiller leaned heavily towards the philosophy of Kant. This meant that Schiller considered Goethe’s ur-plant as an idea, whereas Goethe himself maintained that it was the result of experience. Translated into the realm of aesthetics, Schiller’s idealism refers primarily to the aesthetic object that is produced in order to affect the beholder; Goethe’s experience presumes a beholder as the subject of aesthetic processes. Goethe and Schiller became close friends and never allowed their differences to become obstacles for the spirit that characterized the period of the German Weimar classicism from 1794 until Schiller’s untimely death in 1805. Possibly inspired by his new acquaintance with Goethe, Schiller elaborated an educational concept in the last four letters. In the twenty-fourth letter, he introduces a new distinction, namely three periods in the life of humanity, seen both as a species and as individuals. He sums up these anthropologically inspired conditions as follows: Human beings in their physical condition only suffer from the power of nature; he gets rid of this power in the aesthetic condition, and he masters it in the moral [condition].51

The length of those periods can vary, but none of them can be left out and the order cannot be reversed. How can the human being advance through these conditions? To begin with, man is a complete slave to his sensory desires, i.e. subjected to material needs and quotidian necessities. When the demand for daily bread is satisfied, man looks for stability and form, i.e. rational reflection. When these two desires have reached a stadium of balance, there is an opening towards playing. The possibility of playing is not necessarily leading to the next level of an aesthetic condition. Schiller

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relates to the playing of various animals, provided they are full and safe. When the lion is no longer hungry, he walks about the desert and roars just to demonstrate his power, according to Schiller’s zoological explanation. To reach the aesthetic condition, a few more steps have to be taken that are not available to animals. Schiller introduces the term Schein, which can be translated as semblance or appearance.52 It is the human capacity to distinguish between appearance and reality, between form and materiality, which leads to art as representation. In the arts, the material is dissolved into form, into appearance that reflects reality without being it. Of course, Schiller also points to beauty, a keyword in eighteenth-century aesthetics, which he characterizes as the harmony between the two desires. A ‘purpose-less’ experience, in the Kantian sense, can provoke a sublime Schein. Since aesthetic appearance neither substitutes reality nor can be substituted by reality, it also becomes constitutive for the moral condition. The aesthetic condition is thus the sine qua non between the primitive world of sensory desires and the moral responsibility of the educated citizen. Schiller’s treaty represents one of the last theories of the eighteenth century that emphasizes experience as the cornerstone of aesthetic philosophy. Soon after Schiller’s death in 1805, the attention of aesthetics turned towards the aesthetic object rather than to its beholder. But the aesthetic object has no presence in itself, it only becomes alive – present – through the beholder; this is my argument and I will once more illustrate it by reflecting upon one of the situations indicated in the Prologue: the story of Antigone’s Diary, a theatrical event with the active participation of the beholders. * Teenagers from the local schools in Husby walked through the immigranttight suburb of Stockholm with their ears covered by black headsets. They studied the GPS map on their cell phones in order to find the next play station – a spot located in a park, in the next street, behind their school or next to a tobacco shop. When they arrived there, the mobile telephone app sensed their position and continued to tell the story about Antigone, who had disappeared and only her tape-recorded diary had been found. The young people listened eagerly; they were caught up by the fictional story. Antigone’s Diary was built on Sophocles’ classical drama and engaged its audience today just as much as 2500 years earlier. Her dedication, her stubbornness, her youth, her sense of justice and her love of Hamon – it fascinated these youngsters and their teachers and other participants that

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followed the GPS trail from scene to scene just as much as this political drama has appealed to spectators in regular theatres.

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Ill. 4: Youngsters listening to Antigone’s Diary in Husby

At the end of each of the twelve scenes, Antigone asked a question: What does justice mean to you? When do you feel lonely? What makes you angry? When is disobedience justified? And so forth. The questions had been developed by the pupils of the schools, together with the director of the performance, Rebecca Örtman. Therefore, these questions were the big questions of life. The participants were supposed to answer the questions immediately, by means of text messages. Teenagers were quick in writing such messages, but they thought for quite a while about what to answer. Some worked in tandem, some wanted to know how their classmates had responded. As soon as they had pushed the ‘send’-button, they were enabled to read what others had answered to the same question. While they navigated on to the next scene, they read the messages of others, which thereby became part of the dramatic text, integrated into the performance’s dramaturgy. It turned out that almost all responses that were registered were serious answers to the questions. Of course, the frames of references varied. Many related to their school work, others to private feelings, dreams and hopes, not so few included the experiences of their parents as refugees or else in difficult life situations, and we also found references to national as well as

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international political, environmental and cultural issues. What happened was that the impulses from the story about Antigone were translated, via the questions, to actualities that were the most relevant for the young generation. Some conclusions are of special significance for my argument. What is usually called an audience turns here into a group of participants. While pupils, teachers, spectators and connoisseurs assemble on the central square of Husby, they still constitute a kind of theatre audience. Then they take their mobile telephones and headsets and they will experience the fictional story on their own, but still together with others around them, albeit at their own walking pace. This process transforms the initial spectators into participants. Not only are they involved in the fictional story of Antigone, but they even physically participate in the performance. They walk through their own suburb – both recognizing their environment and seeing it anew. Furthermore, they are invited to respond to the questions. They stimulate each other through their texts. As participants in the same event, they share their experiences and reflections with others. The combination of the aesthetic experience of Antigone’s Diary and the thoughts that they formulate in their text messages mirrors a learning process that comes close to Schiller’s aesthetic education of man. The texts they hear in their earphones are translated into an aesthetic image that triggers questions of moral significance.

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* Coming to the end of this chapter, it might be expected that I have to deal with Immanuel Kant, maybe the most influential eighteenth-century philosopher. It is true, Kant was influential, but not so much in his own time as for posterity, in particular for German idealism and romanticism. His critiques of knowledge, morals and aesthetics all appeared around the beginning of the French Revolution, when the intellectual Europeans’ attention was focused on Paris rather than the provincial city of Königsberg in the very east of Prussia, the city which Kant hardly ever left during his lifetime.53 In his third critique, the Critique of Judgement, he begins with a summary of statements of the kind that Baumgarten, Mendelssohn, Lessing and Schiller had made earlier. Sensory cognition is as important as rationality; pleasure is something we rather want to have than not have; preferences are defined on an individual basis and therefore cannot be assumed to be of general character. In § 5 Kant makes a first distinction between the pleasing, the beautiful and the good in relation to the pleasant and the unpleasant. He isolates beauty in order to give it a more general definition and relates beauty to taste:

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Part One Taste is the faculty of judging of an object or a method of representing it by an entirely disinterested satisfaction or dissatisfaction. The object of such satisfaction is called beautiful.54

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In the ensuing paragraph, Kant expands on this notion that the beautiful is not just an individual perception or feeling but a rational, aesthetic judgement. For the fact of which every one is conscious, that the satisfaction is for him quite disinterested, implies in his judgement a ground of satisfaction for every one. For since it does not rest on any inclination of the subject (nor upon any other premeditated interest), but since he who judges feels himself quite free as regards the satisfaction which he attaches to the object, he cannot find the ground of this satisfaction in any private conditions connected with his own subject; and hence it must be regarded as grounded on what he can presuppose in every other man. Consequently he must believe that he has reason for attributing a similar satisfaction to every one. He will therefore speak of the beautiful, as if beauty were a characteristic of the object and the judgement logical (constituting a cognition of the Object by means of concepts of it); although it is only aesthetical and involves merely a reference of the representation of the object to the subject. For it has this similarity to a logical judgement that we can presuppose its validity for every one. But this universality cannot arise from concepts; for from concepts there is no transition to the feeling of pleasure or pain (except in pure practical laws, which bring an interest with them such as is not bound up with the pure judgement of taste). Consequently the judgement of taste, accompanied with the consciousness of separation from all interest, must claim validity for every one, without this universality depending on Objects. That is, there must be bound up with it a title to subjective universality.55

The key sentence in this long quotation is Kant’s step towards the following idea (and I call it an idea, rather than a concept or a theory): ‘He will therefore speak of the beautiful, as if beauty were a characteristic of the object.’ Although Kant writes in the subjunctive form, this perspective on beauty and from there on to aesthetics altogether points to the view of idealism: the object contains beauty and the beholder is encouraged to learn how to appreciate it. A touch of this ‘objectivity of beauty’ can be observed in Schiller’s letter on aesthetic education. Goethe made a stricter distinction between the natural and the cultural sciences precisely because he saw them as empirical sensations; in nature, these could be systematized, in culture they remained individual. Kant expands the individuality of the experience of beauty into a public domain and thereby turns the philosophy of aesthetics into a modern discipline.

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The relationship between aesthetics and the public sphere also interested Hannah Arendt. She agrees with Kant insofar as she sees judgement as a step that seeks agreement with a general audience, i.e. those with the same kinds of interests. Judgement is however a broad concept that includes judicial decisions and general politics, to which Kant turns later in his treatise. In relation to aesthetics, Kant prefers the term taste and Arendt compares taste to decision-making in politics. Also here she quotes Cicero saying, in her translation: “I prefer before heaven to go astray with Plato rather than hold true views with his opponents.”56 Such a controversial utterance represents the freedom of taste to Arendt. For a humanist there is no absolute truth in neither science nor philosophy, not even in the beauty fabricated by artists; the humanist is not a specialist in any of these disciplines and therefore free from the coercion that these specialities impose on us. This is the humanitas that the Romans developed to guarantee their freedom both as citizens and art lovers. First the idealists of the nineteenth century made art into the prioritized subject and the beholder into a necessary object The first systematic limitation of aesthetics to fine arts and the exclusion of natural beauty occurred in Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel’s lectures on aesthetics in 1818.

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Preliminary Overview Linear and circular aesthetic views were mentioned at the beginning of this part. The linear, production-oriented aesthetics focuses on the creation and materiality of an arts object and establishes norms of the ideal work. Very often such treatises were written in the form of manifestos or proclamations; in modern times one can think of Filippo Tommaso Marinetti’s provocative articles on Futurism from 1909 or Bertolt Brecht’s presentations of an anti-Aristotelian theatre from the late 1920s. Often such texts have been written in an imperative form, telling artists as well as beholders how a work of art should be created and how it should be understood. These normative aesthetic treatises are sometimes referred to as ‘aesthetic theories’ although they only constitute a particular view upon certain art forms. The circular, perception-oriented aesthetics focuses on the experience and pleasure a beholder perceives from natural as well as artistic appearances that in one way or another are distinguishable from the quotidian. Treatises about these kinds of experiences are more often written by philosophers and other theoreticians constituting ‘theories of aesthetics’. The basic

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questions of such writings concern the processes of perception, namely the human faculties and capacities to sense and to become aware of our environment, whether created artificially or in a natural state. Appearance and beholding occur simultaneously, during a limited time, as an event, in a mutual exchange of sensations. In short: Brecht proclaimed his aesthetic theory, Baumgarten presented a theory of aesthetics.

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The aesthetic discourses of the second half of the eighteenth century had their foundation in the ‘sciencia cognitionis sensitivae’, the knowing through feeling that Baumgarten wrote about extensively. The sensory perception that the beholder avails to an appearance was the ground on which a philosophical aesthetics was built. This foundation was formed as a circular experience of perception, in which the beholder plays the central role. The question today is, to what extent such a view is still relevant. Mass productions and mass audiences seem to have moved aesthetic questions far away from eighteenth-century contemplating beholders. But irrespective of the concrete situation – on a lonely mountain top or in the middle of the surging audience of a rock concert – the feeling of presence is experienced by every single person as an individual. While I am deeply touched, the person next to me might find the same event boring. As the philosophers and writers of the eighteenth century pointed out again and again, it is all a question of ‘perceiving’. The substantive ‘perception’ constitutes the very root of aesthetics. The sensory perception is not only a distinction of a type of cognition, but indicates a process. A feeling necessarily has a time dimension, a duration. Is it at all possible to imagine a feeling that lasts less than a moment? Feeling is only one aspect of perceiving. The emotions that are stirred up trigger more or less instant reflections about what the senses have registered. The next step would be to intellectually analyse and evaluate impulses that the senses have stimulated.57 Perceiving aims at exactly such processes or parts of them. Baumgarten lifted sensory cognition to the same level as intellectual reasoning and placed it at the top of human experiences: the perception of beauty, i.e. the ‘natural disposition of the entire mind to think beautifully’ as he expressed it. Mendelssohn liberated aesthetics from the prevalence of beauty. Mixed emotions, coercing beauty and ugliness, are not only commonly experienced, but can actually heighten the impression an appearance makes on us. The blend of beautiful things and disturbing, repellent, repulsive, disgusting or hideous parts and details provide the spices, as Mendelssohn says, that make these things more memorable. While

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perceiving still is the main category of aesthetic experience, Mendelssohn also points to the appearance as such, which stimulates the process of perception. The appearance – the thing or the event in question – speaks to the beholder, thus appearing or performing to those seeing the view, listening to the sound or reading the text. It should be added: under the condition that it happens here and now, at the very moment of the encounter. The relationship between the (A)ppearance and the (B)eholder is complex and Mendelssohn’s mixed emotions are only one aspect of it. More is to be said about this relation, but at this instance it might suffice to say that both Perceiving and Performing are central parameters of presence.

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A third parameter is Playing. This aspect of presence appears in many of the philosophical treatises referred to here. Baumgarten described how the beholder will ‘be torn off to a higher theatre than the one on which it is playing its role day-to-day’ and thus marks the difference between quotidian observations and aesthetic experiences. Rousseau underlined the playful community, which is in no need of conventional theatre. The most explicit discussion about playing I found in Schiller’s letters, in which he describes playful activities as the unification of sensory and formal desires. In other words: Playing constitutes an important step towards morally responsible human beings. I am especially fascinated by Schiller’s concept of Schein, translated as semblance, as something that neither substitutes reality nor can it be substituted by reality. This is the locus of beauty and, more generally speaking, of aesthetic experiences altogether. Mentioning the locus of beauty brings me to the fourth parameter that shows a deep influence on the experience of presence and this is the place where it happens. Experiences always happen somewhere and this is so obvious that the philosophers of the eighteenth century hardly ever mention the place of an aesthetic event. An exception is maybe Rousseau who so fiercely argues about place, namely theatre as a building. The establishment of a theatre in Geneva will destroy the economy and the morals of the city, according to Rousseau, and as a substitute for theatrical entertainment he advocates open-air activities around Lake Geneva. At some point, Mendelssohn describes a house and all the various interests invested in such a building so that it becomes a place of beauty, provided that it pleases the architect, the proprietor, the people who live there and the people who pass the house. Placing aesthetic encounters can also mean the mental capacity that triggers the experience. For Schiller, beauty and other aesthetic notions belonged to the mental realm of ideas, whereas

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Goethe saw them as the result of empirical experiences that were always tied to a certain place.

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The reading of some of the most important philosophers of aesthetics from the second half of the eighteenth century yielded some parameters through which aesthetics is connected to presence. I have also found that such parameters were recognizable in my own reflections about the aesthetic experiences described alongside the philosophical explications. As a next step, the parameters Perceiving, Performing, Playing, and Placing, will be explicitly investigated one by one.

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PART TWO

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PARAMETERS OF PRESENCE

Almost every morning Elsa Ascoli went across Piazza dei Signori in Vicenza.1 This North Italian city is loaded with a long heritage ever since Etruscan and Roman times. Elsa knew this, although no remains of Vicetia of the Roman Empire are visible today. The very high Torre Bissara in the central square dates back to medieval times. The edifices that make Vicenza famous in architectural history are from a later period, designed and constructed by the city’s own Andrea Palladio, who lived there between 1518 and 1580. One of the most admired buildings stands close to the high medieval tower and is called Basilica Palladiana. This mighty two-storey arcade with pillars facing the square and figures at the top is considered to be one of the highlights of Italian Renaissance architecture. On her way across Piazza dei Signori, Elsa Ascoli always saw this stately building, but she never really looked at it. Only one morning in April 1944, after the Allies’ first bombing of Vicenza, she observed the damaged building: although the bombs had exploded far from the main square, the pressure had knocked over some statues and broken several columns. Some plates of marble lay in pieces on the pavement. Elsa stopped and for the first time she realized the beauty of the arcade, now – when it was damaged, when it was not actually perfect any longer. She admired something that was no longer present, but she herself felt very present vis à vis the Basilica. The beauty had been there on the square for almost four hundred years, open to the public eye. Elsa had passed it since childhood, but never noticed it as something special; it was part of her everyday life. Even when she walked along in the arcade, she was always on her way to some other place. What she saw of the Basilica Palladiana never entered her mind because she did not give it any attention. The beauty was there to behold, but if there is no beholder, there is no beauty. What remains is only a construction of marble, stone and cast. Where, then, is beauty? asks aesthetic theory. The answers have been varying, but the emphasis that eighteenth-century theorists put on aesthetic experience has become a guiding line for me. Aesthetics deals with a particular way of seeing,

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hearing, and sensing, tied to a specific moment, the moment when it happens – now. The question here is whether this kind of sensing can or must be described as an aesthetic mode. I will not use this term since I consider this process to be more complex than a simple switch of mode. According to Hannah Arendt it is important to understand perceiving as activity, and in a reference to Pericles she states: “What we understand as states or qualities, such as love of beauty or love of wisdom (called philosophy) is described here as an activity as though to ‘love beautiful things’ is no less an activity than to make them.”2

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When Elsa Ascoli hesitated to cross the street and instead looked up at Palladio’s Basilica, something amazing happened: she became all present, present in relation to the arcade she had passed so many times. Only through her absolute presence she became aware of the beauty that Andrea Palladio had created so long ago and that now was damaged, broken, unfamiliar. Now, presence happened. But how did it happen? According to Jacques Derrida, presence never happens, cannot happen. Seen from a logical or mathematical perspective he is right. Any moment dissolves immediately into the past, before it even manifests itself as present. We arrive at the future, but future passes before we realize that it was present. And so forth.3 When David Wiles describes the characters of Anton Chekhov’s The Seagull, he notes that “they cannot inhabit a ‘now’ without thinking both backwards in time and forwards in time.”4 Presence in the field of aesthetics is not a measurable entity; it cannot be identified by the clock. Presence is something that happens under certain circumstances. In Part One I have pointed to these circumstances as parameters of presence. As mentioned above, I will use the grammatical form of the gerundive in the description of these parameters. Rather than applying the infinitive form ‘to happen’, which indicates a condition or a possibility, the gerundive ‘happening’ points to an activity. This is an important aspect: the concept of presence does not relate to a state of mind, but to an active, mobile and dynamic process. I have identified four parameters of presence and I call them Perceiving, Performing, Playing and Placing. I will first present each one of them in this order and in the last section I will briefly explain the relations between them. For this purpose, I will employ the graphic form of a rhomb. In concluding this part, I will offer some empirical methods that have proved useful for the analysis of the parameters of presence.

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Perceiving

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During the first half of the eighteenth century, aesthetics shifted emphasis. Since Aristotle, normative poetics – here called aesthetics of production – had been the dominating aspect of aesthetic discourses. During the Baroque era and in particular the French classical poets prescribed the rules of lyrical and dramatic texts. Those rules were questioned and new concepts of aesthetics were developed by the philosophers mentioned in Part One. Baumgarten took the Greek term Aisthesis literally: sensitive perception as a legitimate form of human cognition. He was convinced that the perception of the senses was as important as the logic power of the mind. According to both Baumgarten and Mendelssohn, sensory cognition still belonged to the lower faculties of human capacities, but they attributed feeling to the same philosophical significance as thinking. Emotion and cognition appeared as a pair of equals. I see the most important aspect of the aesthetic discourses of the eighteenth century in the re-centring of the beholder as the starting point of the process. In a trivial way, this shift of emphasis could be described like this: in the classical period, aesthetics formulated the rules that were supposed to govern artworks worthwhile to be reflected upon; now it was made obvious that first there needs to be a human being, a subject or a beholder who is willing, interested, determined and devoted to consider an object of some kind to be worthwhile as an aesthetic object. The beholder is open to the moment when and where something or someone makes an aesthetic appearance. Without this openness, no aesthetic experience will take place. This is exactly what happened to Elsa Ascoli in Vicenza and this is what happened to me during our hiking in Lapland. When one is out hiking in an area where the roads have ended and the internet is beyond reach, the backpack of fifteen kilos and the uneven trail require full attention. Even when pausing and watching the sky, a potential change in the weather rather than the beauty of the clouds was in focus. We were not constantly looking for aesthetic experiences, but we were open to what nature around us might put in our way. Every now and then there was an amazing view in front of us or a moment of stunning confrontation with the blazing sun sculpturing massive rocks and mountains. Or a little yellow flower catching our attention, or some reindeer cooling on a patch of snow, or eagles circling high up in the air – impulses that were around us almost all the time, ready to be perceived by us. It was up to us to create the aesthetic experience out of our continuous confrontation with the eternal beauty of the mountains. As Baumgarten

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has been quoted, the beholder will ‘be torn off to a higher theatre than the one which is playing its role day-to-day.’5 The beholder is perceiving that which is already there.

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The beholder, however, is dependent on conditions and circumstances – the process of perceiving does not occur in an empty space. I have been working with a model that is visualized as a ring and contains four ‘corners’: Cultural Context, Contextual Theatricality, Theatrical Playing, and Playing Culture. Students call it the Diamond Model, because the connecting lines between all the four ‘corners’ of the circle form the pattern of a traditionally cut diamond. The point is that there is no beginning or end because the process of perceiving contains all these four moments at the same time. To illustrate the significance of those conditions, let me present some counter-facts concerning our tour in Padjelanta and it will hopefully become clear what kinds of circumstances were influencing our happy wanderings in the mountains.

Ill. 5: The author on a snow patch in Padjelanta

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We were hiking during our leisure time, purely for our enjoyment. Now let me assume that this were the time of the Second World War and we struggled to get from occupied Norway to the border

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of free Sweden. It does not require much fantasy to understand the differences in aesthetic experiences (Cultural Context); -

We were four persons and we kept to the marked trails. Had we been wandering together with a school class of 25 pupils or had we arrived with a tourist bus, then our attention would have been directed towards the group and its weakest or slowest members, we might have needed to go shorter distances or organize days of rest. We would not have been able to speak to individual Sami people. The organisation and possibilities of our trip would have been completely different (Contextual Theatricality);

-

We had quite some competence in our little group concerning the flora and fauna of the mountains, their geographical and geological characteristics, and so forth. This certainly enriched our aesthetic awareness to observe details that we otherwise would have missed (Theatrical Playing);

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We undertook this tour in order to ‘enjoy’ the mountains, their aesthetic views, expanding our educational knowledge (what the Germans call Bildung), altogether things that are not needed for our survival in the biological sense. This was an overflow of leisure culture or a playful interaction with nature (Playing Culture).

In this context it might be appropriate to substitute theatricality with Appearance and theatrical with Apparent, but this change of terminology does not really affect the model’s functioning. Contemporary Performance Studies anyway include the experiences described here as a field of their studies and might as well substitute theatricality with performativity. What does the model add to our understanding of the perceiving process? First of all, there is the Cultural Context of any aesthetic encounter. By this context I mean the wider circumstances of an event. The adjective ‘cultural’ is used in many combinations and in principle all these variations are included. As an umbrella term for the arts, from the fine arts to music, theatre, literature, etc., culture maybe represents what people most often perceive as the proper use of the word. Also, cultural politics is most often tied to this term. In some governments, a Ministry of Culture also contains education, religious questions, sometimes even sports and, as lately in Sweden, questions of democracy. All these aspects are of course relevant in our context. There are also sayings, in which the term culture is used in a more metaphorical sense, such as food culture, court culture, the

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1950s’ car culture, the sports bar drinking culture, and so forth. This wider application of the term comes close to the anthropological view of culture, which includes practically all material and mental human productions and, again, this view is quite appropriate in the scheme of the diamond model. The researcher has to decide what aspects of the Cultural Context are necessary and worthwhile to be closely investigated when it comes to Perceiving. From what kind of culture does a beholder come and how does this affect the attitude towards a certain appearance? What kind of cultural policies have made a certain aesthetic encounter possible? In Padjelanta the trails were made waterproof during the 1930s as a measure of unemployment politics. Without such helpful foot-bridges our hiking would have been a lot less enjoyable. In a narrower perspective one could exemplify the cultural context with state subsidies to the arts, state censorship, agreements and laws concerning the labour market, administration of state-owned buildings, free access to museums, ticket prices, accessibility of public venues, and many more items of this kind. In the diamond model one of the terms next to Cultural Context is called Contextual Theatricality. Of course, the latter was coined to cover theatrical events and I can briefly explain what the phrase stands for. First of all, I meant to mark that the term ‘theatre’ is historically unstable. In premodern times, theatre signified a building for performing plays and on blueprints of such historical playhouses, the word ‘theatre’ denotes the stage area. The plays performed were called ‘comedies’ irrespective of their happy or tragic ending. I am mentioning this historical terminology to underline that our idea of what theatre is always depends on the view and the contextual conditions of a certain time. But also, in our own time the terminology shifts: can we describe an opera as theatre? Is Performing Arts a better umbrella term than theatre – although the term performance does not exist outside the English language? But Contextual Theatricality also deals with more concrete questions, namely the organisation of the theatrical field and its conventions. Stage arts are usually divided into opera, spoken drama, musicals, dance and ballet, puppet theatre, mime, circus, and so forth. All of these genres are performed in different venues by artists with different education, organized by different boards. Audiences know this (or have to learn it) and according to their preferences they will buy tickets to the appropriate venue. It goes without saying that the artists perform in line with certain genre conventions: in the opera they sing, in a ballet they dance, etc. There is also a variety of conventions of behaviour in various kinds of theatres. In some it is mandatory to be as silent as possible, in other places such as outdoor

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performances, it is alright to eat your own sandwiches. Conventions have to be learned in order to be respected.

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How can this model be applied to a broader frame of perceiving and a general aesthetics of presence? Having replaced theatricality with appearances, Contextual Appearances would represent all kinds of artistic objects and events that the beholder might perceive. As long as the beholder remains within the field of artistic productions, the concepts of organisation and conventions seem just as relevant as in the theatre. In cases when aesthetic experiences are not related to the art world, as in the mountains of Padjelanta or in the streets of Dublin during the Bloomsday festival, Contextual Appearances require particular attention from the side of the beholder. The anthology The Aesthetics of Everyday Life presents numerous examples of how familiar environments can trigger unexpected aesthetic encounters.6 An important aspect of Contextual Appearances, easily overseen, concerns the beholder. Just as the production of appearances underlies organisational patterns and long- or short-term conventions, the beholder is already involved in preconditions and circumstances. Age, gender, class, language, ethnicity and other group characteristics condition the sensibility of perceiving. A ‘noble mind’ and good education were already mentioned by Baumgarten as important factors. Human beings are much more conventional than we like to think as individuals. Pierre Bourdieu has not only coined such widely applicable terms as cultural capital and habitus, but in one of his earliest books he has drawn up a graphic pattern of French people’s aesthetic preferences.7 On the vertical axis he measures the economic capital in terms of income, place of living, and shared costs; the horizontal axis represents cultural capital such as education, social connections and cultural activities. At the crossing of the two axes he locates the average citizen with a reasonable standard of living and an occasional interest in cultural events. In consequence, he can distinguish between groups of high income and high cultural interest and other upperclass groups who lack cultural interest; the same distinction applies to lower income groups. Of course, there are those who have high education and interest in cultural activities, but no income to spend on such things. Sad to say, there are also groups who have neither the money nor the ambitions to engage in cultural leisure activities. Bourdieu now places Frenchmen of all classes in relation to their economic and cultural capital. These include the standard of their living quarters, the food they buy, the music they listen to, the newspaper they read, the films they see, the place where they meet friends, and so forth. The details might be most relevant

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for French people in the 1970s, but the pattern as such certainly holds for any society at any time. We tend to think that we have personal taste and individual preferences, but Bourdieu shows convincingly that we follow those who are like us. Although we might not always have access to such detailed surveys, we have to consider these circumstances when speaking about beholders and their aesthetic experiences. In addition to the sociological position of the beholder, the psychological state has to be included to get a clear understanding of the meaning of perceiving. In this instance I propose a distinction between the general psychic disposition of an individual and the mental condition of the same individual in the moment of an aesthetic experience. Henri Schoenmakers has investigated the response of theatre visitors during a theatrical presentation and he could observe that a spectator continuously changes the perception.8 At one moment, the spectators observe the actors and admire their skills, in the next moment they feel empathy for the fictional characters they impersonate. Some spectators go as far as identifying with the figure on stage and its fate in the play. Schoenmakers distinguishes between the aestheticizing and fictionalizing attitudes of the spectator. In the same sense, Moses Mendelsohn has described the doubleness of aesthetic responses when he contemplates a skilfully executed painting showing a horrible scene of destruction. Common knowledge tells us that we can change our mind when revisiting a painting or replaying a piece of music. What we once admired now appears trivial, alternatively we appreciate an appearance that we neglected earlier – similar to the reactions of Elsa Ascoli on the piazza in Vicenza. In the present scholarly discourses, the term ‘affect’ has frequently been in use.9 The word has many implications, but it mainly relates to psychological experiences here and now and thus represents another take on notions of presence. Mostly affect means a spontaneous reaction to a stimulus. Affect is closely related to affection, a positive emotion in human relationships, which might or might not include an aesthetic dimension. In Part One I have tried to show that aesthetic experiences have their foundation in the beholder. But as a beholder I am not fully free since I belong to a diversity of groups who share my taste and my pleasures. And when I am confronted with an object or an event – an appearance – I react according to how I feel right then and there, in that moment, and this forms in some measure my aesthetic experience. The German philosopher of aesthetics, Martin Seel, has made a useful distinction between the factual side of a piece of art – its Appearance – and

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the way in which we see it or how it is Appearing to us.10 Moreover, Seel claims that “[e]verything that is – or has – sensuous appearance can be made present in its appearing.”11 How is an appearance transferred into something that is appearing? In reality this takes place almost – I underline: almost – automatically. In a scholarly context it can be described as a process of aestheticizing, provided an aesthetic aspect is at all relevant. A chair is a construction of wood, steel or plastics and it might be appearing as something suitable to sit on. Its aesthetic appearing need not be noticed by the person who is about to sit down. The same chair might be appearing as aesthetically attractive to a beholder who is less interested in sitting down than willing to admire the harmony of the chair’s legs, seat and back. While the chair will last for a long time, the aesthetic impression takes place in the presence of the beholder (even though the beholder might remember this moment long after it happened). As will have become obvious from the above, attention and presence are not only a matter of the beholder’s perceiving. There needs to be something to be perceived, something or someone performing. That which is performing is only rarely a performer in the professional sense; rather there are agents of various kinds whose exhibitory actions coincide with the beholder’s attention.

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Performing Let me clarify two things from the very beginning: performing is not limited to performers and performing has nothing to do with pretending. During the hiking tour in Padjelanta in Lapland, even the landscape performed spectacular scenes. Several agents were involved in the ‘performance’ before our eyes, namely the mountains themselves and in particular the weather. I can describe our view out of the window of the cabin where we stayed for the night. Fog covered everything that was further away than the spruce trees right outside the window. But puffs of air moved the clouds, massive rocks and cliffs appeared and disappeared behind new formations of clouds. More and more of a majestic mountain was revealed until we could recognize the impressive range of Akka, one of the highest mountains in Sweden.12 Obviously there was nothing that was pretended – how could nature pretend? And as I will show later, an actor does not pretend either. So: what is performing all about? To perform can be described as something that is shown or demonstrated – and I am tempted to write ‘for somebody’, but I keep this addition for later. Performance then is the performing of the performers, which – I

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agree – is not much of a definition. According to my view, definitions are altogether superfluous in this context, so let me try to explain ‘performing’ in another way. From a performer emanate a number of signals that are interpreted by the spectators. The performer creates an appearance. This Appearance A – be it a material thing, a human being or an event – is perceived by the Beholder B and now is the moment to look closer into the relationship between A and B since I have mentioned this relation in the Prologue as the focus of this book. First of all, the connection between A and B should really be seen as a relationship. A, standing for Appearance, Agency, Acting, etc., relates to B, the beholder, on at least three communicative levels. These levels are theoretically distinguishable, but in practice they easily overlap each other. I call these levels sensory, artistic, and symbolic levels of communication. Since I am a theatre scholar, my most convincing example of the communication between A and B is of course the actor and the actress. Let me take Madame Sarah Bernhardt as an example. Born in 1844, she appeared on stage for more than 60 years and was so celebrated all over the world that I asked myself: what did she do that others could not do? I think – and I have also written about this13 – that she could display each of the communicative levels and at the same time knit them together into one inseparable unity. To begin with, people came to the theatres to see the great Sarah, the woman who made a whole world and many men shiver. On the sensory level of communication, spectators could watch what I call the actress’s “exhibitory” actions. These actions include both the material, physical side of the actress and her mental state at the moment the curtain was raised. Everyone could see that she was quite short, that she had not, according to the taste of the period, developed an attractive ‘feminine’ body, and that her reddish curls were difficult to keep in a coiffure. Her upright posture expressed self-confidence. She was usually calm and concentrated so the spectators were immediately drawn into the circle of her spell. But actors and actresses do not appear on stage only for showing their own personality, they are also artists. On the artistic level of communication, Sarah Bernhardt like all performers had two main ways of expressing herself: the visual appearance, i.e. bodily movements, costumes, and make-up, and the audible signs, which in her case meant her ‘golden voice’. All artists have to learn the artistic range of expressions in the particular genre they practice: singing, dancing, juggling, etc., and Sarah Bernhardt knew very well how to use her voice in the rhythmic rendering of Racine’s verses. It is a question of skills, how well an artistic expression is executed, and this is judged by the spectators,

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when they compare it to other artistic appearances. But skills are not enough, they are just the precondition of “encoded” actions. The expressions have to be appropriate in the eyes of the beholders and in respect of the fictional figure that is finally supposed to appear.

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So far in the process, Sarah Bernhardt has not pretended anything – she is appearing as a personality and as an artist who calls for the immediate attention of the audience, even before she has uttered a word. When she speaks, she does not speak on her own behalf, but she speaks the lines that Jean Racine has composed for his play Phèdre. Does this mean that Sarah becomes Phaedra on stage? Not really. She shows the audience “embodied” actions that on a symbolic level of communication present the role of Racine’s Phaedra. Still, Sarah Bernhardt appears in this moment as a personality on the sensory level, as an artist on the artistic level and as a role on the symbolic level. The spectators put together the exhibitory, encoded and embodied actions and from these they construct their own picture of Phaedra. So, Phaedra appears only in the mind of the beholders, whereas on stage she is still Sarah Bernhardt. This is the paradox of the actor that Diderot has already described in the middle of the eighteenth century, but which is so difficult for many spectators to understand: there is no Hamlet, no Phaedra, no Mother Courage on stage, only the very skilful David Garrick, Sarah Bernhardt or Helene Weigel. These communicative levels might seem convincing in the field of theatre and performance, but is there an artistic communication in nature and what about abstract paintings that ‘embody’ nothing? It is my assumption that all three levels of communication can be identified in aesthetic encounters. Of course, nature has not learned any skills that are displayed, but other elements of performing can be observed. For most people, nature is not attractive just anywhere and all the time. Even nature can be seen as different genres: the open sea, the deep forest, the wild mountains, etc. The sea is most glamorous during sunset, the forest lets light stream between the high trunks, and fog enhances the view of mountains and valleys. Nature provides these moments and we, as beholders, have to look for and wait for them. In earlier versions of my communicative model, I used the term ‘fictional level’ which is appropriate to conventional theatre.14 In post-modern theatre or in contemporary dance there might not be any recognizable fiction that is displayed on stage and therefore I changed the term to ‘symbolic’. This means that communication on this level can be understood in a broader sense than the limitation to fiction allows.

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Therefore, even an abstract painting or a piece of orchestral music communicates a perceivable meaning on a symbolic level, which might be described in terms like harmony, speed, aggression or sometimes even as beauty – provided it appears at the right moment.

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Let me once more return to Elsa Ascoli and the Basilica Palladiana in Vicenza. The Basilica had the potential of performing: on the sensory level there was its materiality, on the artistic level its skilful construction, and on the symbolic level its stunning beauty. But since Elsa was never perceiving it, nothing happened on the Piazza dei Signori. Only when Elsa finally opened her eyes and looked at the damaged Basilica, could she discover its beauty. There is a close relationship or even similarity between performing and beauty. Both performing and beauty require the attention of the beholder. And in both cases, there are no absolute rules of when or under what circumstances something is considered as performing or what is experienced as beautiful. Moses Mendelssohn described beauty as that which the individual deemed as beautiful due to its manifold completeness. Common for both performing and beauty is that they are related to a beholding subject and therefore necessarily occur in the presence. But the relationship between A and B can easily be disturbed. When Anna Odell re-enacted her own suicide attempt on the same Stockholm bridge, the reactions of the pedestrians were both inadequate and adequate. They were inadequate in the sense that people who passed Anna Odell could not detect that she was performing; her actions looked ‘real’. They reacted to her actions as if they were the disturbed behaviour of a suicidal person. The fact that the reactions of those who simply passed her can be criticized as socially or morally inadequate is a different matter. The couple who called the emergency number, the police who took care of her and the personnel at the hospital all handled the situation as if it were an actual crisis and thus acted adequately in relation to the case as they understood it. For Anna Odell herself, her actions were adequate because they represented a re-enactment of an experience that she had thirteen years earlier, when she behaved in exactly this way and was taken care of in a similar manner by the police and the hospital. Her aim was to demonstrate the ineffectiveness of psychiatric health care, but this aim was not visible for the people passing her. To them, her performing never became obvious because her performing was a hyperrealist imitation of real life. According to Judith Butler, all human behaviour consists of imitation that is repeated and performed.15 Again, performing does not mean that actions

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in daily life are pretended in the sense of cheating or double-dealing, on the contrary, even the sincerest behaviour expresses patterns that are learned from childhood in the environment in which we grow up. Jacques Derrida goes one step further by claiming that humans are enclosed in these patterns not only in our physical appearance but also in our mental conditions.16 In other words, it is difficult to be original – even when it comes to artistic expressions, as Derrida demonstrated in his text about Antonin Artaud.17 In Artaud’s theoretical treatises about a theatre of cruelty, the author described a completely non-theatrical theatre and he would certainly have been delighted by Anna Odell’s re-enactment on the bridge. In the performances Artaud devised himself he remained far too much indebted to established patterns of theatricality. Artaud struggled against the author of a text as a creator of theatre since such performances always remain a repetition of something that was thought and written outside the theatre. In Derrida’s words, Artaud’s “stage will no longer operate as a repetition of a present, will no longer re-present a present that would exist elsewhere or prior to it, a present whose plenitude would be older than it, absent from it and rightfully capable of doing without it.”18 Artaud’s text reminds Derrida of Rousseau’s idea of festivals in which there would be no actors and no spectators, just a festival community of participants. Whatever a theatre of cruelty might be in Artaud’s concept, it seems easier even for Derrida to say what it is not: it is not a non-sacred theatre, a theatre that gives privilege to speech, abstract theatre, a theatre of alienation, non-political theatre, ideological theatre. In the end, Derrida came to the conclusion that [t]here is no theatre in the world today which fulfils Artaud’s desire. And there would be no exception for the attempts made by Artaud himself. He knew this better than any other: the ‘grammar’ of the theatre of cruelty, of which he said it is ‘to be found,’ will always remain the inaccessible limit of a representation which is not repetition, a re-presentation which is full presence, which does not carry its double within itself as its death, of a present which does not repeat itself, that is, of a present outside time, a nonpresent.19

The idea of presence that Artaud saw as the foundation of his theatre of cruelty, can, according to Derrida, only result in a nonpresent. “Presence, in order to be presence and self-presence, has always already begun to represent itself, has always already been penetrated.”20 Derrida convinces me that we have to accept that presence is always tied to representation, even in cases when we cannot distinguish the representing elements.

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Anna Odell was exceptional in hiding her representation. In our regular lives, the spectators who see someone performing are already in a spectating position. To watch a performance with real actors, one visits a theatre, an opera or a ballet or maybe a circus or a burlesque show. In every case, there are given circumstances that frame performing, from deciding what to see to actually entering the building. Finally, the spectators sit on their red plush seats and the show can begin. I have described the three levels of communication, through which the exhibitory, encoded and embodied actions of the performers are (or are not) perceived and internalized by the audience. In successful moments, the spectators speak of the presence of the actor.

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The American theatre scholar Joseph Roach has written an extensive study with the very short title It – It with a capital I, meaning that some have It, others do not. It remains mysterious while it has many names. Roach refers to Quintilian for whom It was ethos; for the Nô theatre theorist Zeami It was hana, the flower; for the courtier Baldassare Castiglione, sprezzatura meant that every head turned to the one who had It; Max Weber picked up the term charisma to characterize powerful leadership or authority. Roach continues: For adherents of science, It was captured by the metaphoric terms of magnetism and radiance, which, taken together, neatly express the opposite motions instigated by the contradictory forces of It: drawing toward the charismatic figure as attraction; radiating away from him or her as broadcast aura. Such metaphors well describe the phenomenon, but they still explain very little of its mystery. No closer today to a satisfactory theory of It, contemporary speakers of proper English employ various synonyms, such as charm, charisma, and presence. Americans also have recourse to a well-stocked slang lexicon, including stuff, spunk, and moxie, the latter term suggesting supreme self-possession even at moments of selfabandonment, a kind of psychical extension of exceptional physical courage, undaunted even by the fear of being found objectionable.21

Since these synonyms and metaphors ‘still explain very little’, Roach tries some paradoxes, however different from Denis Diderot’s explanations of cold and warm acting. Roach continues: ‘It’ is the power of apparently effortless embodiment of contradictory qualities simultaneously: strength and vulnerability, innocence and experience, and singularity and typicality among them. The possessor of It keeps a precarious balance between such mutually exclusive alternatives, suspended at the tipping point like a tightrope dancer on one foot; and the

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emphatic tension of waiting for the apparently inevitable fall makes for breathless spectatorship[.]22

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Joseph Roach’s broad knowledge and elegant style make the book highly enjoyable, but there are obviously no easy ways of explaining It. In both quotations I hear a recurring flipping between the “possessor of It” on the one hand, and the aura or radiation that the beholder can detect, on the other. If It is something that a person possesses or owns, then It is a permanent quality that exists all the time. In some cases, this might seem likely, while other experiences clearly contradict such a conclusion: many prominent performers, whose personality easily dominates the entire stage, are timid and shy in their private life. Is it only their professional ego that has It? Or is it simply that their It-quality only develops in front of an audience? This would suggest that it is the presence of the audience – and only this presence – that creates moments when It becomes sensible. Ergo: not the production of It, but the sensing of It makes the difference. This conclusion seems to be too hasty. First of all, nothing can be sensed unless there is something to be sensed. And secondly, Immanuel Kant might be right when he claims that collective sensing is not only possible but necessary. It is certainly true that sensing needs an object, both in grammar and in life. But without the sensing subject – the I of every story – no communicative event takes place. A trivial situation that most spectators have experienced in a theatre: while the performance goes on, the spectator’s attention relaxes, other thoughts are entering his/her mind, and if the worst comes to the worst, the spectator dozes off. The actors on stage continue, of course, but what do their actions mean? Moving and screaming bodies, expressing whatever without making any impression. ‘It’ is gone. The so-called co-presence of actor and spectator is not enough. ‘It’ requires the attention of the beholder and this attention happens in the now of time. But the beholder’s attention is not enough either. Presence requires certain circumstances, here called parameters of presence. But ‘It’ can be remembered. The human mind can save certain moments of time for the future. What happened in 1975 at the Old Vic is still a vivid memory for me. The threedimensional picture of Ashcroft, Hiller and Richardson in a minimal space comes easily before my eyes. I can also hear the disappearing bells of the sledge, but I cannot recall the entire performance. There are colleagues who have a better memory than I have, so I need these particular moments of absolute presence that become encapsulated as future recollections.

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The presence of performing points to the future and also to the past. The other example I mentioned in the introduction was the coat of Ötzi. The nameless man had been buried in the snow of the Alps for thousands of years, wearing this marvellous coat in lamb and goatskin, invisible to anybody. But now, for the last few decades, the coat has been visible again and it has been performing its beauty to me. Last but not least: performing depends on perceiving, but not only this. Not every performance is based on full performing. Here, other parameters of presence have to be taken into account, namely the specific character of playing that distinguishes certain actions from quotidian behaviour.

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Playing During the many years of my teaching theatre studies, it has been my task and pleasure to introduce new students to the discipline they had just enrolled in. I asked them about their practical experiences of performing arts, what they had seen lately and what they would describe as the essentials of theatre. At this point of the discussion, I invited them to take part in an experiment. I asked two students to volunteer as ‘actors’ and asked them – of course beyond the hearing distance of the group – to sit on the two chairs in front of the auditorium and to do nothing, or rather: as little as they managed to do. Between the chairs there was a small table on which I had placed an apple. I switched off the light and turned on a spotlight, just like in a theatre. The group was asked to watch carefully. After the endless timespan of three to four minutes the performance was over. The students were told to scribble down some notes on what they had observed. Then we talked about their impressions. All kinds of suggestions popped up: the waiting room at a dentist’s, a couple after a domestic fight, people in a bus, and so forth. A certain problem was caused by the apple. Were they hungry and did not dare take it? Was the apple symbolizing Paradise? Was it my personal apple that I had forgotten on the table? True, it was my apple, but I had put it there on purpose to see whether the spectators noticed it at all and if they did – what might it signify? Their proposed interpretations showed that they had turned into spectators who were playing with the actors and with the apple. The students in front of them can hardly be said to have played a role and the apple was just an apple.23 This apple-lecture, as the students called it, raises the question of who is playing in the theatre and what does it mean to play? One could describe the two students in front as performing, although their act was un-

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theatrical; the students in the hall were perceiving what they saw, but in their fantasy they also perceived things they could not see. Obviously, something more has to be taken into account in the relationship between perceiving and performing. I call this ‘something’ playing. In the first part I referred to Schiller’s ideas of play and playing. Schiller was, in turn, inspired by Moses Mendelssohn’s essay Über das Erhabene und Naive, in which he discusses the effects of sublime and naive expressions in the arts.24 The naive is characterized by the simplicity of expressions – just as simple as the students’ performing in my experiment. But even such a modest presentation can have positive effects that Mendelssohn summarizes in this way:

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The effects of the naïve are firstly a pleasant surprise, a lesser degree of astonishment, about the unexpected importance, which was hidden under the simplicity of its appearance. We like to give our attention to an object that allows us to discover more and more the longer we stay with it, which so to speak captivates us more than it seemed to bid.25

Let this quotation serve as a justification for my humble experiment. Mendelssohn’s point is that we, the beholders, the spectators, are pleased to give our attention to things that we are confronted with, simple or sublime. This pleasure is released by the competing desires of the sensuous and the formal that Schiller speaks about in his letters on the aesthetic education of man. His solution to this tension between the wild, sensory materiality of the object and the wish for its formal ordering is the playing desire. Let me once more quote from the fifteenth letter: The object of the playing desire, presented in a general scheme, can be called living form; a concept that serves as designation of all aesthetic qualities of an appearance and that which in one word is called beauty in its widest sense.26

Schiller emphasizes two terms in this text: the living form and beauty. Playing creates living forms, which means sensory perceivable materials that find a stabilizing form, or a recognizable ‘gestalt’ that can be interpreted. This interpretation includes the concept of beauty. The parallel notions of playing and beauty should be kept in mind, because they share a number of characteristics. Playing as a concept of human behaviour in the sense in which Schiller perceived it, was further developed more than one hundred years later under somewhat bizarre circumstances. It was the Dutch historian of culture, Johan Huizinga, who gave playing its proper name in the book

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entitled Homo Ludens, the playing human being.27 Huizinga, born in 1872, was originally a linguist, specializing in the languages of the Middle East and Asia and he defended his doctoral thesis in 1897 about an Indian Sanskrit drama. Teaching at the university of his home town, Groningen, he got more and more interested in history in general and also in human culture as a form of playing. In 1915 he became professor of history at the University of Leiden. Shortly after the end of the First World War he published the book that made him famous in the academic world: The Autumn of the Middle Ages.28 In this book about France and the Netherlands in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries he showed that this period signified the end of a long era rather than the beginning of a new time. He also glanced at the culture of these centuries as forms of playing. Every two or three years he published a new book and in the middle of the 1930s he had written a political treatise entitled In the Shadow of Tomorrow.29 Huizinga saw fascism growing rapidly all around him and felt that he had to respond to the threat against Western civilisation. Fascism expanded quickly not only in Germany and Italy with Hitler and Mussolini, but also in Franco’s Spain, in Portugal, Austria, Yugoslavia, Romania, Poland, and later in Norway under Quisling and France during the Vichy regime. And it was under these circumstances that Huizinga finished his Homo Ludens. As he tells in the introduction, he conceptualized the basic arguments of the book in his inaugural speech as rector of the University of Leiden in 1933. He elaborated the speech when he gave lectures in Zürich and Vienna in 1934 and in London in 1937, adopting the title Das Spielelement der Kultur and The Play Element of Culture, respectively. His hosts wanted him to change the preposition ‘of’ to a more acceptable ‘in’ and in both languages he insisted on the play element as the substance of culture, not just one of many aspects.30 The controversial point of his speeches was the usurpation of playing by fascist parading and other mass actions such as the opening of the Olympic Games in Berlin in 1936. In the book that appeared in 1938, the political arguments are reduced or rather transferred to various historical periods. In 1942 he published an essay about patriotism and nationalism, which provoked the German administration in the occupied Netherlands to arrest Huizinga. After some weeks he was released but deemed to live under German surveillance in the house of a friend in De Steeg, close to Arnhem and the German border. He died there in 1945, just a few months before the German capitulation. Shulamit Lev-Aladgem summarizes Huizinga’s stance against fascism in the following way:

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Back in the 1930s, when fascism flourished in Europe, Huizinga became alerted to the degeneration of playing in Western society. He condemned the exploitation of playing for the construction of spectacular national rituals that disseminated pathos and absolutism. Huizinga courageously pointed out that when the spirit of playing is lost, self and society become violent, dogmatic and submissive.31

Huizinga’s contributions to the discourse of playing can hardly be overestimated. For Huizinga, human culture and in consequence human civilisation emanated from playing, which from an anthropological point of view means that playing preceded culture. He established four primary characteristics of playing. 1. Playing is a free activity, free from the duties of regular life. Playing is not a physical necessity nor is it a moral obligation. 2. Playing has no interest beyond its own activity, which can be joyful as well as serious. 3. Playing is distinguished from regular life by its limitation in place and time. Playing has a beginning and end and is enacted on a temporary or permanent playground.

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4. Playing has strict orders and rules. Deviations from agreed rules spoil playing and make it worthless. Playing as a free, disinterested activity, limited in time and place and regulated by a certain order – this is the basic structure that Huizinga attributes to playing. These ‘essentials’ of playing have been discussed and questioned later on, but it is difficult to neglect them. Twenty years after the publication of Homo Ludens, the American anthropologist Milton Singer studied rituals and customs in India and coined the term ‘Cultural Performance’ to describe these live activities as complements to the sources that can be found in libraries and museums.32 Cultural performances are characterized by the same points that Huizinga uses in his description of playing: they are distinct from everyday life, they are limited in time, mostly connected to a certain place or temple and they follow a certain, predetermined order. Later, Victor Turner adopted similar rules in his studies of communitas, the strong feeling of social togetherness, in which playing is one of the important societal aspects.33

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Ill. 6: Amateurs performing scenes from Ulysses in Dublin

Having established the structure of playing, Huizinga goes on to distinguish two significant directions of playing: “Playing is a contest for something or a representation of something.”34 The emphasis is on the prepositions: a contest for something or a representation of something. Either one plays for winning a contest of some kind; or playing implies the creation of an image. On the same page, Huizinga continues to explain the connection between these two tendencies: “These two functions can unite in such a way that the game ‘represents’ a contest, or else becomes a contest for the best representation of something.” An example of the first case could be

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the deliberations in a court room while the most famous example for the second case was the drama competitions in classical Greece.

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‘The representation of something’ relates to what is usually termed culture or art. Myths, poetry, personification, and music are all meant to represent something. Huizinga has some difficulties in seeing the playing factor in the fine arts, because the creation of paintings and sculptures is not accessible for the beholder. He understands very well, however, the competitive aspect of fine arts. The representational emphasis of playing is finally illuminated by a quick summary of the main periods of Western civilisations, from the Romans through his beloved Middle Ages to the eighteenth century – the century of playing par excellence – and the decline of public playing in the nineteenth century. The last chapter is devoted to ‘The Playing-Element in Modern Culture.’ There he points to the overwhelming risk of ‘false playing’, i.e. to use forms of playing that no longer take place in genuine playgrounds. Political parties and whole nations are appropriating the rules of playing for spectacular delusions that exceed the basic rules and the moral limits of playing. The French sociologist Roger Caillois admired Huizinga, but he felt that Homo ludens emphasized the competitive aspect of playing far too much. In his own book from 1958, entitled Les jeux et les hommes, he completed Huizinga’s characteristics and his types of play.35 To Huizinga’s playing as free, disinterested activity, limited in time and place and regulated by a certain order, Caillois added uncertainty and make-believe. The uncertain progress and ending are certainly something that is typical for playing, but it is equally typical of many other situations in life. The make-believe that Huizinga reserved for performative games, can of course be seen in a wider perspective: even football players or computer gamers have to make others believe or trust in them to make playing function. More interesting are maybe Caillois’ types of playing that he expanded into four categories: -

Agon – competition in the sense that Huizinga also deals with it;

-

Alea – chance such as the dice (alea), roulette, lottery, etc.;

-

Mimicry – mimesis or role-playing in Huizinga’s sense;

-

Ilinx – vertigo, altering perception such as the roller coaster, drugs, children’s spinning.

Chance plays have of course become extremely important in today’s world where enormous amounts of money are spent chasing the big chance of

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winning enough money for the rest of one’s life. When people actually win such a lottery, they do not really change their lives, as some documentaries have shown, but the temptation to invest in lotteries remains attractive. Vertigo as a kind of play is of course familiar to most since childhood. Whether we as grown-ups enjoy the dizziness of roller coasters or long for alcohol and drugs is another matter. Anneli Saro has discussed the relevance of all of these four types of playing for the performing arts; if one includes the circus and acrobatics in theatrical genres, then certainly ilinx can also become a dominant feature.36 Huizinga has also inspired many later scholars and therefore his thoughts are still an important factor in discussions of playing culture. In a book called Playing Culture, several of the chapters refer to Homo Ludens as a cornerstone of play theory. I have already quoted Shulamit Lev-Aladgem and Anneli Saro from the same book. Now I would like to draw attention to Andreas Kotte’s chapter, entitled “Play is the Pleasure of Being the Cause,” a quotation from Karl Groos’ 1901 book about human play.37 Kotte takes the two directions of Huizinga’s playing – contest and representation – as the two axes of a coordinate system.38 Point Zero is ‘absolute playing’ in the way Huizinga describes playing when children and animals execute it. On the vertical axis he places the ‘representation of something’, the end point of which would be an ‘image’; on the horizontal axis he considers the ‘contest for something’ with the end point ‘death’. Within these coordinates he places a number of theatrical and other events, from children’s playing to art installations (along the image-axis) and the public execution of Louis XVI in 1792 and battles of war in general (along the death-axis). With the help of Huizinga’s distinction Kotte demonstrates how various kinds of theatre performances can be analysed and offers an alternative analytical scheme to the blunt idea of pretention and ‘as-if’. His coordinates also include filmic or digitally mediated images as part of today’s playing culture. The expanded view of playing focuses on the beholder in cases where the production and the perception of a piece no longer coincide. This aspect is of special interest for the discussion of playing as presence. Let me go back to the end of the 1950s: this seems to have been an unusually productive time for reflections about playing. In 1958, the French sociologist Roger Caillois published his book about play and man; in 1959, the American anthropologist Milton Singer’s study on cultural performances appeared in the USA; and in 1960, the German philosopher Hans-Georg Gadamer added Wahrheit und Methode (Truth and method). Why were all these books written and printed ten to fifteen years after the

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end of the Second World War? There is of course no single answer to such a general question, so it might be enough to remind ourselves of some of the dominating political and cultural topics of the period. In the late 1950s, most ruins of the last war were demolished and new housing programs flourished. However, another war kept the world in its grip: the Cold War. Rearmament of the new superpowers was in full swing with the atomic bomb as the ultimate threat. The despair of the recent war and the dark clouds of a future war had their impact on existentialist philosophy and Albert Camus’ Sisyphus became a widely read expression of global anxieties. In the small theatres of Paris and London, plays labelled as absurdism attracted large crowds. Samuel Beckett, Jean Genet, Eugène Ionesco, Harold Pinter, Edward Albee, Fernando Arrabal, Arthur Adamov, Peter Weiss and others became household names for theatre visitors in search of understanding the contradictory experiences of the time. Absurdism allowed playful reflections about the confusions of life. Playing of a different kind was the race in space, from the Russian dog Leika in 1957 to the first American on the moon twelve years later – a competitive playing in the sense of Caillois’ agon. But there was also what Huizinga called ‘false playing’ – spectacular military parades on Red Square in Moscow, camps for re-schooling citizens in Maoist China, the continued hunt of communists in America, and so forth. A time for playing? Not really, but a point in history when serious reflections on playing contributed to a reorientation in philosophy, sociology and anthropology and an opening towards a re-evaluation of aesthetics. In a postscript to the third edition of Wahrheit und Methode in the mid1970s, Hans-Georg Gadamer himself doubted whether his book came at the right time. The philosophical hermeneutics of his book seemed not to be appreciated by the Anglo-Saxon analytical philosophers nor by the French structuralists, both of which gained impetus at the time. Gadamer’s title and in consequence the thoughts of the book were attacked by natural and social scientists, claiming that only straight methods can lead to truth. In the postscript, Gadamer responded to these reproaches: Of course it was a plain misunderstanding, when the phrase ‘truth and method’ was accused of misjudging the strict methodology of other sciences. What hermeneutics claims is something very different, which stands on no account in opposition to the straight ethics of sciences. No productive researcher can really doubt that a methodological cleanness of the sciences is indispensable, but that the simple application of conventional methods contributes less to the spirit of research than the finding of new ones – coming out of the scholar’s creative fantasy.39

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The attraction I felt to Gadamer’s hermeneutics goes back to my postgraduate studies when I had realized that semiotics and structuralism – then considered by many as theories for ‘everything’ – did not appeal to me. The idea that an interpretation of an artwork is perfect when it coincides with the intentions of the artist appeared strange, not to say impossible to me. How can anyone know what Shakespeare meant when writing the tragedy of Hamlet? And even though I could ask a director what he had in mind when producing Hamlet, how could I be sure that those ideas actually appeared on stage? Gotthold Ephraim Lessing had pointed out the three varying meanings held by the creator, the work and the beholder. Although the creator’s ideas might be the ‘ideal’ meaning, the beholders can only rely on their own perception.40 Gadamer mentions Lessing in his book and clearly relates to similar concepts in his own thinking.

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Gadamer’s inspiration came from Martin Heidegger, whose student he was together with other renowned philosophers such as Hannah Arendt and Karl Löwith. He was born in the year 1900 and defended his doctoral dissertation in 1922 and his habilitation in 1929. During the Nazi era he was labelled politically ‘indifferent’ and held several unpaid professorships in Kiel, Leipzig and his hometown of Marburg. After the war, he left Leipzig since he did not like the communist regime of the GDR any more than the Nazis. In 1949, he finally became professor of philosophy in Heidelberg, where he stayed, from 1968 as emeritus professor, until his death in 2002. In the course of his arguments for a philosophical hermeneutics, Gadamer takes a detour into the field of playing. According to his view, playing constitutes an important aspect of aesthetics and the aesthetic judgement implies a broader notion of truth, particularly truth in historiography and in the humanities in general. Unlike Schiller, Gadamer sees playing not as an individual activity. Playing rather than the player is Gadamer’s focus. Playing exists before the player, so the player enters the realm of playing with its rules and orders. The players so to speak subordinate their engagement to pre-existing conditions. Generally, Gadamer sees these conditions in similar ways to Huizinga and Caillois – the separation between play and real life, the limitations in time and place, the free will to participate, etc. He underlines, however, that playing is always a playing of something. This something usually contains an element of resistance, be it a combatant one plays against or be it a problem that has to be solved by the player such as card games like patience. Playing can also find its purpose in performing. Gadamer uses the German term darstellen, which

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to my mind should be translated as perform rather than present or represent. Many forms of playing can be watched by spectators, but usually this does not influence the outcome of the play. There are, however, some forms of playing, in which something is played for someone, especially when playing is performing.

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All performing carries the possibility of performing for someone. That this possibility as such is intended constitutes the peculiarity of the playing character of the arts. The locked room of the playing world drops so to speak one of its walls. Cult plays and playacting are not performing in the same way as children are performing. They are not limited to performing, but point simultaneously beyond themselves towards those who participate by spectating.41

A child can be completely absorbed by playing and by performing, whereas artists are no longer performing as a kind of self-presentation but perform for someone. The obvious example for this combination of performing and spectating is of course the theatre. The actors play their roles and so the playing becomes a performance, but this playing includes the spectators. The actors are not intended to identify with their roles – as the child – but “they play their roles in relation to and from the viewpoint of the entire performance, with which not they [the actors] but the spectators should identify.” And Gadamer continues that “the spectators take the position of the players.”42 Moreover, the spectators are privileged because they are the ones who gain an overview and can interpret the meaning of the performance, independently from the actors performing. According to Gadamer, this turning around of the playing function applies to all arts. The performing character of the arts is always aiming at a beholder, even when nobody watches or listens. Gadamer’s argumentation places playing right in the centre of aesthetic processes. And as Huizinga declared, playing is not only a possible aspect of the arts or restricted to certain art forms, but becomes one of the most basic characteristics of aesthetics. Playing lifts art out of the quotidian circumstances and facilitates aesthetic experiences. Art becomes art in the moment when it is realized as art.

Placing So far, I have argued that playing links perceiving with performing. Through playing the relationship between perceiving and performing enters into aesthetics, which ties the aesthetic process to presence. Aesthetics is happening. Where is it happening? Some might claim that it

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happens in the mind of the beholder, but this is not enough. It also takes place. The phrase ‘taking place’, which is used so often in everyday language, is a solid indication that events happen in a physical place. However, a place is never just a place, as Henri Lefebvre has taught us in his much-quoted book La production de l’éspace (The Production of Space).43 Being a French Marxist intellectual, he immediately distinguishes between ‘natural’ space and ‘social’ space and focuses on the latter, in particular urban spaces. The places of a city are defined by the people who inhabit them, but also in this respect, further distinctions are necessary. Lefebvre characterizes them by three neatly arranged French words: le perçu, le conçu and le vécu. The meaning of these terms has been widely discussed and for my purpose it suffices to summarize them briefly. Le perçu or the perceived space relates to how people, as a collective, experience a place in their daily life, at different hours of the day, during the seasons of the year, etc. Le conçu or the conceived space is the construct of city planners, architects, bureaucrats and capitalists, who have decided how a place is supposed to be used. Le vécu or the imaginary space envisions how a place could be transformed into alternative functions such as demonstrations, street art or sports events. Why are these distinctions interesting in the context of aesthetic experiences? Because they point towards a differentiation of ‘being there’. Let me revisit Vicenza once again. Elsa Ascoli has crossed the Piazza dei Signori many times on her way to work and perceived this place just as an ordinary part of the city. She did not care that the city government of the sixteenth century commissioned Andrea Palladio to beautify the central square with a gallery around an already existing building. The architect certainly succeeded in constructing a noble conceived space that most of all gave expression to the power of the city. It could be looked at and it has been looked at over hundreds of years. Meanwhile, capitalism has had its share and opened luxurious shops in the gallery, but Elsa did not care about the beauty or the shops. Until that day in 1944, when the beauty was almost gone. All of a sudden, the Piazza dei Signori became an imaginary space: what if the bomb had exploded in the square and destroyed the Basilica Palladiana completely! Elsa was happy that only some details were damaged that could be repaired. The beauty of the building would soon be restored. Now she was really ‘there’ and obviously this moment of attention made a strong impression on her, strong enough to tell other people about this experience. The moment became a memory. The moment that becomes a memory includes the place where the experience occurred. It is quite common that people remember exactly the

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spot where they were hit by some shocking information. This happens when one suffers a personal loss, but also in cases of public disasters. Older citizens remember the shooting of John F. Kennedy in 1963 and were afraid that it might cause a Third World War. Personally, I have a strong memory of where I was and who told me that morning in February 1986 that the Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme had been killed. People could not imagine that such a political murder could happen in peaceful Sweden. But not all memories of place have a disastrous cause. Certain places from childhood stick in the mind for the rest of one’s life. Public spaces also have histories. The Arc de Triomphe in Paris was initiated by Napoleon to celebrate his victory of Austerlitz in 1805. Of course, he had the arches of the Roman Empire in mind, through which the victorious commanders paraded to the Capitolium. The construction started the year after, but Napoleon lost power. He only passed through the Arc de Triomphe once and this was in 1840 when he was lying in his coffin. A hundred years later, the German Nazi forces marched through the famous arch. The place was called Place de l’Etoile, since twelve avenues radiate from the arch, but was renamed – re-politicised – Place Charles de Gaulle in the 1970s. In other words: the same place can have many meanings in the course of history and each phase might become significant for later generations, irrespective of whether the experience has an aesthetic dimension or not. And I can add my own story that was absolutely no aesthetic experience. As a student I came to Paris by car and ended up in this huge place where the traffic goes in one direction in six or so lanes. Since I was not sure which avenue I should use to exit the Place de l’Etoile, I got into the centre and continued to drive in circles around the Arc de Triomphe until I eventually found a way out. History is attached to any place whether it is known or hidden under layers of time. In an encounter with a particular building one is not always aware of its history – this is why guided city tours are so popular. Aesthetic experiences can happen in any places, planned or unexpected. There are however particular places where people gather in order to have such experiences, or at least they hope so. I am thinking of theatres, museums, galleries or concert halls. These institutions have their general and local histories as well as the buildings to which they are mostly connected. La Comédie Française is the oldest national theatre, established in 1680 by King Louis XIV, but its activities have been housed in many buildings before the company settled in its present address, 1 Place Colette. A performance in this place can become a memorable experience, even though one might not remember the play; maybe the sight of Molière’s

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chair, in which he played the imaginary invalid on the day in 1673 when he actually died, made a stronger impression than today’s actors on stage.

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I have the privilege of living close to one of the best-preserved historical theatres in the world: the Drottningholm Court Theatre, just a few miles outside of Stockholm. I mention it here because it can be experienced in so different ways. The domain of Drottningholm, including the Royal Palace, the Chinese Pavilion and other buildings, was declared a World Heritage Site and represents an (almost) authentic eighteenth-century environment. The theatre was built in 1766 and served the summer entertainments of Queen Lovisa Ulrika and her son, King Gustaf III. The stage is fully equipped with flat wings that are manoeuvred by complicated machinery under the stage floor. Performances were given by the singers from the Stockholm Opera – established as a national theatre by Gustaf III in 1773 – and by a troupe of French actors. In March 1792, King Gustaf III was shot in the Royal Opera during a masquerade and he died soon after. His son was under age and the new government had no interest in stage arts, so the theatre was closed. Giuseppe Verdi took the conspiracy against Gustaf as the plot for his opera The Masked Ball in 1858, while the Drottningholm Court Theatre remained shut down. Or rather: it was used for other purposes such as a storage room for royal rubbish. This was the reason why a young assistant of the Royal Library was sent to Drottningholm to search for an eighteenth-century painting that could not be localized. This happened in spring 1921, exactly 129 years after the theatre was in practice shut down. The young man by the name of Agne Beijer was knowledgeable enough to realize that the dusty set pieces were the original ones. Moreover, in the basement he discovered baroque stage machinery that proved to be fully operational. He was allowed to clean the house and to install electricity – nobody would have dared to use open candle lights any longer. The theatre was carefully restored but not renovated in order to preserve as much of the original décor and equipment as possible. In the following year the stage and its sets and the quick changes of decorations by means of the machinery were demonstrated to an astonished audience. The theatre became a museum where occasional divertissements were staged. After the Second World War, a regular summer festival was launched and until this day each season presents productions of early operas; occasionally classical dramas and pre-romantic ballets can also be seen.44 Today’s visitor to Drottningholm has two options: either to follow a guided tour through the theatre in the daytime or to purchase a ticket for

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the evening’s performance. The difference between these two ways of encountering the historical theatre is significant and reflects in some way our experiences in far-away Lapland. The guided tour of the Drottningholm theatre opens the door to a historical jewel which we look at, admire in amazement, and observe as the remains of a glorious past. We listen to the guide and imagine what has or might have happened between these walls 250 years ago. A sense of solemnity spreads when we are asked not to touch the hand-painted wall papers because they are so old and fragile. We are confronted with the past which due to lucky circumstances has survived to our days. There is, however, something static about seeing the theatre just as a building and the stage as a motionless picture. Only the guide and the group of visitors move.

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In Lapland, this situation could be compared to a group of people coming in a tourist bus to an outlook or camera point, from where they can overlook a lake, a river or a mountain range. They observe the surroundings, admire the view and take pictures. ‘Beautiful,’ they say and return to their bus. The experience remains stagnant, only the bus moves away. To see a performance at the Drottningholm theatre turns out to be a completely different experience. The ushers are dressed in period costumes, the orchestra pit is filled with musicians, and there is a sound of expectancy in the auditorium. Spectators are looking for their seats on the long, quite uncomfortable benches (in Gustavian times they did not even have back-rests). When the performance begins with some heavy knocks on the stage floor and the curtain rises, performers enter from the wings, speak, sing or dance and give life to the historical place. Through the performance, the space of the past becomes part of the present. The living human artists bridge the gap of history. And the stage itself contributes to this sense of presence through the movements of the wings. Everybody who observes a so-called changement-à-vue for the first time is surprised by the speed of the change of wings and the relative silence of the process of pushing and drawing the invisible chariots under the stage floor. The mobility of the stage décor contributes to the experience of the here and now. Movements – here the artists on stage, the flat wings, the musicians in the orchestra pit – constitute a sensory perception which easily connects with the historicity of the material of the old theatre. The playing of the orchestra and the singing and speaking on stage create a soundscape that re-awakens historical works that can only be experienced when performed today. Thus, the historical building is brought to life through every performance.

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The audience surveys that I have carried out at the Drottningholm Court Theatre showed an amazing tendency. The majority of the people attending a performance do so in order to experience a live stage event in this particular theatre. Of course, they also enjoy an opera by Gluck, Händel or Mozart, even Cimarosa, Gretry or Haydn, but the main point for them is to experience them on the stage of this historical theatre. Which opera it happens to be is of secondary importance. The slightly paradoxical feeling of presence in the historical environment, including artistic works of the past, is such a fascinating experience that many spectators return to Drottningholm summer after summer. Movement and sound transport the beholder to and from the past to an experience of presence. In the course of the nineteenth century, large opera houses were built all over Europe, from the Garnier-Opera in Paris and the Staatstheater in Berlin to the Royal Opera in Stockholm. All these houses are characterized by a heavy, representative style, dominating facades, marble staircases and golden foyers, and of course the red plush seats in the auditorium. These features were esteemed as a solid expression of the new, rich, bourgeois patrons of these theatres. The less fortunate lovers of opera were referred to the upper balcony, which could be reached by separate stairs of a simpler kind. The display of representation and self-esteem can still be watched in these old houses. There were, however, other reasons for this representative building style of the period. It was not unusual in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries for a theatre building to burn down. In respect of the open candle lights and the lavish dresses in the theatre, this is hardly surprising. Moreover, the theatres of the time only had narrow staircases, no foyers and no emergency exits. No wonder that many visitors were killed when fire and smoke devastated the buildings. In Vienna, as many as 500 persons perished, especially those on the upper balconies, because the exits were blocked by spectators in the parterre. In the new houses, there was an emergency exit – the separate stairs for the people on the balconies. The marble staircases had a material advantage: they do not burn. So, what looked like representational class distinction – and certainly functioned as such – was also at the same time security measures, without interference with the first function, aiming at saving the lives of theatregoers. As Lefebvre tells us: place is not just a place. Lefebvre also reminds us that a place is first and foremost defined by the people who inhabit it. He speaks of collective experiences and it is utterly rare that we are the only spectator of a show or the single visitor of a gallery. These aesthetic experiences are embedded in a collective presence. Visitors, spectators and listeners share their experience with others in the

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sense that they experience the same things at the same time. Of course, individual experiences cannot be identical, but nevertheless they will be influenced by the presence of others. Strolling through the halls of a museum, people look at pictures and look at other people looking at pictures. The exact impact of this collective togetherness has yet to be researched more, but there is no doubt that it affects the individual, maybe more than one is aware.

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Moses Mendelssohn discusses the significance of material spaces in relation to various art forms and their application to natural and artificial signs. He distinguishes architecture as the art that appears to be closest to nature. The beauty of a building lies in “the order, the symmetry and the beauty of the lines and figures in the columns, doors and windows, but more so in the comfort and stability of the building, as well as the perfection of the outward conditions that sensually express the proprietor.”45 Mendelssohn’s combination of outer beauty and inner functions of buildings with the appearance of stability and the comfort of the owner points to Lefebvre’s distinctions of public places and their various functions. For Mendelssohn, nature is always a point of reference in the aesthetic discourses and during our hiking tour in the wilderness of Padjelanta I had ample opportunities to verify the interaction of nature and culture in aesthetic experiences. I will come back to the observation of natural places in the next part. In conclusion of the presentation of the four parameters of presence, I will illustrate their interior relationship with a simple model.

The Model I have chosen to symbolically place the four parameters of presence at the corners of a standing rhomb: perceiving, performing, playing and placing. The choice of the rhomb geometrical figure is of course arbitrary, but offers some advantages. More exactly, it is what is called a ‘lozenge’, a standing rhomb with an angle of 45 degrees. This kind of rhomb is one of the preferred cuts of diamonds and has given its name to one suit of a card deck. In the form of a kite, it can even fly. Last but not least, the rhomb is the classical pattern of Harlequin’s multi-coloured dress. By keeping the angles but turning the edges, new shapes appear which can represent the interaction between the four parameters. In this way I can illustrate the dynamics of presence in various situations.

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Fig. 2: The parameters of presence

At the top of the rhomb I put Perceiving because this is the very condition of an experience of presence. Unless a person has opened her or his mind to observe and give attention to a situation or a thing, no particular sensation of presence can occur. At the opposite edge I place Performing because without a given situation or thing being observable, nothing can be sensed. This ‘thing’ that is observed starts to perform, which means it becomes a special entity to which the observer can direct attention. Performing does not mean that the ‘thing’ necessarily has to engage in any activity, it can just ‘be’. Nature, for example, does not act, but nevertheless performs the view that is observed. Performing is therefore a direct function of perceiving and mutuality is absolutely necessary. However, the relationship between perceiving and performing is not a straight line, but mediated by the two remaining parameters, playing and placing. Through Playing, the observation or the connection that has been established between perceiving and performing changes its character: the process has the potential to become an aesthetic experience of presence. In everyday life, playing may be less tangible and mostly absent altogether. Presence can be sensed in ordinary life situations such as accidents or

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sexual arousals, but these instances normally lack aesthetic dimensions. The play element is a necessary parameter of aesthetic experiences. While playing can be seen as a mental capacity, Placing is the physical condition of the event’s character of presence. Experiences of presence have to take place somewhere. Even when reading about and engaging in a fictional place, the reader is still placed physically on a chair at home or on a seat in a train, on a beach or in a library. The material conditions of an aesthetic experience are just as important as the mental attitude of playfulness.

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Elsa Ascoli’s shift of attention created different spaces, with only minor changes in the physical environment. Lefebvre’s observation that public spaces are the result of human activities rather than constructed buildings suggests a dialectic struggle. On the one hand, city planners and architects are engaged in the construction of places that are accessible to people, but at the same time they have to follow the will of the proprietor – a government, a bank, a successful company that wants to be represented by the commissioned building. On the other hand, the public who is not represented uses the place for their own needs, be it transportation, leisure or curiosity. The relationship is charged with power, which comes to the fore as soon as some people attempt to (mis-)use public space for activities that the planners had not planned. In democratic countries, a passing Pride parade might be welcome, political manifestations can be tolerated as long as police are in place, and graffiti are punishable. As the next part will show, the relations between the four parameters are not stable. Depending on the kind of aesthetic experience, the sense of presence can be dominated by one or two of the parameters, while the others can play a lesser role. In my graphic displays I will show how any one corner can move out of or into the original space of the rhomb. This mobility allows for a more detailed analysis of how presence is happening.

Empirical Methods Personally, I am fond of visual representations such as the proposed rhomb, but I realize that such figures remain rather abstract for many readers. Therefore, I conclude this part with a brief presentation of some methodological tools that are available for hands-on studies of the parameters. For many years I have conducted research on reception processes, mainly within the field of performing arts, but also likely to be applied to other aesthetic experiences.46 By pointing to these general methodologies I also want to assure the reader that my comments on the

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situations in Part Three are not just personal or private reflections, but have a solid foundation in my research experiences.

Perceiving Beholders

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The most common tool in audience and reception research is the questionnaire. Probably every reader has completed such questionnaires in some context, if not in the theatre then in the waiting room of a doctor. Usually, people find these forms quite boring. The meaning of the questions is not always clear, the scales along which we are supposed to answer might not represent exactly what we think, and the number of questions exceeds the time we are prepared to spend on it. Nevertheless, a well-composed questionnaire provides a lot of information. In order to extract this information, the collected questionnaires have to be computerized. Today there are prefabricated computer programmes on the market, which seem to be more effective than the task of laboriously constructing one’s own schemes (as we did forty years ago). Still, we have to ask the relevant questions and while the computer stands for calculations, we still have to interpret the figures and tables that are produced. Some basic knowledge of statistics is required. What do we want to know? What does it say when we line up demographic data such as age, gender, education, place of living, ethnicity, profession, etc.? If this is what we want to know, it is all right, but many of these data co-vary. In order to get a concise picture, the single item of data can be combined in more informative groups. For instance, from a long list of leisure activities we extracted two kinds of people: those who go out and do things and those who stay at home. But a questionnaire hopefully has higher ambitions than merely demographics. The research questions have to be handled in such a way that the answers really respond to the questions. Variations, deviations, validity and so forth have to be tested. A course in sociology might be helpful. I will come back to more elaborate questionnaires, but there are other ways of collecting information about people who attend an aesthetic event. During the Olympic Arts Festival in Los Angeles I applied a method that I had previously tested with my students: ocular observations. The only equipment for this counting of the audience is a note pad and pen. The procedure is simple. I stand at one entrance door of a venue to count exactly who passes through the door. When there are several doors, I assume that on average a very similar number of people pass through the various doors. So, I make a note of every person I see, scribble down an ‘f’

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for female and ‘m’ for male visitors and also their exact – estimated – age. Experiments have shown that the average deviation of the estimated age from a person’s real age is two years. I also manage a third point of information. In Stockholm the students checked whether people had dressed up for the occasion in the various theatres. (We found out that spectators dressed up most visibly in the private theatres, and less so in the opera and other state subsidized theatres.) In Los Angeles in 1984, theatre and dance companies from all over the world were performing and therefore I was interested in whether these groups would attract their ‘national’ friends in this multinational city. Of course, my estimation remained rudimentary and was built on stereotypes, a method that was supported by Gadamer’s view on the positive aspects of stereotypes.47 My categories were coarse, distinguishing only Latin Americans, Asians, American people of colour, and Caucasians. Nevertheless, I could confirm that the audience of a Brazilian dance performance was crowded with Latin Americans, whereas Tadashi Suzuki’s Japanese rendering of a Greek tragedy failed to attract people from Asia – for them, I heard, this was too modern, they wanted to see Kabuki or Nô or Katakali or other traditional Asian theatre forms.

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All people who came through the entrance door together and appeared to be a group, were noted on the same line of the note pad. It showed that theatre goers rarely come on their own but are usually in the company of a partner, members of their family or friends. Altogether I had information about the following: gender, age, ethnicity (approximate, I admit), company, and also which of the 20 shows that I surveyed, they attended. Since I saw all of these shows myself, I could describe their genre and type of performance. I am happy to say that my simple survey gave a fairly good picture of the attraction that the Olympic Arts Festival had on various segments of Los Angeles society. The leadership of the Festival was not interested in these results, but the Los Angeles Times and the Swedish Expressen published several reports of my findings. In my article on the Bloomsday celebrations in Dublin in 2004, I dared to write about the demographic composition of the participating crowds. I say dare, because there were no surveys whatsoever. There were not even entrance doors where I could have counted individuals since the celebrations took place all over town. Nevertheless, I estimated some approximate categories of who was there, first and foremost to understand

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who was not there. Such effects of exclusion or repression will be further discussed in Part Three. Ocular observations are maybe most useful when combined with other methods and tools. In an early survey of the Drottningholm Court Theatre, we carried out interviews with early arriving spectators. In order to secure a statistically representative selection of spectators, we went inside the auditorium just before the curtain was raised and counted the number of men and women on three designated benches. In the case that the ratio between women and men was approximately the same among those interviewed and those on the three benches, we assumed that even the other demographic characteristics were similar.

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Of course, all ocular observations are necessarily approximate. The question a researcher has to ask is the following: Is it necessary to have exact knowledge about the demographic data of an audience? To collect such information in a correct and reliable way requires questionnaires, access to computer power and certain skills in interpreting the data that are produced. These measures cost much money. The notebook I used in Los Angeles costs very little money. For my purposes, the gender and age ratios were interesting in a wider context and exact data would not have contributed more to my understanding of the audiences of the Olympic Arts Festival in 1984. Due to my long experience of audience and reception research I have developed the habit of always observing visitors, spectators and participants at many kinds of cultural events. I will not necessarily calculate the average age of an audience, but I will certainly notice dominating age groups at various venues. More interesting than demographics is people’s behaviour in certain cultural situations. I would like to mention a striking example, which entirely depended on my attention to and observations of visitors. The art exhibition of Entartete Kunst (degenerated art) originally opened in 1937 in Munich to demonstrate the German Nazis’ contempt of modern art. This exhibition was reconstructed in Berlin seventy years later with the original paintings and sculptures. I visited the show, which had also recreated the original tight hanging of the paintings and their dispersion on the gallery walls. I realized that the paintings of Max Beckman, Käthe Kollwitz, George Grosz, Paul Klee, Oskar Kokoschka and others of this generation were not really the best ones I had seen. Many of them were in muffled colours, awkward compositions, exceptional sizes, etc. This caused strong, contradictory emotions for the visitors. On the one hand, they came to this

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exhibition to appreciate the art that the Nazis despised. On the other hand, they could not really enjoy the art they saw, because many of the works were – how should I say? – of a secondary order. The Nazi curators were smart enough not to choose the best works of expressionism, Dadaism, cubism, or of any Jewish artists, but they exhibited lesser works or uninteresting examples of an artist’s production. Observing the visitors in Berlin in the twenty-first century told me that many of the people in the hall felt this rather unpleasant resistance: Instead of loving what Goebbels hated, they could not convince themselves that what they saw was good art. It was not good art; they saw it and they felt ashamed. Being German made the case worse – I think I understand this, because I grew up in that country. Observations are obvious possibilities to learn something about perception processes. Skills can be developed and sometimes guesses can deliver interesting hypotheses, but a hypothesis needs confirmation. Instead of giving out questionnaires, it can be just as rewarding to talk to people. Talking to beholders of any kind can take many forms. A given option is of course the interview. These can take place spontaneously, at least from the point of the interviewee. After summer performances at the Drottningholm Court Theatre there is usually a bus service that brings people back to Stockholm. One has to pay for it, so the bus certainly contains a statistically non-representative selection of visitors. At times I have joined such transport and during the ride to town I have talked to all of the fifty or sixty people on the bus. I had a few questions and got many and sometimes rich answers. It is easy to find instructions about how to carry out semi-structured interviews and to learn the advantages of free talks, recorded interviews, transcripts, and so forth. Easy to learn but difficult to handle is a method I have developed, tested and evaluated and that is called Theatre Talks. In principle it works like this. Ideally, I have recruited a group of seven participants who either know each other beforehand or they do not know each other at all. Together we visit a theatre performance – or an opera, or dance – and immediately after the end of the performance we go to an agreed place. This place needs to be quiet so an unimpaired conversation can take place. Whether private or public, snacks and drinks help to establish social links. As leader of the group I have to assure the participants that everybody’s opinion is welcome and worthwhile. Usually such a group conversation takes one to one and a half hours and it is important for me as leader not to ask questions! I want to know what is on each participant’s mind, how they respond to each other’s opinions, what they consider important and

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also what they do not talk about. The participants usually find Theatre Talks a pleasant and stimulating follow-up of a performance. As they used to say: they will remember these performances much longer and in much more detail.

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When the participants had left, the work began for the leader of Theatre Talks. How can such a conversation be reported? When we carried out our broad survey, which was later called “The Eye of the Theatre”, we had 25 such groups from all strata of society, each with an individual leader, and all groups saw the same six performances in seven weeks. Each group leader had the task of translating every utterance of every participant into a number in the exact spot of a complicated registration form, one for each particular individual. Since I would not recommend such a detailed process to anyone today, I will only say that we had about one thousand forms with approximately fifty notations on each, which were all fed into a computer. This allowed us to calculate all kinds of cross-references and test endless numbers of hypotheses. What did we find out?

Ill. 7: Concentrating on the mediated voice of Antigone

The evaluation of a theatrical performance depends fully and only on the appreciation of the leading performers. This result is valid irrespective of the type of performance and the demographics of the spectators. There are two exceptions: Youngsters keep to the fictional plot and classical operas up to Verdi are always appreciated, no matter how they are performed.

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This strong relationship between spectator and performer became the basis for the communicative model between A(ppearance) and B(eholder) that I have presented earlier in this part. Some of the many results of this largescale project were published in The Theatrical Event.48 Traces of Theatre Talks will be found both during our Bloomsday experiences and also when we were hiking in Padjelanta. In both cases we were four persons who talked to each other at length in the evenings to understand and digest the experiences of the day. Last but not least in this brief overview of research tools for investigations of perceiving processes I want to come back to questionnaires. In 2004, we used a special questionnaire to find out whether a very successful production of Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice at the National Theatre in Stockholm had anti-Semitic effects. For this purpose, we modified a questionnaire developed by Anat Gesser Edelsburg, which was divided into two parts. The first part, to be completed before the show, asked for demographic details, cultural preferences and so on. It also contained a number of anti-Semitic statements, to which the visitor could agree or not along a five-step scale. One of the statements read: “It’s the Jews’ own fault that anti-Semitism spread out all through history.” Then there was a stop-sign, and the spectator was asked to complete the rest of the form after the performance. In the latter part of the questionnaire we asked for opinions about the play and the performance and we repeated the same anti-Semitic statements. This enabled us to compare the reactions to the anti-Semitic statements before and after the performance. The result was depressing. 23 per cent of the audience thought that the anti-Semitic statements were truer after they had seen Shylock on stage than before. 4.5 per cent changed their mind entirely: they moved from initially negative responses to positive confirmations of the anti-Semitic statements. Since this production had a run of 150 performances, 4.5 per cent of an audience of 700 equals 5000 spectators who were affected in an anti-Semitic direction by this theatrical experience. There is no doubt that we are affected by art.

Performing Agencies The strong impact that The Merchant in Venice had on spectators needed to be further investigated. The analyses of the performance pointed to a number of circumstances and signs that might have contributed to an antiSemitic perception of Jews. Here I will only mention a few examples. The Jews of the play – Shylock, his daughter Jessica and Tubal, his friend – appeared in a visually different shape than the rest of the personages in

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Venice and Belmont. While all the merchants, ladies and suitors were dressed in lavish and colourful historic costumes, the Jews wore black. They moved in a tripping way, nervously crisscrossing the stage (the director was also a choreographer). Shylock was impersonated by an actress and even though the director might not have known the long antiSemitic tradition of ‘diminishing’ Jewish men as female in character and even as menstruating, it might have affected certain spectators. Shylock sings a Hebrew song while he approaches Antonio to cut the agreed pound of flesh. I think these were enough signs used in this production in order to emphasize the otherness of Jews. Comparisons with contemporary productions of The Merchant of Venice, for example at the Deutsches Theater in Berlin or as a film with Al Pacino, showed that the costumes, movements, manners of speaking, and other expressive means of performance have a wide influence on the perception of a stage production.49 There are of course a great number of theories and methods available for performance analysis. Martin Esslin applied a semiotic approach at an early point, while Jacqueline Martin and myself tested a hermeneutical method of interpretation. An anthology that covers gender aspects, the body, ethnicity, politics of performance and so forth was presented at the beginning of this century by Colin Counsell and Laurie Wolf.50 Few of these theories came out of theatre and performance studies but were developed in the broad field of the humanities. Therefore, most of these methods are also applicable to other art forms, each discipline adding its specialities. Art historians distinguish between two-dimensional, flat objects like paintings, prints, posters, etc., and three-dimensional objects such as sculptures, monuments and installations and naturally architecture in which we move ourselves. Film studies observe editing techniques, musicologists have their tonalities, archaeologists search for burial rites, and so forth, including all the books we read for learning or pleasure. Many times, the analysis of a work of art enhances our understanding, but intellectual comprehension is not always what we search for. To enjoy a piece of music, we need not understand the musical structure of the composition. Many people accept this in the field of music, but when it comes to dance, they want to ‘understand’ the plot and the characters although many contemporary choreographers are displaying neither plot nor characters. This is of course true of all abstract art, post-modern theatre, avant-garde film, etc., which, nevertheless, are well worth analysing. The only areas for which I have not seen a proper methodological approach are those relating to natural landscapes. We can describe what

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we see, we can contrast large and tiny things, order plants like Carl von Linné or look for an ur-plant like Goethe, distinguish geological layers and so forth, but to grasp the beauty of nature we need to rely on how our sensory perception registers the performing nature.

Atmosphere of Playing

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The basic question concerning playing is how we can distinguish the playing human being from the quotidian activities we carry out in everyday life. In the section about playing, a number of theoreticians were referred to who attempted to define Homo Ludens. Playing as a free, disinterested activity, limited in time and place and regulated by certain rules – this is how I summarized Huizinga’s description of playing. Caillois extended playing to four areas, namely agon, alea, mimicry and ilinx, i.e. competition, chance, pretence and vertigo. These are helpful categories when we want to analyse the playing aspect that relates a performative event to an observant beholder. An interesting point in question is the phenomenon of immersion. By immersion I mean the degree to which a beholder is engaging with the appearance in question. In this case I am not interested in a genre that is referred to as ‘immersive theatre,’ a misleading term since in principle all art is immersive. I distinguish between cognitive immersion, sensory immersion and reflective immersion. Cognitive immersion is most often experienced when we delve into fiction, be it a play, a novel or a painting. With our cognitive capacity to imagine, we can ‘see’ things that are not there. On stage, there is just an actor, while Hamlet is created in our mind. The letters of a novel transport ideas and images that we have to substantiate in our heads. Cognitive immersion is our capacity to completely imagine an imaginary world. Sensory immersion, then, is what we experience with our senses – how we stand and sit, the temperature around us, the sounds we hear, the colours we see. These kinds of sensations are always present, even when we go to a conventional theatre or a traditional museum. Most often we do not notice these physical conditions, because they are ‘normal’. But if we want to see an exhibition of ice sculptures, we will notice the temperature in the exhibition hall. Of course, many artists create pieces of performances, concerts, installations and so forth, in which sensory immersion is much stronger and more important than cognitive immersion. Reflective immersion, finally, regards the activities that emanate from aesthetic experiences. Not only critics but many patrons of art events write down their impressions or else reflect on the impulses that the experience has conveyed. In the context of

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Antigone’s Diary in the next part, I will further develop these types of immersion.

Placing in Location

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Every aesthetic experience takes place somewhere. I would like to offer some useful categories in order to be more precise when we speak about place. There is a place – let me assume a theatre. In the theatre certain relations are established, for example between the stage and the auditorium. Since naturalism began to dominate theatre in the late nineteenth century, the imaginary wall of the stage towards the auditorium has been called the fourth wall. Actors were supposed to perform ‘as if’ this fourth wall did not exist, as if they were speaking to each other in a private room. Film has taken over this aesthetic view. Of course, this has not always been so, nor will this aesthetic attitude stay forever. In a theatre like the Drottningholm Court Theatre, during Gustavian times, it would have been impossible for actors to turn their heads away from the auditorium to look at each other. Nor should opera singers direct their voices towards the flat wings, neither then, nor today. The rhetorical acting method prevented such societally unacceptable misdirection.51 The seating arrangement in a theatre reveals the social order in a society. The horizontal benches of a Greek theatre allowed Athenian citizens to be seated as equals (excluded however, were women, slaves, and foreigners). The Romans ordered their social classes vertically with the senators and knights in the pit, the bourgeois on the first tiers and so on to the slaves and courtesans on the uppermost benches. These kinds of differentiated seating can be found in most theatres and while the aristocratic status determined one’s proper place in history, the distinctions today follow the money that a patron can and wants to invest in a ticket. How do such social distinctions translate into other art forms? At a vernissage in a gallery or a museum, on the red carpet of distinguished cinemas, in the lecture hall where a Nobel laureate reads from a famous book – on all these occasions, the patterns of cultural and economic capital are repeated. Also, in avant-garde circles, where everybody prefers to be dressed in black, prestige and status determine inclusion (and exclusion). An interesting aspect of place is its location. This sounds almost trivial, but what I have in mind is the societal status of certain locations and in addition the logistics that make a place accessible. National institutions – museums, theatres, memorials – were built in places where their visibility and their prestige were guaranteed. Before public transportation also

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allowed less fortunate citizens some measure of mobility, there were many theatres in the suburbs to entertain the masses of workers who had recently moved to the cities. Even today, the placing of a new building of national significance in a city is a delicate question – sometimes discussed over decades.

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And: a city is not just any city. Even the cities of modern societies, housing millions of inhabitants, struggle for a place in the cultural sun. During the decades following the Second World War, the United States of America spent enormous amounts of dollars, although covered up as grants, subsidies and promotion, to propel New York to the forefront of modern art and culture at the expense of Paris, the city that hitherto had been the world’s leading cultural centre. Similar shifts also occur on a lesser scale and may be more limited in time. Germany has a system of municipal theatres in more than seventy cities and it happens very often that some particular theatres are highlighted during a certain period due to a manager or director who has succeeded in gathering an extraordinary team of collaborators. Energetic gallery directors, film studios or enterprising festival managers may achieve similar effects, even in smaller towns: Documenta in Kassel, the Film School in Lodz, Santa Claus in Rovaniemi, Woodstock, Monterey, Jaipur, Santiago, etc. I could extend the question of place to also include geography and languages. Today, the Anglo-Saxon world dominates the rest of the globe so much that hardly anyone can escape the influence of the English language. There are only 400 million people who have English as their native language, which is less than the world’s Spanish-speaking population. However, there are another 750 million who have English as a second language, compared to only 70 million who learn Spanish. English publishers accept non-English-speaking writers only exceptionally – and this book is such an exception – and translations into English are only made available to books that are already famous in other languages. Cultural power remains asymmetrical.

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PART THREE

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VARIATIONS OF PRESENCE

When I briefly presented four particular situations in the Prologue, it was my intention to scrutinize these experiences further in the light of an aesthetics of presence. I have chosen these situations and their varying circumstances for several reasons. First of all, I was personally involved in these events and they affected me in a deeply felt emotional way. Secondly, they were not theatre performances of the kind I had usually written about. They have certain similarities with theatrical events in the sense that there was a communicative field between an appearance and a beholder. I was keen to test whether my scholarship in theatre and performance studies could be fruitfully applied to understanding other kinds of emotional experiences. Last but not least: I have already written and published essays about all of these four situations. During the decade of their publication my interest in aspects of presence was not the prime motivation of my writings. After having studied eighteenth-century aesthetics and developed parameters of presence, I think I have something more to say about these four occasions: Antigone’s Diary, Bloomsday in Dublin, hiking in Padjelanta, and finally Anna O’s art installation. Looking at these situations through the lens of presence, I realize that each one of them has a particular focus on one of the four parameters. This by no means implies that other parameters are negligible; on the contrary – in every constellation the dynamics between the circumstances, locations and activities bring about a significant way of experiencing presence. Having marked this holistic view of the parameters of presence, I want to hint at the predominance of the following combinations. In Antigone’s Diary I found the audience’s or rather the participants’ way of Perceiving to be the most interesting aspect; this performance made me change my view on theatre as an art form. Playing appears to be a dominating ingredient in the celebrations of Bloomsday in Dublin, a day memorializing the illusionary events in James Joyce’s novel. Our hiking tour beyond roads and internet in Padjelanta in Lapland certainly made us feel our Placing extremely sharply since we were moving right through the landscape that was the very cause of our aesthetic experiences. Anna Odell’s suicide attempt on a

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Stockholm bridge was a complex kind of Performing that triggered many kinds of reactions and continued to do so in its mediatized form of installation. The fact that I have published articles on each one of these occasions should not disturb the reader. It is neither necessary nor expected to find and read these earlier texts. I introduce each situation in such a way that the circumstances and conditions become clear and only after these explanations do I focus more on the topic of presence. Occasionally I refer more explicitly to a published essay, because I want to develop an aspect that I have already brought up there. I also add some illustrations, which together with the pictures in the first and second parts will give a visual impression of the four situations.

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At the end of each section I offer a drawing of the rhomb model. By displacing the edges in relation to the original rhomb or lozenge I try to visualize the dynamic interplay between the parameters of presence. I will only comment on each figure in a short paragraph which also serves as a summary of the section. Let me also point to a crux that might seem quite obvious, but nevertheless deserves some attention. It should be clear that the four situations I am dealing with here are my personal experiences. A significant measure of subjectivity is unavoidable. At the same time, my intentions are far from discussing my private or innermost emotions. The rhomb model of presence indicates the contrary direction: the model attempts to translate my personal responses into general patterns of experiences. But the outcome can hardly be objective and measurable statements. I think the reader might wish to translate the general remarks into his or her own sphere of experiences, recognizing how the notion of presence is created and felt in the beholder’s confrontation with ‘completeness and perfection’ as Mendelssohn would have said.

Antigone’s Diary The following section is the only one in this book that deals with a theatre situation, although the performance in question was a very particular one and had an astonishing effect. Throughout my professional life I taught students that theatre is a matter of communication which consists of both actors and spectators. Furthermore, these actors and their audience are united in the same place at the same time. The performance of Antigone’s Diary made me aware that the simultaneous presence of actors and

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spectators is only one way of conceptualizing theatre, but today it is a dated paradigm which can and should be substituted by a new paradigm. The way to this insight came through an unexpected engagement with computer science. During the last decade of my ordinary work at Stockholm University I was frequently asked to engage in certain tasks that were not part of my daily business. I had been the head of our department and I had served as Dean of the Humanities for nine years, so the university thought that some colleagues could profit from my experiences. This was the reason why I became a mentor for the upcoming director of the Department of Computer and System Science. I must admit that my knowledge of computers is minimal, but my engagement only concerned the management of the largest department of Stockholm University: 250 employees, 15 full professors, 100 PhD students and more than a thousand students at various levels. Love Ekenberg, professor of computer science, doctor of computer science and also doctor of mathematics, was about to take over this department as chair and managing director. Love Ekenberg and I started to meet regularly and while I tried to get a picture of what kind of a person he was, he read my publications. During our conversations we talked about personal and business-related problems between colleagues, but we also discussed how Ibsen had solved similar situations in his plays. We touched upon the department’s courses in computer games construction. The students were technically advanced, but could I teach them something about storytelling? I agreed and created a course in computer games dramaturgy. It turned out that the students loved Aristotle’s Poetics, because there everything was presented in a systematic way: three kinds of poetry, six parts of a drama, etc. In this way I got involved in the Department of Computer and System Science (DSV) and this is where I met Rebecca Örtman1 and her Rats Theatre. Her production of Antigone’s Diary is the focus of my attention in this section; I will describe the performance, its technical advancements and then I will discuss how presence was established without actors on stage and how this influenced my conception of theatre. ‘Rats’ is an acronym and R-A-T-S stands for Research of Art and Technology for Society. The group consisted only of Rebecca Örtman as artistic director and some administrative personnel, whereas actors, set designers and even dramatists were hired for one production at a time. Rats was, in turn, hired by the DSV because they wanted to use the theatre group as a test bed for certain research experiments. The first production of Rats Theatre that I saw was Lise & Otto and I will come back to this performance because it really questioned our traditional definitions of

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theatre. The point in that production was the split stage: one stage with one performer was located in Kista and the other one in Husby, connected by a fibre optic cable. Both Kista and Husby are suburbs of Stockholm, located only one subway stop away from each other, but with a world in between. Half an hour’s subway ride from Stockholm city and close to the E4 main highway leading to the airport, Kista has developed into the hub of Swedish computer engineering. World-renowned technological industries as well as about one thousand small businesses and incubators employ approximately 25000 persons. In this high-rise-building environment, the DSV and an equivalent department of the Royal Technical University are located. The subway station is integrated with the enormous Kista Gallery, a shopping mall with all the international brands one can think of.

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Those who continue to the next subway stop will come to Husby. This suburb was developed and built by Stockholm City Council in the early 1970s and looks exactly as one would imagine a suburb from this period: tenement buildings of four or five storeys, parking lots, some parks and lawn in between. The first tenants moved in in 1974 and the subway station opened in 1977. Coming out of the station today, one enters the main square with public and private enterprises: a pizzeria, a kebab restaurant, an Asian grocery, a dry-cleaner, a pharmacy and a doctor’s surgery, a day centre for aging Iranians, a public assembly hall. On the square and in the adjoining streets, women of all ages go about their business, wearing shawls and niqabs, while groups of men sit on some of the benches chatting in the sun.

Ill. 8: The audience of Antigone’s Diary gathering on the main square in Husby

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This is how I characterized the two neighbouring suburbs in the article about Antigone’s Diary that I wrote together with Rebecca Örtman and Love Ekenberg.2 It was important for us to underline the spectacular differences between Husby and Kista. Husby can be seen as a typical immigrant suburb – 83 per cent of the inhabitants are of foreign origin or are children of immigrants – and despite public schools, sports halls and an indoor aqua park, the character of an immigrant ghetto is obvious. In 2013, severe riots took place in Husby: cars were burnt, police and fire brigade vehicles were attacked with stones, and this went on for an entire week. In the international media, these disturbances of civilian life were compared to the uprisings that Paris suburbs had experienced a few years earlier.

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Rebecca Örtman and Rats Theatre had decided to work primarily in this environment and right there, Antigone’s Diary was developed. The production has been characterized as a GPS-driven, mobile, outdoor, interactive radio drama. A brief description of the performance was presented in Part One.3 Before I discuss questions of the production’s theatricality and its relation to the classical drama by Sophocles, I also want to mention the purpose and outcome that these experiments had for computer science. At the centre of the performance of Antigone’s Diary are the questions that the audience is supposed to answer via text messages at the end of each scene. Especially the young pupils’ responses to these questions were of great interest for researchers who focus their studies on the so-called HCI area. Human-Computer-Interaction is a field of investigations concerning the ways that people use computers and what services computers allow their users. This area is in turn closely related to another research field at the DSV, namely e-government, which is one of Love Ekenberg’s own specialisations. How can computers be used to improve people’s engagement and involvement in democracy and public decision-making? In our original article, published in 2016, Love Ekenberg gives an overview of this research and summarises that one needs to design public process models and show how these can be incorporated in highcomplexity decision-making, encompassing different points of view, different perspectives, multiple objectives, and multiple stakeholders using different methods of appraisal. At the department, Love Ekenberg and his colleagues have developed a Participatory Analytic Decision Model (PAD). He also provides a very concrete example of how decision-making could be aided by arrangements similar to the performances of Antigone’s Diary. To show that such decision-making processes are not just utopian

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wishes, he assumes for example that a City Council presents a new building plan for the development of a certain area. Usually these ground plans and blueprints are exhibited in a municipal hall and people are invited to go there and study the plans. The risk is that few people fully understand what they see. If the City Council would engage Love Ekenberg’s collaborators, they would create a three-dimensional, digital model that could be downloaded to one’s mobile phone. Then every concerned citizen could go to the construction site in question and see how the new building plan looks, while the visitor is in place and can move physically through the model. In addition, visitors can send text messages directly to the municipal administration where the various viewpoints are evaluated according to the PAD-model. Through this collaboration between arts and science, the performance of Antigone’s Diary became integrated into the advancement of democracy. Undoubtedly, this points back to Sophocles and his struggle to maintain democratic order in Athens in the fifth century BCE. On the following pages I will develop some of the questions that are related to an aesthetics of presence and in particular to the four parameters that have been presented in the foregoing part. To what extent can Antigone’s Diary become a model even for future theatre studies?

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From Sophocles to Husby On the third page of our article about Antigone’s Diary as a mobile urban drama, one finds the following sentence: “Whenever the participants are ready, they push their start button and the performance begins.” This is not the ordinary way of starting a performance in a theatre. No ringing signal that calls the spectators to their seats in the auditorium, no knocking on the stage floor or sound of a trumpet fanfare as was customary in former times – no, the spectators decide on their own when exactly they want to get engaged in the story. This feature of the event’s starting point underlines the central position and the significance of Perceiving for the entire performance. Usually the audience waits for the performers to get ready, but in Antigone’s Diary there are no live performers to wait for. There is no stage, no actors, only pre-recorded voices. What are these voices talking about, what kind of a story keeps the audience walking along the boring sidewalks of a Stockholm suburb for an hour? In other words: what is the performance all about? Let me begin with a question that has only been hinted at so far: the choice of Antigone, i.e. Sophocles’ classical drama, as the reference point for a

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piece that was basically conceptualized for young audiences. Of course, some contend that the classical plays of Western drama history represent eternal values that are recognizable for each new generation. Others maintain that the dramatic canon from Sophocles through Shakespeare and Molière to Goethe and Strindberg is an intellectual construction that has little to do with the factual appeal of these authors to theatre spectators. In the case of Antigone, there is no doubt that she has attracted audiences and dramatists. The central conflict of the play concerns the individual’s rights and duties in relation to state authorities, to law and order and the stability of a community. Antigone’s personal moral stands are in conflict with Creon’s view of political justice. This is obviously a theme that is actualized again and again and in particular during or after authoritarian political periods. During the Napoleonic wars, Friedrich Hölderlin translated and adapted Sophocles’ Antigone. A hundred years later, at the end of the First World War, the German expressionist writer Walter Hasenclever rewrote Antigone. During the Nazi era in Germany, Antigone’s dilemma was put to a critical, personal test: the state discriminated against Jews, prohibiting Germans from trading with them, marrying them, assisting them, etc. Many Germans thought the state made the wrong decision, but did they oppose the pogrom in November 1938? Some had the courage and the moral conviction and some were, just like Antigone, punished and sentenced to death. During the Second World War, the French dramatist Jean Anouilh presented his personal adaptation of Antigone’s story. He wrote his play in 1942, during the German occupation of France. Of course, he had the fate of resistance fighters in mind, although the story line closely followed Sophocles’ scenes. The language was modernized and Eteocles and Polynices were smoking on stage in the production that was mounted in Paris in early 1944. After the war, in 1948, when Bertolt Brecht had returned to Europe after twelve years of exile, he offered the Schauspielhaus in Chur in Switzerland a ‘new’ play: his version of Sophocles’ Antigone. Brecht’s play began with Antigone and Ismene, but they were German sisters and they had just realized that their brother came home from the war. However, it turned out that the brother was a deserter from the German Army and hanged by the SS: should the sisters deny that they knew this man? Then, Sophocles’ play takes over as an example of the conflict. Brecht and Anouilh were probably right: although the experiences of Hitler’s devastating war had clearly actualized the Sophoclean conflict, both authors felt that they needed to adapt the plot to the circumstances of the German occupation and to the German post-war period, respectively. When Rebecca Örtman worked on Sophocles’ Antigone in 2011, the latest

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European war had ended 66 years earlier, but new wars in other parts of the world had forced people to flee from their countries. Some of them had ended up in Sweden, in Stockholm, in Husby. There they met with other people who had come to Sweden in the hope of finding work so they could support their families in the poor parts of the world. Ten thousand of the twelve thousand inhabitants of Husby have an origin outside Sweden; many of them come from the Middle Eastern region, from other parts of Asia and from the east of Africa. Since Rebecca Örtman was targeting the youngsters in Husby and in particular adolescent girls, she felt that she had to develop a new concept of Antigone. Rebecca Örtman formed a group of ten girls who were interested in theatre and willing to co-operate in the creation of a manuscript for the performance. Among the parents of these girls were distraught fathers and mothers, suffering from post-traumatic stress after having experienced or seen awful cruelties in their earlier lives. To create a drama in which the title person perishes in a locked-up cave was not an alternative. Antigone should stay alive and give hope, even though she disappears from the streets of Husby. The ending of the play needed to convey hope. This was, very early on, the strategy of the local Antigone. She could be brought to the deserted subway station, two stops away from Husby and nobody would know what had happened to her there – that was as far as the imagination of the young girls could be stretched. The subway station in question was built in the 1970s in order to provide an exit for a not yet established suburb in the area. Many years later, the suburb still does not exist, so the trains pass the deserted and spooky station which is not even decorated with graffiti. The work with the teenagers had certain local limitations but a very clear direction. All in all, the manuscript of the performance follows Sophocles’ plot surprisingly well. However, Antigone is only present through her voice of the diary, recorded on her mobile phone. This diary is the main source of information about what happened to her. For the youngsters, the choice of recordings on a cell phone seemed quite natural, because this is exactly how they record their own lives. This technical device became the scaffold of the dramaturgy of the performance. It also supported the feeling of recognizing Antigone, to make her one of them: a girl of their own age, being chased because she refuses to obey the authorities. Antigone and her friends in the chorus raise a monument to commemorate the dead, but they have no permission, it’s against the rules of the city and a guard asks them to take it away. But Antigone insists on honouring the dead (although not

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further describing who the dead people are) and poses the first question to the audience: What makes you angry? The second scene plays among disposed plastic chairs just outside the schoolyard. The voice of the headmaster echoes among the buildings: One of the two dead brothers will not be buried as a sign of contempt for the gang wars of the suburb. Antigone protests, and Sophocles’ play is underway. Supported by certain anachronisms, the story has become part of suburban life. Antigone’s mother has taken sleeping pills, Antigone’s sister Ismene talks with her on a bus, Haimon sends her text messages. The police leave Antigone in the deserted subway station and there are no timetables in this place, a drastic metaphor of the deadly cave of the ancient myth. In the last scene, Haimon stands alone in central Husby and hears the masses of Tahir Square in Cairo shouting in Arabic.

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The tale of Antigone as imagined by the girls of Husby and the director Rebecca Örtman was performed outdoors, in the streets and parks of the suburb. A GPS device guided the audience to the various sites of the performance. Since there were no actors, the spectators had to invent the characters’ features from what they heard in their earphones. Nevertheless, the absence of performers produced a strong sense of presence. The pupils of the schools of Husby enjoyed walking in their own streets and parks, they engaged in the fictional story, they loved to respond to the questions that Antigone asked at the end of each scene and they felt it meaningful to experience this together with their class mates. In Manilla Ernst’s survey of the youngsters’ reactions to the performance, one of the girls in the school classes that she interviewed compared the participation in Antigone’s Diary to other excursions the class had made: Girl 4: Chaos all the time! But that day, all were quiet, only listened to what we heard. Answered questions. Check this good question, check it, check it out! Have you answered? What did you answer? But when we otherwise make excursions, to museums or something … always chaos!4

A sixteen-year-old boy compared the experience to what he remembered from traditional theatre performances: Boy 1: These are only for the eyes. But this performance was everything. The body, thoughts – all involved. It was very good.

Manilla Ernst made a number of observations when she walked along with groups of school children and talked to them. First of all, the participants were outdoors and moved along at their own pace. Secondly, they walked

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in groups and although they did not need to keep together, they still constituted a kind of collective. A third observation concerned the environment through which the groups strolled: the familiar became unfamiliar through the presence of Antigone.

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Ill. 9: Reading the messages their schoolmates have sent to Antigone

The text messages sent in by the participants of the performances which were part of Manilla Ernst’s survey were also analysed in detail. First of all, I found it astonishing that out of the 714 messages she received, 617 or 86.4% were what she called serious responses to the questions that were asked. A small number of messages could not be understood because they were sent by mistake or were misspelled. Only about 5 per cent were trying to make fun of the situation, but even in these cases the responses referred to the questions and obviously the participants were sufficiently engaged by the walk to bother about sending a personal reaction.

Appearance of Presence The surveys of the audiences clearly show a very high degree of mental and physical engagement. Perceiving is, of course, related to the form of performing and cannot be discussed without a closer analysis of the appearance of the performance. Antigone’s Diary can be seen as a multimedia performance characterized by a combination of four elements: radio theatre, site-specificity, interactivity, and mobility. These features of

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the performance point toward different parameters of presence and it is their combination that produces the power of the moment.

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The term ‘radio drama’ sounds old-fashioned – a phenomenon that parents and grandparents were engaged in before television was accessible to everybody. The family gathered around the furniture containing the radio set and listened to newly written plays or to the grand classics of drama history. The place of the performance was a given: the living room or kitchen in one’s home. In those days there was no ‘pause’ button to stop the performance. Meanwhile, the technologies have changed and today’s listeners have access to a radio play wherever they like, in the privacy of their cars or in public places like the subway. They can stop the programme and resume it exactly from the same spot a moment or an hour or a day later. Radio dramas are still produced, both in the form of fiction and as documentaries about real people and real events. In addition, literary texts as well as specialist books are recorded by professional readers. These texts can be found in libraries or downloaded from the internet. Radio listening has become increasingly mobile. Also, Antigone’s Diary was absolutely mobile, but limited to a particular space. While the radio medium describes the form – but not the content – of performing, the fact that Antigone’s Diary had to be experienced in a particular location at a given time has to do with Placing. The place where this play could be seen, while hearing it, was Husby, the suburb with the interior problems mentioned previously. When Antigone’s Diary was performed in the first years, the riots with car burning and stone throwing had not yet taken place. After the riots, the play assumed a deeper meaning because the fears expressed in the text had already been acted out. The understanding of Antigone was very closely tied to the social situation in Husby. In other places, Antigone’s Diary might have had other meanings and implications. Site-specificity gained popularity along with the artistic experimentations of the 1960s. Happenings and later Performance Art loved to occupy certain spaces and to give them new identities. The entire old city of Stockholm was transformed into a piece of art by the painter Georg Suttner simply by inviting the citizens and placing his signature on a public urinal.5 Peter Brook staged his Orghast in 1971 in Persepolis in Iran. In 1988, Marina Abramovic and her partner Ulay walked from opposite directions towards each other on the Great Wall of China in their last piece, Lovers. The Center for Land Use Interpretation – CLUI – edited maps of a (contaminated) Nevada Test Site in 2001. And so forth.

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Some nuances should be upheld: there were places that were necessary and absolutely giving meaning to an enterprise, and there were others, for which the choice of place can be rather described as an exoticizing of the environment. In Antigone’s case there is no doubt that the relationship to Husby was important and maybe decisive for the play. Before I go further into this close fit with the suburb, I want to mention another parameter of presence at work in Antigone’s Diary.

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Playing constitutes a major aspect of the Antigone concept. Symbolically, the performance started by pressing the play button. The concept is taken over by the GPS system showing the way to the next location. This playful interaction with technology creates not only an itinerary for the performance, but the suburb appears on a map! For many of the youngsters participating in the performance this is the first time they see ‘their’ environment drawn up as a real map, with their own streets and parks in a two-dimensional scheme. The same is even more accurate of those who arrived by subway, because most of them had never been in Husby before. Arriving at well-known or completely unknown places respectively, the dialogue in the headphones begins, because the system knows that the participants have been placing themselves in the right position. A pleasant playful surprise; the locations of the scenes were also physically marked with simple devices such as flags, colourful ropes, paper scrolls, etc. The marking of the playing areas was more playful than indicative of the fictional scene in question. At the end of each scene, a question was asked and the participants were encouraged to respond by means of text messages. This was probably the most obvious moment of playful interaction both with the system and with other participants. The system asked the question, the participant answered and the system responded by making the participant’s own answer visible to all and by making all answers visible to each one of the participants. This lively exchange of the participants’ ideas provoked by Antigone’s questions became a major stimulus for the entire group of wanderers moving along from location to location. Playing and placing were fully integrated with each other and effectively connected perceiving with performing. The mobility of the audience deserves some observations. Usually there were some thirty to forty people walking along the trail and of course they were not always marching together. An amazing dialectics became visible: On the one hand, each participant could walk at her or his own pace, write the messages standing at the location or while walking on, read other

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messages or save them for later. On the other hand, nobody walked on their own; one could always see where the rest of the group was moving. The first circumstance gave independence to each and every participant; even in cases where two persons shared the same mobile phone, they decided together about their tempo and interests. The fact that the group remained visible all the time underlined the collective character of the experience. This collective experience was an important aspect of all Rats productions. Although the pieces could be downloaded to one’s own mobile phone, the performances were publicly announced to begin at a certain time to ensure a sense of traditional audience, of togetherness, of a collective of participants. I have consciously been using the term ‘participant’ both in my earlier article and in my comments here. In the case of Antigone’s Diary, the B(eholder)s were far from only watching something being presented; on the contrary, they were all actively participating. This participation was not only a mental engagement as in all theatrical performances, but a physical taking part – walking, carrying their mobile phones, with earphones on their heads, the participants are deeply involved in the performance. These technical aspects of the production were of special interest because they created the vehicle of the communicative processes. The participants perceived the radio drama, responded to it interactively in a playfully engaged way, they were located in the real setting of the story and got involved in the fictional narration that the voices in their earphones told them. All the parameters of presence were activated and the audience surveys confirmed that the participants experienced a strong sense of here and now during the performance. In addition, a broad spectrum of immersions was noticeable. In the section about empirical methods I distinguished three kinds of immersion, namely cognitive, sensory and reflective immersion. The cognitive immersion in the plot of Antigone’s Diary was highlighted again and again in Manilla Ernst’s surveys. I got the impression that the pupils were themselves surprised that they felt such a strong engagement with the fate of Antigone, her futile attempts to get help, her anger and her determination. This story no doubt appealed to young audiences, but not only to young ones. Several of my colleagues expressed their astonishment at finding the classical Antigone story so well translated into today’s world and still preserving the spirit of Sophocles’ play. The sensory immersion became physically present in several ways. The participants’ bodies moved through the suburb and manifested their

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presence both within their own group and to non-involved inhabitants they met on their way. The suburb also became part of the sensory experience: familiar and unfamiliar both for those living there and for visitors coming from outside. Even the earphones on the participants’ heads became a tangible part of the physical environment. The mobility constituted a particular feature of the performance and thus emphasized the sensory immersion. The possibility to respond to Antigone’s questions was highly appreciated by the young audiences. The responding gave them a chance to transfer their cognitive and their sensory immersion into reflections and comments that kept the participants within their total experiences of immersion. Thus, reflective immersion became the continuation of cognitive and sensory immersion. Although the intensity of the immersive engagement might have varied during the walk, the duration of this performance was probably short enough – slightly less than an hour – to ensure a continuous impression of presence.

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Mediated Performance Some critics would not accept that such a promenade with listening devices in the ears in a fringe suburb could still be labelled ‘theatre’. This question has been discussed ever since voice reproduction has been technically possible. When one listens to a voice that was recorded in other circumstances than the conditions of the listening individual, the A(ppearance) and the B(eholder) are obviously separated in time and space. Such a separation between A and B was not acceptable to theatre scholars when they spoke of theatre and performance. On the contrary: A and B were inseparably united in the theatrical event. I have declared this many times myself and argued that the simultaneous presence of the actor A and the spectator B was the basic condition of theatre as an art form. I held this opinion as late as 2008, when a revised edition of Eventness was published, in which I state: “It is the eventness of the encounter between performer and spectator that characterizes a performance.”6 How come that I have changed my mind? Two Rats performances inspired a new line of thinking. Antigone’s Diary provided one critical argument, which in turn was prepared by another performance called Lise & Otto. At the cusp of these experiences appeared a new sense of presence. Before I saw the first performance of Antigone’s Diary, I had seen this other play Lise & Otto.7 This drama about Lise Meitner and Otto Hahn was produced within Rats’ series of three plays under the label Women in

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Science. In the following years, there were plays about Ada Lovelace’s concept of computers in the 1830s and the invention of today’s GPS by Maryam Al-Jiliya in eleventh-century Syria.

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The story of Lise & Otto is, in short, the following: Otto Hahn, professor of chemistry, and Lise Meitner, doctor of physics, collaborated in Berlin on nuclear fission. In 1938, Lise had to leave Germany due to her Austrian-Jewish origin, and ended up as a refugee in Sweden. Their collaboration continued and during a Christmas visit to her friend Eva von Bahr in the same year, Lise Meitner succeeded in finding a theoretical explanation of the fission problem. But in 1944, Otto Hahn was awarded the Nobel Prize for this achievement. In 1946 he came to Stockholm to receive the prize and also to meet Lise Meitner, who was active in the Swedish development of the peaceful use of nuclear power. This meeting in Stockholm is what the play Lise & Otto deals with. The performance took place in two Stockholm suburbs at the same time. Otto Hahn appeared on a stage set up in Kista, the hub of digital enterprises and industries and also the location of the Department of Computer and System Science; Lise Meitner’s stage was placed in neighbouring Husby, the immigrant-tight suburb where low education and high unemployment characterize the local society, in which Antigone’s Diary was also staged. The majorities of the audiences in Kista and Husby represented the people living and working in the two respective areas, only one subway stop away from each other. In the production, the two stages were connected by a fibre-optic cable so that each audience could see one of the two actors live right before their eyes, while the other actor only appeared on a big screen. Except for some pre-recorded film sequences, the dialogue was ‘live’, albeit with one speaker in the room and the other one represented in a two-dimensional format. The audiences were amazed. I conducted a number of interviews in both places and found out that the spectators were really missing the missing performer. They followed the exchange of the dialogue, which was fine, but since one performer was right in front of them, in the flesh so to speak, they were sorely missing the other one; they wanted to have the complete set-up of actors before them. Nevertheless – and this is the most interesting point – the spectators had a very strong sense of presence due to the mixture of media. This was not regular theatre, it was not television or film, it was the particular combination of a live appearance in a theatre as well as a mediatized performance. Asked whether or not this was a

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theatre performance for them, the answer was unanimously ‘yes’ – theatre minus the presence of one performer.

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The experience of presence in theatrical situations is not – or at least not only – a matter of the gifted performer who has ‘It’. While Lise & Otto left one live actor on stage to match the other, mediated actor, Antigone’s Diary took one more step. All performing took place in a mediated form. Nevertheless, the surveys confirmed the participants’ strong sense of presence and also a strong sense of theatre. Both reactions were surprising. First of all, theatrical presence obviously does not require a living performer on stage, but can be equally well accomplished by the voices of a radio drama. Also in this medium, the sense of theatrical experience prevails. If the co-presence of performer and spectator no longer characterizes theatrical experiences, then the question must be asked, what actually triggers theatrical perception? Obviously, the physical enactment of a fictional story – even in mediatized form – creates a basis for the spectator’s engagement. There are many ways of physically displaying a story. Antigone’s voice is one way. Voice (re-)production is the medium of radio emissions, concerning both fictional characters and live situations such as news programmes. Another great theatrical tradition is puppet theatre, in which the figures obviously consist of dead material whereas the spectators bring them to life in their mental perception. When the same puppets appear on a television or computer screen, the perceiving process remains almost the same. Avatars like the football players in the FIFA computer games are very similar to the real players they portray, they look like them and they move like them, but the difference between a FIFA computer match and a televised transmission of a real game remains distinct. The FIFA game is manipulated by an ‘as if’-condition, which keeps the game in the frame of fiction. Other examples can be found, such as the many transmissions of opera and theatre performances, concerts and shows during the coronavirus pandemic during the year 2020. For many television viewers this was a revelation: It was wonderful to watch an opera on television with close-ups of the singers and with the text neatly displayed as subtitles so one really could follow the emotions and the plot. Opera recordings had been well prepared during recent years by the Metropolitan Opera of New York, which had sent their recordings all over the world. Their recording equipment is equal to the technology used for major sports events. Spectators who attended these live recordings were heavily disturbed by all of these cameras, rails, and cables and the personnel populating the beautiful auditorium. Numerous other transmissions from theatres and

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concerts have shown that it is rarely enough to put a camera in front of a stage and hope that the artists can entertain the remote viewer. My point is clear: the experience of a live theatrical situation can be liberated from the presence of a live performer. While theatre scholars for many years believed that theatre is defined by the simultaneous, physical presence of performer and spectator, this narrow view will have to be abandoned and new theoretical frames have to be found. The revision of the concept of presence is hopefully one way of substituting past definitions.

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It would, however, be wrong to conclude that theatre can be experienced in a mediated form just as well as live and this is not my point. What I say is that the sense of presence can be experienced even in situations in which the performers are not physically present. This might happen spontaneously in front of a television screen, but in my view such arrangements demand more delicacy. The combination of techniques and circumstances has proven to be essential: In Lise & Otto the combination of live and mediated performers created an experience that was distinctly different from theatre, television and film – none of these media could have had the same effect. In Antigone’s Diary, the combination of traditional radio drama with digital technologies such as GPS and text messages provided the participants with an original performance experience. Another aspect of the theatrical character of Antigone’s Diary and other mobile, interactive performances, is the collectivity of the audiences. The multiplicity of spectators who experience the same event are not defined as a necessary condition of theatricality, they are rather a historical and societal reality. Theatrical events have in all times attracted crowds. There are some rare examples when a production was performed for just one single spectator, or sometimes two, like when August Strindberg invited George Bernard Shaw to see Miss Julie with him at his own Intimate Theatre. Usually, people look for company when they want to attend a performance and many will not go on their own if their partner falls ill. Once in the auditorium, the visitors are enclosed by and become part of the audience. The impact of the collectivity of theatrical experiences has not been sufficiently researched to allow for specific conclusions, but many theatre lovers have probably been confronted with the situation of there being very, very few people in the auditorium: an embarrassing and stressful experience.8

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The participants of the performance of Antigone’s Diary never felt deserted although they were encapsulated with the voices from ancient times. The kids’ perception of presence was visible from their engagement, just like my own feelings of here and now during my first walk with Antigone. We did not care that the performance deviated from academic definitions of theatre, saying that a perception of presence without performers in the room is not possible. This is simply not true. We all experienced the mediated presence of Antigone. As I said before, theatre and performance studies will have to expand their theoretical understanding of theatrical events.

Fig. 3: Model of presence: Antigone’s Diary

The dominating aspect of presence in the experience of Antigone’s Diary is the mode of perceiving. Technology, mobility and collectivity enforce a high degree of continuous attention. Therefore, the relative importance of the process of perceiving is indicated by extension of the space of the rhomb’s top. This also goes for playing which is obviously well integrated into the entire perception of the play and its dramaturgy. The GPS-directed walking, the interactive text messages, the immersion in the fictive Antigone – all demand a certain playfulness from the participants’ side.

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Placing is significant because everything ‘takes place’ in and around Husby and this placing also lends the entire production a particular meaning. The performance could, however, also be produced in some other suburb. Finally, the performing aspect can be slightly reduced, because it is built upon mechanically repeatable devices that can be handled without human intermediaries. The skills of the production team have reduced human interaction to the participants themselves.

Bloomsday

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On various occasions of my scholarly life it happens that I write an essay or some other text without any urgent reason. Most of the time, academic texts are written for a specific purpose – lectures, journals, books – and have to be delivered at a given point in time called, rather grotesquely, a ‘deadline’. Sometimes I avail myself of the luxury of writing for the pure pleasure of putting into words what occupies my mind. This is how the article about the Bloomsday celebrations in Dublin in 2004 came about.9 In the same year I had published an introductory article about the Theatrical Event, in which I developed a circular model with four components or ‘corners’.10 These were called Cultural Context, Contextual Theatricality, Theatrical Playing, and Playing Culture. The terms are briefly explained in the section about Perceiving in Part Two of this book. After having experienced Bloomsday and remembering our talks during and after that day, I felt very strongly that I should make an attempt to apply my new model to this festival. I wanted to get a firmer grip on this loosely organized celebration of James Joyce’s novel. I must also admit that I and especially my German friend were fascinated by the fact that such an important event could take place without any visible organisation. We were thinking of a possible jubilee of Goethe in Germany or a commemoration of Strindberg in Sweden and we laughed out loud: in our countries, such occasions would have been organized to the very last comma. The company in which I experienced Bloomsday in 2004 had a major influence upon the way in which I perceived the various aspects of the events. My wife and I spent a week with our friends in Ireland: she is Irish, he was German.11 This Irish-German-Swedish constellation had its particular background. My German friend and I went to the same gymnasium school in southern Germany for nine years. During or after our studies – in mathematics and theatre, respectively – we left Germany. My friend had met his future Irish wife in Dublin where they later settled, and

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I met Swedish Sylvia in Stockholm. We continued to see each other while our children were growing up. Although our families were quite similar, there were inspiring differences. Our friends were Catholics, while we were Jews, at least formally. They kept German newspapers; we never did. Some of us had read Joyce’s novel extensively, while others had only briefly opened the book. In other words: our individual knowledge varied, but our collective curiosity was considerable.

Ill. 10: The author in front of the Martello Tower overlooking Sandycove Beach

Since there were no programmes or other formal announcements concerning the various events during Bloomsday, we were completely

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relying on information that our Irish friends had picked up from newspapers or other informal sources. Eventually, what we came to experience during that day depended more on accidental encounters and hints from other participants than following any foreseeable plan. My German friend remembered the places from Joyce’s novel, while his wife knew the city well enough to find them. I remembered circumstances rather than places, which was not always so helpful. But we got around and were on our feet most of the day. Contrary to the novel, we started out from 7 Eccles Street where our Mr. Leopold Bloom was supposed to live. His house – if it ever existed – was demolished, but similar houses were still lining up just across the street. We ended at the Martello Tower, where the novel actually begins. I have always had a certain predilection for Mr. Bloom among all the curious characters of Joyce’s novel. Maybe this is because he is Jewish and his family had immigrated to Ireland just one generation ago. I do not feel that I identify with him literally, but there might be a shadow of recognition. Anyway, when I fabricated my Bloomsday text, I virtually engaged Leopold Bloom and let him describe the events during this celebration day. Once he is allowed to speak, he offers both critical remarks and ironic twists while he orates about the anniversary. To begin with, he questions the meaning of such a celebration since the cause for these festivities never existed, among them he himself – Mr. Bloom. Eventually he describes various scenes in the streets, using the photographs that Sylvia had taken. There are the statues and look-alikes of Joyce and even of himself, there are the amateur actors portraying him on their podium, a bus appearing as a street car from 1904 with Buck Mulligan in his yellow dressing-gown on the top, the swimmers on Sandycove Beach and finally I – actually me, Willmar – in front of the Martello Tower, overlooking the beach.

The Diamond Model I thought this was an appropriate way of opening an essay that very much focused on the playful character of Bloomsday. When I resume the writing of ‘my’ text in the essay, I concentrate on playing as part of the Theatrical Event model. There is a short presentation of how the model is supposed to be understood: of course, a circle has no corners, on the contrary, the circle indicates the simultaneity and the interdependency of the four components. A drawing of the model completes the first section and for the reader’s convenience, the model is also reproduced in the appendix of this book. On the following pages I present here the components and their

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main features as they appear in the essay. Some of the instances, such as Sweny’s pharmacy or the Martello Tower, will be discussed later. “The President and the Cultural Context” first presents Ms. Mary McAleese, then president of the Irish Republic, on her way to a reading in the Joyce Centre. Even this festival, like many others, contained numerous political implications including last-moment decisions by the Irish Parliament. The political component includes questions like: who is entitled to represent Bloomsday and which groups have the power to make themselves heard on such an occasion? Also included are such trivial matters as money: institutions, sponsors, private enterprises, which all fight for visibility in the Cultural Context of Bloomsday.

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“The Producers of Contextual Theatricality” points to various genres of events and to their producers and the clear hierarchy noticeable among various manifestations. To arrange a reading in the Joyce Centre with the Republic’s president attending has a different status than eating Bloomian kidneys on O’Connell Street. There was at the same time a generous acceptance of all kinds of amateurs and local party celebrations. The status of the appearances was again mirrored and enlarged in the media. “The Performers in Theatrical Playing” deals with both professional readers and amateur players and their respective audiences; here, the four of us constituted a representative mixture in relation to the familiarity with Joyce’s novel, on the one side, and the knowledge of Irish English and in particular the Dublin dialects, on the other side. This became especially obvious when we stood in front of the amateur players who presented various scenes from the novel. The Joyce specialists immediately understood which chapter was referred to on stage, but unless one grew up in the vicinity of Dublin, it was almost impossible to understand the words. While Dubliners were laughing loudly, we could only smile at the Dubliners. “The People and their Playing Culture” reflects upon the layers of participation that we ourselves experienced and that we could also observe around us. The beach of Sandycove with swimmers, wannabe swimmers and onlookers is a good example, but also our own visit to Sweny’s Pharmacy indicates that participation has both time and place dimensions. The most obvious impression of Bloomsday was that people celebrated an occasion that was entirely built on the playful acceptance that all is fiction anyway.

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These four components of theatrical events are also closely tied together. Although there is no overarching organisation – no city council, state department or association – a visit such as the President’s at the Joyce Centre lends this occasion an official air. The sponsors, in turn, feel that their contributions are also sanctioned by the state’s highest officials which lifts or, as Bourdieu would say, consecrates their arrangements during Bloomsday. The variety of events and sights all over Dublin appeals to the participants and allows for the interaction between performers and spectators, but also offers playful involvement for all participants. The playing culture that spreads to streets, parks, beaches and pubs, also motivates the formal occasions that the President eventually visited. In addition, I can see a similar circulation and transformation of values – from the money that sponsors invest to the pleasure and excitement of singular events to the feeling of a playful community that strengthens society. At the end of the essay, Leopold Bloom speaks up once more, now in a more critical attitude towards the theoretical discussions of the foregoing pages. Mr. Bloom especially disagrees with my description in matters of sexual appeal towards others rather than white, male, heterosexual readers of Joyce’s novel. He mentions all the passages where unconventional erotic behaviour was present in the book, not the least the long concluding monologue of his wife Molly. “This is how the novel ends,” he says, “but the ‘he’ she speaks about is not me. What I wanted you to understand is how much a fictional figure like me can enjoy and suffer during one day – actually just as much as a real man.” And he continues: “On Bloomsday people remember me and I wonder whether it makes any difference that I never really existed. In memory, fiction and reality seem to melt together.”

Bloomsday and Mr. Bloom How come that a fictional character like Leopold Bloom comments and even criticises a serious scholarly text? Someone must have opened the book and let Mr. Bloom step out into the reality of the twenty-first century. In the article I published in 2009, Mr. Bloom appears after a short introductory paragraph, in which I – the author of the article – admit to the reader that I have “borrowed the identity of Mr. Bloom to describe some street scenes from the centennial celebrations of Bloomsday in Dublin.”12 Borrowing one’s identity implies that the person in question has an identity of his or her own. But does the person referred to exist at all? The answer to this question is not as trivial as might seem at first glance. Of course, in the material sense, Leopold Bloom never existed, although there

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were people who believed that he once walked the streets of Dublin and that James Joyce knew him personally. Well, the latter claim is certainly true: Joyce knew Mr. Bloom as a fictional creation, because he had created him. But I, as the reader of Joyce’s novel Ulysses, know Mr. Bloom, too. After having read the 800-page book, I know Leopold Bloom better than I know my neighbour living next door. I know that his father came from Hungary and that his name was Rudolf Virág, his last name meaning flower or bloom in Hungarian. The town of his origin is Szombathely and in the nineteenth century there was actually a Jewish family living there by the name of Blum. Whether James Joyce knew these details or why he chose this town in Hungary, I do not know and I do not care, because the Bloom family’s origins in the West of Hungary and their pathway to Dublin as it is described in the novel are the reality of Leopold Bloom. What are the consequences of these confusing exercises concerning Leopold Bloom’s reality status? By looking through Mr. Bloom’s own spectacles, the appearance of the Bloomsday celebrations in Dublin revealed its double character. On the one hand, the events of 16 June 2004 were really happening and the people engaged in them were altogether living persons. People were dressed up in period costumes, as James Joyces or as Mr. Blooms, they were swimming in the cold bay water, they listened to the reading of the novel’s text, etc. On the other hand, all these events commemorated happenings that never happened. With the exception of James Joyce look-alikes, all the figures that could be seen in the streets were inspired by fictional, fantasized, imagined characters out of a book. The fictional Mr. Leopold Bloom’s descriptions of scenes in the streets of Dublin were utterly real. They were enacted and watched by people in the flesh, citizens of Dublin or of the Irish Republic or else from all parts of the world. This in every sense, real festival was about fantasies of fictive events of the past that we knew never happened. They were the effusion of a man who came to hate Dublin and all that was Irish. He invented figures and events and placed them in the city where he grew up, well aware that his novel became a rare mixture of ethnographic descriptions, personal revenge, ironic exaggerations, moral transgressions and whatever else literary historians have found out about Joyce’s Ulysses. In other words, there were a number of contradictions between the perception of reality and the outbursts of imagination. But there was a reconciling link between them: playing.

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Reality and fantasy were tied together through playing. This was probably the most fascinating aspect of the Bloomsday celebrations and I have tried to reconstruct some of this mobile playfulness by letting Mr. Bloom himself describe the appearance of Bloomsday. The atmosphere of playing was the primus motor for creating this aesthetic experience. The aesthetic expressions of Bloomsday appeared on several layers. Of course, Joyce’s text remained the basis of all the characters and events that the novel comprises. He has given all of them their own identity: Stephen Daedalus, Buck Mulligan, Leopold Bloom and his wife Molly, Gerty MacDowell, Bella Cohen, dead Paddy Dignam, absent Martha Clifford, and so on. Once Joyce has given them their identities, the characters stand on their own in relation to the readers. I will not discuss ‘the death of the author’ because there is no such thing: The character of a fictional figure is always created in the intersection between the ideas the writer puts into words and the way in which readers translate these words into their own images and concepts. It seems obvious that the pictures each reader creates cannot be the same and none of the readers’ images might one hundred per cent equal the images that the author intended, which is especially true in the face of such an intricate and complex text as Joyce’s Ulysses. Reading books raises a question that I can only touch upon in passing: presence in the process of reading. In contrast to other arts such as paintings, movies, operas, etc., the written word is not experienced as the artistic object (unless one thinks of calligraphic art). The content of words and sentences creates meaning, which in turn can lead to perceived images and sounds that cause aesthetic responses.13 In this respect there is no difference between fictive and factual prose. In each case, the reader has to imagine the persons or objects that are described. James Joyce contended that Dublin, if destroyed for some reason, could be reconstructed on the basis of his descriptions in Ulysses. Joyce’s fictional personages move about in an utterly realistic and recognizable environment. But as a literary text, Ulysses can only mediate the presence of Dublin and its people roaming the streets on 16 June 1904. They are in the book, they are in the reader’s mind, but they could only be brought onto the streets of Dublin by a playful interaction between the story of the past and the participants of Bloomsday in the presence. The public readings in various places around Dublin were one way of bringing the text to life. The difference between reading the text in an armchair and listening to someone reading the same text aloud seems minimal, but it is crucial in relation to the sensation of presence. The text no longer consists of letters that communicate through silent symbols.

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Instead, there is a voice, female or male, low- or high-pitched, warm or aggressive, slow or fast, belonging to one or another dialect, just rendering or heavily interpreting the lines, mediating or emphasizing, adding facial and gestural accents, showing or showing off the reader’s personality, seeking the author’s truth or displaying the reader’s virtuosity, etc. The listener cannot escape the impressions that emanate from the presentation of the orator. The public readings still remain quite close to the literary text, which probably propelled them to the very top of the event hierarchy during Bloomsday. The paradoxical situation arises that the least playful interaction with Joyce’s text renders the highest esteem from the cultural establishment and gets the most media attention. Other readings that took place in taverns where Bloom, Daedalus and others had a drink or a fight, were hardly mentioned anywhere, although local listeners seemed to enjoy them just as much. There were, of course, more playful expressions of Joyce’s novel, especially all those in which the figures of the text were presented by living impersonators. Also, on this level of playing, several distinctions can be made. There were theatrical situations, in which performers created figures from the novel to be shown to an audience. Other people dressed up in period costumes without any particular audience in mind, but masqueraded in public places for everybody to see. Another category of festival visitor was content with small accessories such as a lacy shawl, a bow tie à la Joyce, or just a bowler hat to indicate their participation in the festival – most probably for themselves in the first place. I must admit that I would have liked to wear my own bow tie, had I known this was customary on Bloomsday. It might have supported my mental participation in the festival. Participation is my point: all these people in the streets of Dublin were actively participating in the celebrations of Bloomsday. They became participants by playing with various aspects and personages of the novel. The entire festival was a playful interaction between players and the fiction of Joyce’s Ulysses. This playful participation stretched out to all people in the streets, even though all of these were not always consciously engaged in beholding. When we watched the amateur players we became an audience, just like in the theatre. The look-alikes in the streets amused pedestrians, but without any further communication other than a smile and a vague association to the Joycean world. The people hanging around Sandycove Beach, whom I have described earlier, appeared to me as an appropriate image of the variety of participation:

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there were the swimmers in period swimsuits – those who really got into the chilly water of Dublin Bay – and those who were wearing oldfashioned bathing attire but did not dare to go into the water; next there were those who had regular swimsuits and just wanted to be in the place where it all happened; last but not least there were various categories of observers, from those standing close to the water to others who watched from their cars. All were in one way or another participating in the celebration of (fictional) Buck Mulligan’s early morning bath that took place, well, exactly one hundred years earlier.14

Ill. 11: One of the many Mr. Blooms during Bloomsday

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During some of the events it became obvious that playing was not enough – it was a matter of playing in the right place. Sandycove Beach is the best example of the significance of location. Anywhere else, swimming in Dublin Bay would have been a private exercise, no matter what kind of swimsuits the swimmers were wearing. It was only at Sandycove Beach that Joyce’s imaginary world came into playing. I am not sure I could show this statistically, but the further away from the literary text an event happened, the more important was the place where it happened. The readings at the Joyce Centre had no direct relationship to any of the houses or streets in the novel, but were nevertheless highly valued. The people at Sandycove Beach were not referring to Joyce’s text verbatim, but only related to the place described in the book. Another very particular place in the novel is Sweny’s Pharmacy at Lincoln’s Place. In Ulysses, it is Leopold Bloom who passes this pharmacy and buys a piece of lemon-shaped soap. He chats with the owner and forgets to pay, which he realizes much later when he sees Gerty MacDowell on the beach and puts his hand in his pocket. This is the fictional story, but Sweny’s Pharmacy is not fictional. It is a small shop for medical and hygienic stuff and it is still located in the same place. And this is the point where I myself engaged as a participant. I went into Sweny’s Pharmacy and bought a yellow, lemon-smelling piece of soap. To my surprise, the owner had not only seen to it to have plenty of ‘Bloom’s soap’ in stock, but the entire shop looked as if nobody had made the slightest changes since the real (!?) Leopold Bloom bought his unpaid-for soap a hundred years earlier. This became a very peculiar moment of my festival experience. First of all, I changed my status from an amused but passive observer to an active participant. I bought the soap and paid for it. But, secondly, the soap was indicative of historical circumstances, i.e. the room of the pharmacy made a historical impression, almost like in a museum. This real room, and this is my third point, was the scene of a historical transaction, which, however, only took place in Joyce’s fictive world. Fourth: a parenthetic remark – Nora Barnacle, Joyce’s girlfriend at the time, worked in a hotel situated not far from Sweny’s Pharmacy, so he probably knew the place very well. Fifth: the yellow lemon soap remained untouched for a long time on a shelf in our bathroom in Stockholm, constituting a physical reminder of the points one to four, above. My visit to Sweny’s Pharmacy was an isolated undertaking – nobody else was in the shop at the time. The pharmacist was pleased anyway because customers from all corners of the earth ask for these soaps all through the year. Only a few readers of the novel remember the scene, in contrast to

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Sandycove Beach and the Martello Tower. Maybe – and this is another questionable hypothesis of mine – many people know the swimming scene opposite the Martello Tower because it is described right at the beginning of the novel; I mean, even those who never finished the thick book might remember the spectacular first pages. A particular occasion that people remember takes place some 80 pages into the novel, in the chapter called Calypso, which begins with the following lines: Mr. Leopold Bloom ate with relish the inner organs of beasts and fowls. […] Most of all he liked grilled mutton kidneys which gave to his palate a fine tang of faintly scented urine.

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Kidneys were on his mind as he moved about the kitchen softly, …

As readers and fans of Ulysses might remember, Bloom goes to the butcher Dlugacz and buys a pork kidney for breakfast. Home again, he puts the kidney in a pan and questions his wife Molly upstairs in her bedroom about a letter she had received that morning; meanwhile the kidney gets almost burned, not too bad, so Bloom finally enjoys his very personal breakfast. These quite trivial circumstances of Mr. Bloom’s extravagant morning procedures were transformed into a grand spectacle on the Sunday morning of the week of Bloomsday. The brewery that sponsored the event, placed a long row of tables along O’Connell Street in central Dublin and served approximately 10,000 kidneys. Who were the people who ate them? I am not thinking of the visitors’ demographic background such as age and gender, but of their status in relation to the Bloomsday celebrations. They were certainly participants – participants engaging with their own, eating bodies. But how did they relate to Mr. Bloom? What did they know about this literary figure? Most probably they knew exactly this: a literary figure that eats fried kidneys for breakfast. The imitative aspect of their eating contains a large portion of playing. They could hardly identify with Mr. Bloom, even less so within a crowd of thousands, other than in a playful way. Also, the placing of this ceremonial breakfast at the heart of Joyce’s Dublin was in a way significant. In Catholic Ireland the communal eating of a peculiar dish on a Sunday morning might stir particular associations in some of the eaters or maybe even more so in the minds of onlookers: should they not be in church and eating the wafer? All these people performed their show while they were playing for themselves, for each other and, involuntarily, for people passing along O’Connell Street. Mr. Bloom remained a fantasy, but the kidneys were real.

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People in O’Connell Street were not performing in the sense of representing fictional figures out of Joyce’s book. They were inspired by Mr. Bloom, but not necessarily imitating him. This is also true of the swimmers on Sandycove Beach and the customers at Sweny’s pharmacy; maybe this playing attitude even applies to the readers of Joyce’s texts. In my view, the amateurs presenting scenes from Ulysses can be seen as typical for the kind of performing that met visitors all over Dublin. While professional actors would have impersonated the fictional characters, the amateurs only showed a mediated image of them, through which their own personalities and their own pleasure of creating transpired. They created a community of players and spectators. They could not refrain from laughing together with the audience when they had delivered a particularly drastic scene. They enjoyed the irony of the text and the double irony of their own performance and they had chosen passages of the novel that were the most amusing. The provisional podium and the pavement of the street became a united space of their performance. This kind of communal togetherness characterized many of the places around Dublin on this day. These community-building, loosely organized events implied a specific aesthetic appearance: the playful ‘as-if’ that held its grip on performers and onlooker alike. At times it was difficult to distinguish the one from the other and it was easy to glide from an engaged observer to an active participant and back again. The scene in Sweny’s Pharmacy described above, was just one of many examples. Of course, one has to ask whether this wonderful, playful community included everybody or were there groups who might have felt excluded? To answer this question, I included a quite speculative section in my essay in which I discuss the demographics of the participants. But can such speculations really produce any information that is relevant for the social status of Bloomsday? Admittedly, there were no scholarly surveys that could give a solid picture of the demographic composition of the participants. Only my own observations and a few conversational talks constituted the sources of my description of the participants’ age, gender, ethnicity and so forth. However, when I arrive at the conclusion that Bloomsday attracted “white, middle class, heterosexual Christians,” this was not just guesswork. At this point in 2004, I had carried out audience surveys for twenty-five years and had a good sense of the covariance of observations and statistics. The advantage of these observational evaluations based on scholarly experience was that these kinds of reflections were at all made possible. In the context of Bloomsday, it was interesting to differentiate between those

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who were part of the Joyce community and those who were left out. Through the tight social and societal bonds of the participants and their cultural affinity to the Joycean world, a sense of unity dominated the streets of Dublin on that day. To be sure, there were bus drivers, garbage collectors, shopping housewives, schoolchildren, and so forth, who obviously had nothing to do with the troubles of Mr. Leopold Bloom. Underneath the visible sense of the Bloomsday community on that sunny day, the social gap remained and this was also exactly the line where the attitude of playing stopped. Having these circumstances in mind, I now want to have a closer look at the experiences of those who actually participated in the celebrations.

Dimensions

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There is no doubt that participants of all kinds felt and enjoyed a sense of presence, the here and now of being part of this unique occasion of the centennial celebration of Bloomsday. But the notion of presence was not likely to be uniform and therefore some distinctions might be in place in order to differentiate the experience of presence, at least on a theoretical level. The categories I want to propose here are duration and immersion. The term duration is maybe the easiest one to understand. The performance of Antigone’s Diary, which I described in the previous section, lasted about one hour. Young people could keep up their concentration during this short span of time. However, even within this hour there was a clear rhythm in the performance. There were moments of intense listening to the dialogue on the earphones, the even more engaging answering of text messages, and then the relatively relaxed walk to the next location. Bloomsday lasted a whole day, but this did not mean that each participant experienced full presence from dawn to dusk. There were periods of plain transportation, walking from one spot to the next, paying attention to a group dressed in period costumes and riding old-fashioned bicycles without getting involved, watching another group, observing a third one. Naturally, the attention of each of us was varying and the intensity of our mental participation reached its highest concentration only at certain points. Such moments were signalled by our own involvement, when people around us became an irrelevant, diffuse background and we ourselves sensed the intensity of the place. Climbing the steps of the Martello Tower, crossing the ‘kitchen’, and then stepping out into the sunlight on top of the tower – just as Buck Mulligan did a hundred years ago! – this was a moment of presence. The presence prevailed as long as

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the four of us were standing on the platform, speaking to each other, maybe quoting some sentence from the novel; I do not remember this, but I still sense the feeling of presence. The togetherness of the four of us had an additional impact on my sense of being there: it was not simply my imagination that was at work – no romantic ecstasy – but my friends lent their reality to a mixed emotion: being really there physically and being really absorbed by fictional images. As soon as new visitors appeared on the platform the sense of absolute presence was spoiled or rather: transformed into the inclusive feeling of a festival community. At the same time this served as a reminder of how much Placing means to create a lasting experience of presence. These moments of intensity can be characterized as a form of immersion. In other texts I have extensively described my distinction of three kinds of immersion, namely cognitive, sensory and reflective immersion.15 Cognitive immersion is tied to our ability to involve ourselves in a fictional world. Since the entire day of these celebrations is built on James Joyce’s fiction, the cognitive aspect of immersion was almost constantly present. Sensory immersion relates to our bodily and mental experiences, whether they are connected or not to the world of fiction. The lustful reading of the book in an armchair at home or on a terrace in the sunshine can very well trigger a sensory feeling of delight. During Bloomsday, other notions of sensory experiences can also be observed; I just need to remind myself of the eating of kidneys or the chilly water of Dublin Bay to understand how the participants subjected themselves to a high degree of sensory immersion. Most members of the crowd could feel their sensory presence in the physical environment of the streets, parks and pubs of Dublin. Reflective immersion, finally, points towards a particular awareness of one’s position in between the fantasy world of Bloomsday and its concrete visibility of the city and all the people joining in the celebrations. The absurdity of the situation that (my) Leopold Bloom highlights in his comments – “Nothing of the things that Joyce wrote about in his book happened outside his fantasy. So what is the festival all about?” – caused the reflections of my earlier essay as well as these pages. The polarity, the doubleness of the cognitive and sensory immersion induces a reflecting position that very few participants could probably escape. Obviously, these reflections did not come to an end when Bloomsday was over. The feeling of immediate reflective immersions faded, for sure, but stimulated at the same time a return to Joyce’s text and the question: what had I missed? There was a latent sense of neglect that troubled me until I found a thin book by the German writer Wolfgang Hildesheimer: The

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Jewishness of Mr. Bloom.16 The text is the printed version of a lecture that Hildesheimer gave in Dublin on Bloomsday in 1984. The book had remained unread on my shelf for many years, but after my own experience of Bloomsday twenty years after the book was printed, I understood that the Jewishness of Mr. Bloom was not present in the year 2004. Or was it represented and I failed to recognize it? There was at least one point when I should have noticed a controversy about Mr. Bloom’s Jewishness: the scene in Barney Kiernan’s Tavern performed by the amateur actors outside the Joyce Centre. Maybe the arrival of Ireland’s president distracted me or maybe I simply did not understand the words that were spoken in a grave Dublin accent. The amateurs performed the tavern scene, I remember it, and I also recollect how much fun this was for those who understood this dialect. But was there any anti-Semitism in this scene? Hildesheimer highlights all the ugly things about Jews that are being said during this conversation, especially by the Irish nationalist, called the ‘Citizen’. Going back to Joyce’s book explains, in part, my lack of adequate reactions against obvious anti-Semitic notions in the dialogue. A question like “why can’t a Jew love his country like the next fellow?” is answered with the remark “Why not – when he’s quite sure which country it is.”17 Such passages are difficult to notice in the flow of a funny and entertaining spoken dialogue. When the Citizen shouts out loud “Three cheers for Israel,” I should have been alarmed, but I was not present enough.18 How is this possible? Probably my own Jewishness was superposed by the liveliness of the occasion, by the cognitive immersion in the performance and by the skills of the performers. It took years of reflective remembrance to fill the hole of presence in my perception. At least this is how I remember it. However, searching another bookshelf for another book, I also rediscovered the following volume: Jews in Twentieth-Century Ireland, by Dermot Keogh.19 The receipt from the bookshop is still stuck between the pages and to my surprise, the date reads: 17 June 2004, i.e. the day after Bloomsday. One of the chapters is entitled “Leopold Bloom, the Jewish community and independent Ireland.” I must have read this chapter but I have no recollection of what I learned from it. However, I do remember that, at about the same time I enjoyed reading some of the short stories by David Marcus in his remarkable book Who ever heard of an Irish Jew?20 Maybe the amateur players were aware of these books and therefore suppressed or even cut the anti-Semitic remarks in Joyce’s text. Could it be that they did not want to utter these ugly stances? Today, these words were maybe dirtying their beloved Dubliners from yesterday? I cannot know, but it could be that these players were omitting an attitude that is

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well represented in Joyce’s text. A correction which in its way would have been remarkable. Leopold Bloom himself is very well aware of his Jewishness and he even seems to be quite knowledgeable in Jewish history. At least he fights back in the pub, reminding his opponents that not only was Baruch Spinoza a Jew, but even Karl Marx and, after all, even Jesus Christ. I am not sure the anti-Semitic mob hears his arguments because Bloom is already on the run outside the pub.

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While reflecting on these circumstances in the novel and re-imagining the scene with the amateur players, I am wondering how long a feeling of presence can prevail. In the strict sense, my attention ended with the end of the amateurs’ performance; in a wider sense, the duration of presence can be seen as a repetition of memorable moments in reflective thoughts whenever they turn me back to the view of Leopold Bloom in Barney Kiernan’s Tavern.

Fig. 4: Model of Presence: Bloomsday

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According to my description above, the dominating feature of the rhomb is of course Playing. This pulls the whole figure slightly to the left. Placing is also a major issue, since the whole event is so tightly connected to Dublin and could not possibly happen anywhere else. Perceiving is characterized by an up-and-down movement, because the attention varies from time to time and from place to place. Therefore, its significance is slightly reduced. Also, Performing is a minor issue, partly because it appears in so many variations during one and the same day, from performing actors to reading intellectuals. The whole rhomb looks slightly squeezed in relation to its regular form.

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Padjelanta Moses Mendelssohn had no problem with including observations of nature in his aesthetic concepts. “Beauty enchants us in nature, where we find it originally, albeit slightly distracted,” as he formulated it at one point.21 Nature represents a divine order and therefore Mendelssohn states in his Main Principles of Fine Arts: “The pleasure that the beauty of nature provides can, due to the infinite completeness of the Master who has created it, reach stages of delight and ecstasy.”22 To admire a mountain range or a tiny flower is in Mendelssohn’s eyes as much a part of aesthetics as works of art. The reason for this equality between phenomena of nature and phenomena of culture is the privileged position of the beholder, which dominates eighteenth-century aesthetic discourses. The reader’s, observer’s, spectator’s or listener’s ‘sensory perception’ was emphasized by Baumgarten again and again as the nucleus of aesthetic experience. This sensory perception can be directed towards any target the beholder choses accidentally or wilfully. But untouched nature with its ‘infinite completeness of the Master’ is hard to find. While we were wandering along the narrow trails of Padjelanta, one could imagine that we were in ‘pure’ nature, but we were not.23 The very existence of paths, planks and bridges indicated that we were in a humanly arranged environment, although in the middle of mighty mountains. A related but quite different hybrid of culture and nature was created in Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s novel Wahlverwandtschaften (Elective Affinities, 1809). The enigmatic title of this novel contains in itself an amazing mixture of natural science and fiction. The Swedish eighteenthcentury chemist Torbern Bergman is known to have discovered carbonic acid and he was the first to produce carbonated mineral water. In 1775, as a professor at Uppsala University he summarized his chemical findings in

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Disquisitio de Attractionibus Electivis (A Dissertation on Elective Attractions) with tables of chemical elements that attract or displace each other. Goethe, himself a passionate amateur of natural sciences, translated this idea of attraction and displacement to human relationships. In his novel, the happily married couple Eduard and Charlotte invite the husband’s old friend, Captain Otto, and the wife’s niece Ottilie to their countryside castle. In the fourth chapter, Captain Otto explains the ‘elective affinities’ from the point of natural sciences. But different, human affinities evolve between the four protagonists and the story ends quite tragically with the death of Ottilie. However, there is an aspect of the novel that brings me back to another passion that is quite prominent in Goethe’s text: the re-arrangement of nature in order to represent nature.

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The novel begins with a dialogue between Eduard and his gardener. “‘Have you seen my wife?’ asks Eduard. ‘Over there at the new place,’ responded the gardener, ‘the moss cabin, which she has built next to the cliff, opposite the castle, will be completed today. All looks quite beautiful and will please your honours.’”24 Eduard might be pleased, but he is not satisfied. When his friend Otto regards the surrounding landscape, he quickly realizes that Eduard and Charlotte are not courageous enough: “‘One only glances at nature, one has a preference for this or that place; one does not dare to remove obstacles, one is not bold enough to make sacrifices.’”25 Otto has bigger plans. He collects maps and measurements of the estate and makes drawings of possible changes. Goethe describes the situation. After this agreement, the books were opened, in which one could see blueprints of a certain area and the landscape in its first, raw state of nature; then, on other papers they found the enhancements that had been added through art in order to improve the good [conditions] and to heighten them. From there it was easy to imagine their estate and its surroundings and how it could become refined and developed.26

The correction of nature was a favourite occupation of the landowning aristocracy at the beginning of the nineteenth century. English gardens with their irregular lawns had already substituted the symmetrical designs of the earlier French Baroque gardens. Romanticism took naturalness one step further, albeit not as a naturally given step. In Goethe’s novel, the renewal and restoration of the natural environment of the estate becomes the preoccupation of the married couple and their guests. Much effort and time are invested in rearranging the natural path that leads up to the hill, from which a broad view opens up over the forests and valleys of central Germany. The artificiality of the corrections should not be noticeable, but

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was considered necessary for the unimpaired beholding of the beauty of nature.

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Goethe himself was a passionate wanderer and a collector of stones and minerals. He enjoyed the rough mountains and the wild creeks of Thuringia, Bohemia and Alsace, but in his soul, he was a city dweller. Standing at his desk in Weimar, he could describe nature as he imagined it, in its natural or artificially naturalized shape. For him it was the same, almost, as long as beauty reigned. This attitude towards beauty as a form of knowing and feeling meant that the viewing, listening or reading prompted whether a view or a sound or a book could be judged beautiful. I mentioned Goethe’s combination of aesthetics and nature as well as Mendelssohn’s idea of mixed emotions to my companions who were hiking along with us on the trails of Padjelanta. They responded immediately by pointing to the quick shifts of the weather: what is beautiful at one moment might appear threatening and ugly a moment later. They were very old friends of ours and our relationship originated from the time when the two women in our company were training as physiotherapists at the University of Lund. My wife Sylvia worked in this profession in Stockholm and studied evening courses in theatre and drama at the university and there she met me. Together we went to London to visit Sylvia’s student friend who was there for work and during this stay we saw John Gabriel Borkman at the Old Vic. When our friend came back to Sweden, she studied evening courses in biology and there she met her future husband. We continued to meet occasionally, but it was only many years later, when our children had left home, that we started to travel together. Ever since, we have been to many places from the Serengeti in Tanzania to the rain forests in Costa Rica. One of our later trips took us to the Alps and the Ötztal and on to Bolzano, where we saw Ötzi’s coat. On all these journeys, we have profited from each other’s special knowledge, in particular physiology, biology and cultural history; and we still share our curiosity towards the many things we have yet to learn. Why do I present our friends in such detail? Because I am convinced that our two summer hikes in Padjelanta were deeply influenced by the constellation that the four of us constituted. Our friends’ knowledge of the fauna and flora of the Nordic mountain range opened up a new world for my wife and me. Not only did they know the names of all these small flowers along the trail – in both Swedish and Latin – but the very fact that they pointed them out to us made us aware of their existence. Even though we easily forgot the names of those plants, their mere mention

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demonstrated to us the rich variety of the flora of this cold and forbidding area; as a biology student, our friend was sent out to register the flora of one particular valley and he reported more than two hundred species.

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The fauna is also richly varied, but not all of those animals are easily observed. The arctic fox is extremely shy and the wolverines are quite rare, so it would have been exceptional to see them by accident. But lemmings we saw everywhere. These small, mouse-like, black and yellow mammals are very common in the mountains. On the trail one could almost step on them, which provoked them to a sharp hissing selfdefending rage. For birds of prey and foxes the lemmings are their main food store. Once in a while we heard the sharp screaming of a buzzard or even an eagle high up in the air. An episode with a ptarmigan hen caused some discussion between us. Ptarmigans make their nests on the ground because there are no real trees that high up in the mountains. This means that the eggs and later the chicks are fatally exposed to foxes or other hungry beasts that discover them. Therefore, the hen displays a particular technique whenever a fox is approaching. She starts to cackle and to flutter her wings and she hops awkwardly, pulling one wing on the ground as if it were broken. The fox is meant to realize that she is badly hurt and is therefore easy prey. The fox chases her, she moves away from the nest and when the fox has almost caught her, she flies off the ground. Hopefully the fox will not remember the location of the ptarmigan’s nest and chicks. This we had heard from our friends before we saw a ptarmigan hen ourselves. She behaved exactly as if we were hungry foxes and ‘pretended’ to be badly hurt, pulling her ‘broken’ wing between the bushes: she gave the full performance to a stunned audience. The four of us walked quickly away so as not to disturb her more than we already had. Did the ptarmigan hen really pretend to have broken her wing? Or was she playing, performing a show? Is there a difference between playing and pretending? Are not all actors pretending? These questions were thrown at me because I maintained that the hen was playing and playing is not pretending. So, we discussed the aesthetic principles of acting on the ground of our observations of the ptarmigan hen. My point was that what we conventionally call ‘pretending’ is real actions, even in this case. The hen hopped, fluttered and dragged her wing: she did not pretend these actions, she really executed them. My friends had to agree. So, who pretends? Maybe the fox? The fox interprets the hen’s actions as caused by a broken wing. Although he is mistaken, he does not pretend. We could

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however say that the hen performs a situation that is meant to deceive the fox. She obviously succeeds, at least occasionally, to secure the survival of her species. At the same time, she taught us a lecture saying that ‘playing is not pretending’.27

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Sami Land On our way to Padjelanta we stopped over for a day in Jokkmokk. This town of about 3000 inhabitants is most well-known in Sweden for its Sami market, which has taken place in February every winter for more than 400 years. For us, the Swedish Fjeld and Sami Museum called Ájtte was our priority. For Swedish people in the south the Sami culture and its history are quite remote phenomena. Occasionally one reads about court cases in which a group of Sami people insists on their hunting and fishing rights in a certain area or maybe some are accused of game poaching. Certain historical periods such as the eighteenth century when the ‘Laps’ were forcefully christened or the twentieth century when huge constructions of dams destroyed reindeer breeding grounds are more well-known. I have of course heard about the theatre group Dálvadis, but to be honest, I had never seen them. All these topics and many others were exhibited in the Ájtte Museum and our visit there had a double effect. First of all, we learned a lot of new things about the Sami population of Sweden, Norway, Finland and Russia – for them these countries are all the same. They settled in the north of Scandinavia long before other ethnic groups migrated to the southern parts. They were exposed to various forms of oppression, tax regulations, settlement restrictions and so forth throughout history. Secondly, we were struck emotionally. We looked at the skilfully carved and decorated troll or rune drums that the Sami shamans, called Nåjd, used to get in contact with their forefathers. And we were shocked when we understood that these rune drums were burnt or sent to museums, the shamans were accused of being (and sometimes burnt as) sorcerers and the spiritual world of animism was substituted by the Protestant belief in hard work and prayer. A hundred years later, Lars Levi Laestadius, a Sami Protestant preacher, worked energetically for the purity of faith and against the evils of alcohol. Around the turn of the century in 1900, a new generation of natural science scholars went up to Lapland, this time to measure the skulls of the Sami people in order to prove the superiority of the Aryan race. And still after the Second World War, Sami children had to attend Swedish schools and were not allowed to speak their Sami language. Some years after our hiking tours in Padjelanta these issues

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became the topic of an excellent film by Amanda Kernell, entitled Sami Blood. I mention this visit to the Ájtte Museum and the intellectual and emotional impressions we took with us because I am convinced that the new knowledge as well as our feelings had a strong influence on the tour in Padjelanta. On a more general level this raises the question of the significance of preparations that we bring to situations of overwhelming presence. There are certainly moments when we experience presence as a complete surprise, but more often we are prepared in the sense that we actively search for a context in which presence appears to be contingent. Preparing for such situations also includes the friends who joined us. Had our Irish Joyce specialists come along to Padjelanta instead of the Swedish biologists, the outcome for us would have been different. When the helicopter that flew us from Kvikkjokk to the first cabin of the naked, treeless mountains of the National Park of Padjelanta, disappeared, we were in some measure prepared for an encounter with nature, its beauty, its challenges, its threats.

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Mobile landscapes Surrounded by the majestic mountains with their mighty rocks and boulders, the first impression is one of motionless solitude. In relation to this overwhelming stillness, the parameters of presence seem farfetched. How can mountains, landscape, nature itself, perform for us? It is obvious that we are placing us in the middle of ‘nature’ and that we are open to perceiving all we see and hear, but how can landscapes become playful and performing? The term ‘performing’ might seem completely inadequate when speaking of landscapes, on the one hand, and of Sami people at work, on the other. And it is true that neither mountains and creeks nor reindeer herdsmen nor salmon fishers are engaging in an active form of performing – it is nothing they choose to do, on purpose, so to speak. Nevertheless, from the beholder’s point of view, both natural and cultural activities can be experienced as performing, provided that a faint element of playing is included. Here I understand playing in the very elementary sense, in which Hans-Georg Gadamer describes this phenomenon: as the ebb and flow of waves, as the playing of leaves in the wind, as the children’s endless rope-skipping and so forth. Especially these silent kinds of playing can infuse a strong notion of immersion, both in sensory and reflective respects. Who has not been staring into moving water, a setting sun or a night fire? There seems to be an additional aspect of these immediate experiences of nature: its movements. Either the elements of

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nature move, such as the water of a river or the clouds in the sky, or the beholder moves from one place to another. I have the impression that our relation to nature is mobile in the sense that something always moves, irrespective of whether it is the appearance or the beholder or both.

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The mobility of nature was drastically demonstrated when the helicopter that brought us to Padjelanta had left. To get to the cabin, we had to cross a creek. Normally, it is enough to step on the big stepping stones in the riverbed to reach the other side. The fifteen-kilo backpack has to be balanced along. When we had arrived, the snow and ice further up the mountains had melted down during the preceding warm and sunny days. The result was that the insignificant creek had turned into a roaring and bouncing river where the stepping stones were no longer visible. We had to take off our boots and pants and with plastic sandals to protect our feet and in our underwear, we had to step into the ice-cold water. In this situation, two minutes are a long time, five minutes an eternity. Obviously, we made it, not without a slight feeling of pride.

Ill. 12: Clouds revealing Mount Akka in Padjelanta

In the cabin, we observed a spectacle that demanded no movements from our side. Outside the window was a thick fog that covered everything. Occasionally a wind came up and tore a hole in the fog, opening up a

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glance of a mountain. The view disappeared quickly, but another breeze came and exposed a snowfield in a rocky range. The wind, the fog, and the landscape performed an uneven but entertaining battle. More and more of the mountain with its snowy chasms and icy glaciers became visible. Eventually, one of the highest mountain ranges of Sweden appeared as a spectacular sight right outside our window. Another place where nature was displayed in a similar but artificial way was of course the theatre of the eighteenth century. While we were experiencing the swift changes of weather in the mountains of Padjelanta, the Drottningholm Court Theatre came to my mind. The weather as stage designer, I thought, while observing the dense fog being blown away or a cloud darkening the bright sunlight, just like in Drottningholm – a theatre that I have visited over many decades and have also written a book about. The theatre was built in 1766 and was frequently used by the Swedish court during the reign of the theatre-loving King Gustaf III. The stage was well equipped with elaborate invisible machinery that allowed for quick changes of scenery. More than twenty complete sets of flat wings and backdrops were created. There were interior rooms and halls, palaces and city streets, gardens, forests and wildernesses. From the perspective of Padjelanta, I especially remembered the forests and the wilderness. There is an interesting contradiction in these designs. The flat wings stand in a strictly symmetrical order, each wing diminished according to the perspectival distance from the footlights; the stage floor is visibly raked. In this sense the stage represents a strictly baroque view. In the most traditional sets such as representative halls or a baroque garden, the flats of the one side are almost identical to those of the other side, only differing in respect of the light – the painted sunlight is always shining from the south side of the theatre. In other sets, the flat wings were painted in an individual manner. Still, the trees are of the same kind, but they are personally shaped after the artist’s taste and temperament to create the impression of a lush – natural – forest. All these displays of painted nature could be enjoyed while sitting on the benches in the auditorium of the court theatre. However, not every set was plainly meant to be enjoyable. In a set called ‘The Wilderness’ the artist had chosen rough rocks, thorny bushes, springs and wild waterfalls to illustrate the hardships of the hero. An even wilder landscape was composed for the cave, representing the entrance to the Underworld, through which Orpheus and Eurydice escape from Hades in Gluck’s opera. The opening of the cave glows red, reflecting the fire that torments the souls of the deceased. Pehr Hilleström, who painted this scene several times, conveys very well the fear of the protagonists. Their predicament is indeed scary. Moses Mendelssohn’s

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concept of mixed emotions as a variation of aesthetic experience applies here in great measure: the beauty of ugliness. I have to admit that the comparison with Drottningholm is a very personal point of view. Lapland is, for sure, not a stage, but the landscape changes through movements just as much as the flat wings of Drottningholm. The cause of movements is often as invisible as the machinery under the stage floor: on the one side, fog, clouds, sunlight, rain – in short, the weather – on the other side, the moving, hiking wanderers on their way to the next cabin. The hikers constantly change their angle and distance in relation to what they see.

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As for the visitor of Drottningholm, the hikers in Padjelanta have manifold relations to history. The tracks on which we walk are only partly natural, i.e. the traces of wandering reindeer. As soon as we approach a wet area, heavy boards have been mounted on underframes to allow for a reasonably dry passage. These parts of the tracks were built in the 1930s, when unemployed young men were engaged and paid in the course of the Swedish New Deal. They opened up Padjelanta for tourists, although there are no signs of mass tourism as yet. To have the time to reach the end of the outlined path, to carry all the food and other necessary equipment on one’s back and the need to have some knowledge about the climatic conditions of the area limit the number of hikers. There are other traces of history in Lapland. Carl von Linné, the man who gave Latin names to all then known plants and animals, travelled to this area in 1732. Of course, his main interest was that of a natural science scholar. Born in the south of Sweden, he found the fauna and flora of Lapland very exotic, mirrored in his minute drawings of reindeer and owls and also of working Sami women. He was fascinated by the Sami people’s healthy living and he brought back a traditional Sami summer costume, which he frequently wore in Uppsala to demonstrate to his students what an amazing culture the north of Sweden offered. Linné was hardly aware that he contributed to exoticizing the Sami people, who soon would be subdued by an intensive Christian mission. Sami life had found ways of surviving the hard, climatic conditions and had tight relations with natural elements such as rocks, springs, snow and ice as well as to animals. Nevertheless, they remained the outsiders during most of the country’s modern history. To meet a representative of the Sami people in Lapland, is a challenge. At one of the cabins along the Staddajåkkå river we met a Sami woman who told us about her experiences

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at school, when she was forbidden to speak her own language, even with her brother. We felt ashamed. Instead of respecting the inhabitants of the north of Sweden and the oldest traces of human life in this area, the Swedes from the southern parts of the country forced them to submit to Christian Protestant values, to leave their native language and to behave like the majority population. Only in 2000 was the Sami language recognized as one of the minority languages of Sweden.

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Why am I reminded of these historical aspects, in particular those related to the Sami people? Because experiencing Padjelanta means to become part of its history, its people, its animals, its movements. We – the hikers – are not walking through an untouched nature, as we would like to think at certain moments when majestic rocks and mountains illustrate the enormous powers of the earth. Their beauty fascinates, but our movements are linked to the movements of many earlier generations. Through these contacts with historical and contemporary movers, a sense of presence evolves. In Padjelanta, the presence of history exceeds human history and stretches out to geology and the question: how has the landscape become the way we see it today? This happened a long time ago, long before any humans inhabited these areas. The last big change occurred in the Quaternary Ice Age of the Pleistocene period, my friend the natural scientist explains. Which was when? Well, in Scandinavia it ended about 9000 BCE. This was when the ice that had covered northern Europe melted away and changed the entire geography. Between the Norwegian mountains in the west and the remaining ice in the east, enormous water masses washed the landscape clean of soil and gravel and created the surface of Padjelanta – whose mountain ranges had been created millions of years earlier. Nevertheless, we move along these geological formations and we feel their sensory presence under our feet. Padjelanta as a place is central to such experiences. We needed to place ourselves ‘beyond roads and internet’ to be able to grasp the diversity of this particular nature and the culture so intimately interwoven with it. ‘To be there’ seems to be a precondition, but it is not enough. The beauty of a creek and the ugliness of a rock are not indicated by any other authority than our own mind. The presence of our impressions is stimulated by playing with the performing landscape as well as by perceiving historical circumstances. Again, I see here the coordination of various sensations that create the sense of presence that we felt so often during our hiking tour. When discussing Bloomsday, I took concepts such as duration and

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immersion into consideration and these certainly also apply to our experiences in Padjelanta. Our walking in Padjelanta stretched over a week. Of course, there are limits to our attention span and nobody would claim that a mountain tour produces an uninterrupted feeling of presence. There are moments of sensory perception that absolutely procure a deep sense of presence and the interesting point here is how the various components interact at these instances.

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Perceiving as it is constructed in the model of presence can be described as a process. This means that the attention towards aesthetic sensations continuously shifts, despite the heightened alertness that the hiking tour implies. Arriving at certain places and feeling the playing of the elements can generate moments of performing that we are able to perceive. These become the fascinating instances when time ceases to exist and we are immersed in beauty, movement, colours, shapes, stillness, illusions and transformations.

Ill. 13: Ice floes at the outlet of Lake Sårjåsjáurre in Padjelanta

Our experiences in Padjelanta, then, were not so different from the involvement of the figures in Goethe’s Wahlverwandtschaften. By artificially improving the landscape, they were searching for the same moments of astonishment and admiration: the sensory perception of

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nature. When Otto and Eduard have reconstructed the path to the top of the hill, they invite Charlotte and Ottilie to enjoy the broad view of the landscape. They try to neglect the artificiality of the arrangement in order to take delight in ‘pure’ nature. Goethe describes these scenes without irony; on the contrary, he becomes a spokesman of the Romantic yearning for nature as the place where a human being can dissolve its individuality and can implode into what Mendelssohn named the ‘completeness of the Master who created it’. However, human presence never disappears. Henri Lefebvre, who wrote so insightfully about place and placing, insisted on the presence of people as the dominating definition of a place. In Part Two, I have briefly described his distinctions between what a place is meant to be and what it turned out to be. Lefebvre is mainly speaking of cities, but I think his principles apply even to a place like Padjelanta. There are two major groups of people who populate the area: those who are there to make a living and those who are there merely for their pleasure. I am speaking of the Sami people and of the tourists. The latter are dominated by groups of passionate mountain people, hiking in the summer, skiing in the winter, coming back year after year, exploring the various mountain ranges from south to north. Such experienced mountaineers were our friends and we met others for example in the dining room of the Staloluokta cabins’ guest house. To some extent they knew each other beforehand, had met in other places, with other friends. They talked about their recent experiences and about earlier hardships, challenges and marvellous adventures, not without a touch of bragging. The less experienced – like my wife and myself – could only listen in astonishment, sometimes wondering about the truth of these fantastic stories that certainly were told more eloquently every time they were repeated. But there was no doubt that these people could be trusted concerning the observation, preservation, and maintenance of the natural environment, the cabins, the trails, the winter markings for long-distance skiing, and so forth. They were true friends of the mountains.

Cyclic Time We were fully aware and utterly grateful that our hiking tour coincided with a period of exceptionally fair weather in the mountains. Only the snow patches here and there were reminiscent of the long and icy winters. The changing seasons determine when Padjelanta is accessible to wanderers like us – and also to the original inhabitants of the land. The Sami reindeer breeders follow their herds up to the treeless regions of the mountains. There the animals find the best nourishing plants and they also escape the

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mosquitos of the forests further down in the valleys. The Sami families occupy the small settlements for a short summer season, the reindeer calves are marked and they also have to be protected against wolves and bears. Fishing and smoking fish for the winter take some time and when the first snow comes in September and school starts for the young ones, it is definitely time to return to the coastal regions for the winter. During the winter the mountains stay in the darkness of the Polar Circle. From February onwards, when daylight is coming back, people become very busy in this northern landscape: construction materials, food supplies, equipment and tools from fishing nets to cooking pots have to be brought to the places where they will be needed during the summer. The transports have to be arranged while the rivers are frozen and snow covers the entire landscape. In former times they were using dog sledges, while snow scooters have taken over this task today (leaving the dogs to tourists). Then both people and animals eagerly await the arrival of spring, which occurs when enough snow has melted away so the reindeer can find food. The families will follow to the settlements, mark the calves, smoke the fish, enjoy the rich flora of the short summer and soon enough, it will be time to return to the valleys. To come close to this cyclic life of the Sami people made a lasting impression on me. Maybe I am more sentimental than my friends, but the circularity of living, the repetition of the same moves, the back and forth, all this touched me deeply – in my soul, as Mendelssohn would have expressed it. Our Western mind is focused on a linear life expectancy, on a straight line beginning from birth and adding one phase of ‘normality’ after the other: school, marriage, children, career, grandchildren, retirement, dementia, death. True on a personal basis, this scheme is less significant as soon as we move beyond individuality. The circularity of the yearly rhythm of the Sami people made me aware of so many more cyclic movements we experience in our lives. Repetition is much more dominant in our lives than innovation, from daily hygiene routines to the sad task of attending funerals. Even the life cycle that we imagine as a straight line from birth to death, represents a cyclic repetition when we view it from a general instead of an individual point of view. We are all involved in the mystery called life, which we enter and leave, fulfilling our part and hardly leaving any traces. Well, some hope to leave a few traces such as writing about hiking tours in Padjelanta. This moment of insight into the circularity of life experiences struck me as one of the major impressions that I took from Padjelanta. But I cannot tell when exactly this insight occurred, when I sensed this strong experience of

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presence. I had opened up my perception during all our hiking tour, I joined the trails in a playful mood of pleasure, I was placed in the middle of a fascinating landscape with fascinating people around me, and nature displayed its best sides while we were moving through it. But: exactly when such an insight appears in the mind of the beholder is difficult to say. It is better described as an accelerating process. Impressions are generated and stored, completed and deleted and eventually rearranged into a new insight. Maybe this moment happened when the woman in Staloluokta talked about her childhood memories of the settlement, where she and her brothers have spent the few summer months for as long as she can remember. Maybe it was the sun we saw from the dining room in the middle of the night, a sun just touching the top of a mountain and immediately rising for the next day. There were unforgettable moments and unforgettable insights, happening beyond the notion of time.

Fig. 5: Model of presence: Padjelanta

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The dominating parameter of the walking tour in Padjelanta is the place itself. The experiences are only possible in this environment. Through various movements, either of the appearances of the landscape or of the walking wanderers, a certain playing becomes manifest, which allows the landscape to perform – sometimes supported by the changes of the weather. The perceiving of natural, cultural and social phenomena is continuously stimulated by the physical transport of the beholders and by the endurance that the tour requires. Being in the nature of Padjelanta for an entire week opens the mind towards familiar as well as unexpected sensations.

Anna O – Unknown woman

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On Saturday 24 January 2009, the Swedish tabloid newspaper Aftonbladet had a story that sent a wave of excitement through the country. The source of the article was no less than the chief physician of a psychiatric hospital, revealing the following events. A psychotic arts student had attempted suicide on a bridge, but was caught by the police and brought to the physician’s hospital where she received treatment. Most upsetting: the next morning she had declared to the doctor in charge that her illness was not real and the treatment only served as material for an art installation! Her name, Anna Odell, was published and she was also accused of biting and beating the policemen and threatening the personnel of the ward. The public uproar that followed the publication of the article grew unusually fierce and aggressive. The condemnations in the media of Anna Odell’s behaviour had no limits. In part, the aggression turned against the young woman – “cut your hair and get a job,” as the chief psychiatrist of the hospital exclaimed. A liberal politician demanded that she must pay back the full costs of her treatment. The medical journal Dagens Medicin received loads of letters from doctors describing Anna Odell’s actions as unethical, criminal or simply despicable. Other reactions were geared against Anna Odell’s project as art: “If you think this is art, then you are not sane neither according to common sense nor DSM-IV.” Another doctor contended: “Neither the art school nor the so-called ‘artist’ deserve anything but disgust from the public.” All these comments were published in the weeks after Anna Odell’s action in January and long before a first version of her installation was shown.28 Some artists, journalists and academics defended Anna Odell’s method and claimed the right of free speech and the independence of artistic expression. After all, nobody was harmed. There was also a doctor who reminded his colleagues that medical

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students had done exactly the same thirty years earlier without provoking any protests, but such nuances were hardly heard in the massive chorus of accusations.

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When the first version of the installation was shown at the art school in May of the same year the public interest had already turned to other topics. Only a few art journalists wrote quite respectful reviews about “Unknown Woman 34 97 01” as the piece was called then. None of the upset doctors who wrote articles and letters to the editor seemed to have taken the trouble of visiting the exhibition. At least there was no more public debate. In my notebook I had made several entries about the ‘case of Anna O.’ from the very beginning. I saved some of the articles on the topic in my daily newspaper, but for some reason I missed visiting the installation when it was on exhibition in the art school. Instead, I went by car to the south-east of Sweden, to the beautiful old city of Kalmar, where the installation could be seen in the local art gallery during the summer. I was almost on my own in the dark hall and I was completely shocked by what I experienced there. On a big video screen, I saw this young woman, tossing around a plastic bag, throwing her boots over the railing of the bridge, obviously psychotic. This was well executed and by now I knew that it was the artist who had re-enacted her own suicide attempt. What shocked me were the pedestrians, the people passing her on the bridge. They did not know that this was a re-enactment, for them she was just a psychotic woman. They watched her, hesitated for a moment, but nevertheless walked on. True, some tried to communicate with her, but when she did not respond, they left her alone and continued on their way. On foot and on bicycles they came, noticed her and disappeared again. Eventually, a young couple stopped, made an unsuccessful attempt to communicate with her, but stayed on and called the emergency number. I admired them and asked myself whether I would have had the courage to intervene. Or would I have behaved just like those people who did not care? After this experience in Kalmar I became more interested in the case of Anna Odell. I collected the letters to the editor of Dagens Medicin that were written soon after the event in January. I found other news items and I discovered a similar case from the 1880s, when the American journalist Nellie Bly was, of her own free will, delivered into a mental hospital in New York and caused a major scandal when she reported on the mismanagement of that institution. Then I followed the trial against Anna Odell that was held on 31 August 2009.

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Ill.14: Anna Odell on the bridge before the arrival of the police

Anna Odell was accused of five points, listed in the indictment: Violent resistance, fraudulent practice, damages and misuse of public resources, assault and battery (against police and health care personnel) and finally, unlawful threat. The claims of the physician who had filed the report to the police were that she had beaten, scratched and bitten the policemen and the nurses. Since there was no evidence whatsoever, the public prosecutor had to drop the charges of assault, battery and unlawful threat. The court also dismissed the claim of damage to a public institution. The cost for the two tranquilising shots was €1.75 which the judge chose to neglect. What remained was the fraudulent practice. From the court’s juridical perspective, Anna Odell’s behaviour was not justifiable because she wilfully deceived public institutions such as the police and the hospital. Usually court procedures try to clarify the intentions of the accused, which in Anna Odell’s case would have been very simple – her installation. But for the court the art project was no excuse even though authentic reactions of the pedestrians, the policemen, the personnel, and the doctor constituted the basic material of Anna Odell’s work. She was sentenced for fraudulent practice, albeit to the lowest possible fee.

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The court’s decision triggered a number of questions. Not only were Anna Odell’s motives neglected, but also her actions on the bridge were not properly understood. For the court, her actions were not a re-enactment or the staging of a past situation, they were simply fraudulent practice. This narrow-minded sentence constituted a theoretical challenge. What was Anna Odell actually doing on the bridge?

Performing Anna Odell

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I collected more material about Anna Odell’s case and looked into other, similar cases. I have already mentioned Nellie Bly and I had followed the German journalist Günter Wallraff over the years, but Anna Odell had no journalistic aims. There were body artists such as Orlan and Stalarc who artificially changed their appearance, but again, nothing of this kind was on Anna Odell’s mind. Christoph Schlingensief invented all kinds of quasi-realistic settings that confused spectators and by-standers about the real aims of such events. Schlingensief’s performances were directed towards a public, as were Anna Odell’s actions, yet in a much more indirect way. Also, in the books by Shannon Jackson and Nicolas Whybrow I found many examples of unusual art installations, but none that in a similar way to Anna Odell confused the concepts of reality and performance. I decided to continue my own investigations and to prepare a paper for an international congress of theatre and performance scholars. In my interview with Anna Odell, she was very open-minded and outspoken about her experiences and her aims, her legal as well as artistic preparations and the fact that she was unable to participate in public discussions since she was indicted and not allowed to speak about her case before the trial. I also happened to find and talk to the two young persons who met Anna Odell on the bridge that night and who called the emergency number. It turned out that they were trained social workers and they saw the fact that they supported each other as decisive for their courage to intervene. In order to better understand Anna Odell’s actions, I turned to a theoretical model that I had developed earlier. It lacks a proper name so I call it a simple model of theatrical communication. In the section about empirical methods in Part Two I have presented this model as a more general tool for the analysis of artistic communication.29 In relation to Anna Odell’s artwork I thought that a closer look at the sensory, artistic and symbolic levels of communication might reveal some of the problems that the public debate, the court and also art historians had with this case.

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Anna Odell’s exhibitory actions that dominated the sensory level of communication were easy to understand. The young woman was obviously inappropriately dressed for the season, she moved about in a disturbed but not aggressive way. Her appearance was alarming, but as I have described above, few of the pedestrians cared to interfere. On the sensory level, one could say that the communication worked in both directions: Anna Odell managed to attract the attention of passers-by, but most of them neglected the impulse they felt when observing her. There was a sensory awareness of each other, but nothing more happened.

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On the artistic level, Anna Odell had carefully staged her appearance. She had chosen all the details that would encode her as a psychologically disturbed person. Her short skirt, a leather jacket over a t-shirt, and the boots that she eventually threw into the water, all indicated that this woman was not dressed for the cold season. She must at least be crazy or maybe she had been thrown out of an apartment by a partner. The plastic bag she tossed around on the pavement pointed to more disturbances and not least her jerky movements made a psychotic impression. Despite the dark pictures of the video, all this can be clearly seen. Even though Anna Odell might have looked like an ordinary psychotic person, her entire appearance was carefully designed and staged. In this sense, she appeared like an actress playing a role. The problem was not her appearance, but the confusion of the beholders. While beholder B identified A as a young woman with a strange behaviour on the sensory level, there was no difference on the artistic level. The reason was that B could not recognize any playing element that would make the appearance on the artistic level different from the sensory level. There was no indication that A was playing, that she had put on a mask, that she was performing a role. On a bridge in the middle of Stockholm, nobody could reasonably assume that this scene was part of a video documentation. Anna Odell was performing the psychotic woman so perfectly well that not even the specialist doctors could unmask her, nor would the court appreciate her performance as an artistic achievement. On the symbolic level, Anna Odell embodied her thirteen years’ younger self in exactly the same situation – on the Liljeholms bridge. But nobody could see this creative move from the real Anna Odell who dressed and behaved like the role she played and ‘became’ her former self. The pedestrians on the bridge could not detect these communicative levels, because they were invisible. For them the woman on the bridge behaved in an authentic manner and this is why their own behaviour also became

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authentic. Their sense of authenticity became the decisive feature of this situation. I could understand that the media, including the protesting doctors, were confused, but art critics and especially the court should have clarified the connection between life and art. I required the documents from the court to understand how the judge argued this case. The result was meagre. For the court, Anna Odell’s action was fraudulent behaviour irrespective of her artistic purpose. She cheated public institutions and to cheat is immoral. If one pretends to be ill and stays away from school or from work, this is not morally acceptable. The fact that her action was part of a creative artistic process was not taken into account. This raises the question of whether Anna Odell was sentenced on legal, moral or artistic grounds. Certainly, the Swedish law contains a clause about fraudulent practice and in this sense, the sentence was legally justifiable. In another scholarly paper for another international academic society, I presented Anna Odell’s case with an emphasis on the societal consequences of this legal decision. Was the court’s decision, after all, a kind of censorship? The court ‘pretended’ that Anna Odell’s action on the bridge was an isolated event that ended in the hospital the next morning when she admitted her ‘fake’ behaviour to the doctor. The fact that the whole arrangement was part of an artistic creation was neglected, almost denied, in the court procedure, i.e. the aesthetic aspect was considered irrelevant. I could see that there were three issues at stake. From the legal point of view, there was this paragraph on fraudulent behaviour and that was it. At the same time, the sentence reflected the moral uproar in the media. All those who accused her of misusing public resources must have been satisfied. Moreover, those who blamed the art school for allowing this kind of misbehaviour were confirmed in their view that such actions cannot be measured in aesthetic terms. The step from moral judgements to aesthetic censorship is very short. The call for censorship echoes authoritarian societies. Those who think that my logic to connect this insignificant sentence against Anna Odell with the threat of political censorship is too far-fetched should remember that authoritarian attacks against the arts always tend to begin with minor encroachments. One day a certain aesthetic was called ‘degenerate’ and the next day artists were sent to concentrations camps. In today’s democratic governments the ministry of arts and culture is considered to be of low status and has an even lower budget. As soon as an undemocratic, populist party achieves power, one of the first measures will be to get rid of all progressive leaders of theatres, museums, orchestras, and movie industries and to substitute them with loyal followers of the

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new regime. All of a sudden, culture in general and the arts in particular become extremely important. There is no dictatorship that can do without censorship of the arts.

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In November 2009, I arranged an international symposium entitled “The Faces of the Mask” at Stockholm University. The core question was the relationship between life and art. I gave a paper on Anna Odell’s Unknown Woman and two of my colleagues contributed with their experiences of the installation and of the public debate that preceded it. Anna Odell was personally present and thus had an opportunity to comment on our papers and to present her own views. Together with Guest Professor Mieke Bal from Amsterdam, Professor Elaine Aston from Lancaster and some German and Nordic colleagues, we discussed various scholarly views of Anna Odell’s story. I say story, because only a few of those present had seen the installation. The outcome of this discussion was that no theoretical model was able to fully describe what happened on the bridge. Anna Odell was happy that her work could inspire such an intensive debate, but for herself the theoretical status of her experimentations was of no major concern. Elaine Aston was at the time the editor in chief of Theatre Research International, the journal of the International Federation for Theatre Research (IFTR) published by Cambridge University Press. She was fascinated by Anna Odell’s work and since she had heard me talk about this case at an earlier conference, she asked me to write an article about her installation and the way it was created. At the time I had given various talks about Anna Odell’s work so I agreed to put these pieces together in an article, which I thought would be an easy task. It was not. When the article was finally published, it had taken me more time than any text I had written before. The crux of the matter was that my efforts to describe and analyse her actions risked becoming an entirely theoretical text. With the encouragement and help of Elaine Aston eventually a format was developed that we both thought did justice to Anna Odell’s work.30

Ten Years Later Still today there are some open questions that I would like to comment on here. What did Anna Odell really do there, on the bridge and in the hospital? Her actions on the bridge are recorded on video tape, which became the centrepiece of her art installation. What happened during the night in the psychiatric hospital, we can only imagine. The morning’s conversation that Anna Odell had with the doctor in charge was recorded

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by her brother who picked her up and could also be listened to in the installation. The documents are available and were publicly displayed, but the mode and the underlying meaning of these actions remain blurred and deserve more analysis.

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In the following comments on Anna Odell’s artwork I will touch upon some more aspects of acting, performance and re-enactment. Hopefully, these thoughts will contribute to a more adequate appreciation of Anna Odell’s actions and their place in the installation. The first question I want to ask is whether one can perform oneself. Whether one can or not – is it important? Eventually, the question of presence might contribute some surprising insights to this analysis, opening up new takes on both understanding and misunderstanding Anna Odell’s artwork. “Being Oneself on Stage” is the title of an intriguing essay by Henri Schoenmakers.31 The question the author raises here is whether it is at all possible to be ‘oneself’ when involved in a theatrical event. In traditional theatre, so Schoenmakers notes, the actors are performing within the assumption of the ‘as-if’. Fictional characters have no bodies, so the actors lend their bodies to the imagined figure and the spectators agree to accept the ‘as-if’ of the performed corporal unity of actor and role. Does this physical transfer also include the mind of performers? In other words: Do performers feel the same emotions as the characters they are portraying? In Lessing’s day, this problem was eagerly discussed following the new rationality of the Enlightenment as well as from the viewpoint of acting techniques. Some held that good actors have to engage mentally with the feelings of the character they perform which would mean that a role is more or less identified with the performer’s self. Others urged the actors to remain ‘cold’ and in control of the emotional expressions they lend their figures.32 In Part One I briefly presented Denis Diderot who became a strict advocate of the latter view. In his Paradox sur le comédien he explains why Mlle. Clairon was appreciated as an eminent actress. She worked hard and determinedly during the rehearsals of, for instance, Agrippina in Racine’s Britannicus, but [o]nce she has reached the height she has given to her spectre, she has herself well in hand, she repeats her efforts without emotion. Following her memory’s dream, she is able to hear herself, see herself, judge herself, and judge also the effects she will produce. In such a vision she is double: little Clairon and great Agrippina.33

The strict distinction between performers and their roles was empirically investigated two hundred years after Diderot’s writings. Schoenmakers

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refers to an extraordinary project of the Dutch Research Council, carried out by Elly Konijn. She compared actors’ character-emotions with their task-emotions during public performances. The tables in her book Acting Emotions (2000) are very convincing.34 Only when a character feels tenderness, pleasure or cheerfulness, do actors tend to share these emotions of the characters they are portraying. Negative emotions such as anxiety, hate, jealousy, guilt, etc., are accounted only for the character, while the actor maybe feels nervousness, tension, trust, and similar feelings, but definitely not the same emotions as the character. Konijn first tested Dutch actors, trained in a so-called Brechtian detachment style, and then repeated her survey with Stanislawskian involvement style actors in New York. Her conclusion was that “the acting style applied had no effect on the comparison between the emotions of the actor with those of the character.”35 Two brief comments: first of all, these results apply strictly to live performances, not to work during rehearsals or film shootings; secondly, actors are not always ready to publicly admit their taskemotions, since the identification of the actors with the emotions of their characters has been a popular pretension within the profession. Anna Odell, however, was not a professional actor, and the character she performed was ‘herself,’ which relates her to a broader field of contemporary performance.

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Schoenmakers points to the fact that the theatre of the twenty-first century has left character acting behind and argues: The rise of postmodern or post-dramatic performances, in which actors do not always play characters, has rendered the situation more confusing for scholars in the field of theatre studies. This development is the biggest change in Western theatre since its invention. Characteristics that were once considered essential, fundamental or even constitutive for definitions of theatre, such as actors who play characters or a narrative structure built around conflicts between characters, are no longer fundamental, essential or constitutive. In fact, a century of attempts to define theatre has made clear how time-dependent those definitions were. Even communicative approaches in defining theatre like those of Eric Bentley (1965), Bernard Beckerman (1970), or Arno Paul (1971) lose their power when the ‘as-if’ convention is invalidated. The only solution that is able to incorporate such fundamental innovations is the approach that defines theatre using the concept of theatrical frame. (Schoenmakers 1990)36

Schoenmakers points here to a significant change in theatre practice, although I would not agree that it is the ‘biggest change in Western theatre’ throughout its history. There have always been exceptions in which

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the performer and the role were no longer distinguishable; a prime example would be the dancing King Louis XIV in seventeenth-century France. The Dadaists of the First World War and the Happening artists of the 1960s were maybe both pre- and post-modern in their attitude to performing. Concerning definitions: I am against any of those attempts! Without exception, it turns out that definitions cover too little – necessary phenomena that will not be included – or they cover too much so that everything fits in and nothing is distinguished. At least this is the case in the humanities, according to my scholarly experience.

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But Schoenmakers is right (and this is why I have quoted him) that the postmodern approach to theatre brought about some very significant changes in the relationship between performer and character. When Elfriede Jelinek only distinguishes her ‘characters’ by numbers; or the production group Rimini Protokoll employs everyday-persons to ‘perform’ their daily-life activities; or Stelarc grows an extra ear on his arm – then these performers are no longer tied to conventional role-playing. The question remains: what are they doing, then? Are they really performing themselves? Schoenmakers refers to Peter R. Hofstätter and his work on social psychology, on the one hand, and to Denis Diderot’s Paradox, on the other. Hofstätter has developed a model that Schoenmakers takes over with small modifications. At the centre is the ‘private person’ who is surrounded by social roles the person plays: in Schoenmakers’ first example the person is a man, father, husband, tenant, patient, union member, car driver and also, last but not least, craftsman.37 In the case this craftsmanship happens to be acting, then the person might also be an artist among the other social roles. From experience we know that one and the same person can behave very differently as a husband, car driver and patient. In social life, an artist is just a professional person like most of us, but when the actor engages in his work as a performer, he envisions the character he has to perform. To describe this vision, Schoenmakers refers back to Diderot’s term ‘modèle ideal’ meaning that the performer creates an ideal model of the figure he or she will perform. In cases when the figure is written down by an author, the performer engages in creating a three-dimensional model according to the outline of the text. But what happens when the performer is supposed to perform him- or herself? Then the performer is still a ‘private person’ who can only perform one aspect of his or her social roles. In Schoenmakers’ second example the ‘private person’ is a woman, mother, wife, etc., and also a nurse.38 When this woman is asked to perform as a nurse, for example in one of Rimini Protokoll’s acts, she can of course do

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that. She will profit from her professional experience and still perform as a woman, but aspects such as her being a mother, tenant, patient, car driver and union member are not relevant. She cannot simultaneously perform all aspects of her personality. She coordinates the qualities that contribute to the ideal model she has made of a ‘nurse’ and this nurse she will be able to present on stage. “However,” says Schoenmakers, “actors are not living these social roles on stage: they are (re)presenting fragments of them.”39

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With Schoenmakers’ conclusion in mind, I return to Anna Odell. What was she (re)presenting when she roamed about on the high bridge in Stockholm? She presented herself – or rather: a fragment of herself – and the particular aspect she showed on the bridge was her past self; a fragment of the self that she had been thirteen years earlier and more exactly, the psychologically disturbed, suicidal aspect of herself she remembered from an earlier point in time. The question is again how she (re-)presented this past image of herself that she could not simply ‘be.’ In the media, Anna Odell was frequently accused of pretending, faking and cheating or else was described by hurting invectives. But how can her activity on the bridge and in the hospital be termed? Is there a proper description of the actions she carried out? In my view she was performing, which also means playing. “Playing Is Not Pretending” is the title of my own contribution to the same book in which Schoenmakers’ article is printed.40 My main argument is already expressed in the title: playing has nothing to do with pretending! Playing is serious business, as I tried to show in Part Two of this book. The relationship between playing, performing and pretending is complicated and I will try to outline some aspects of playing as not-pretending. The following can serve as an example. In a synagogue, all Jewish men are supposed to have their heads covered, which is usually done with a small, round skull-cap, a calotte or kippa (or some other head wear). It happens that non-Jewish men like politicians or artists visit synagogues and then they are supposed to also wear a kippa. The kippa does not thus indicate that a man is Jewish, only that the context is Jewish. This is comparable to women wearing head scarfs or hijabs in the streets of certain Moslem cities. On stage, the Jewish religious convention of wearing a kippa points directly to a fictional figure as being a Jew, for instance Shylock in Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice. Even when Shylock is dressed in a contemporary dark suit like the rest of the businessmen in the play, a kippa distinguishes him from them. The kippa marks Shylock as a Jew, but not the actor who plays the role and

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who is actually wearing the kippa on his head. Again, the frame, of which Schoenmakers had spoken, decides whether we attribute the kippa to its wearer or whether something else is signified. In the case of Shylock, it is obvious that a fictional character is meant while the question of whether the actor himself is a Jew or not is of secondary significance. During the Nazi regime in Germany, this secondary question was however a primary one: only Aryan actors were allowed in the theatre, whereas Jews could only be enjoyed when reduced to fictional caricatures. Today, we might not care about the ethnicity of an actor, but the anti-Semitism of the play itself still affects the spectators.41 “To embody a Jew on stage is not a matter of pretence, but a matter of signification. Signification, however, presupposes a recipient who interprets the sign.”42 This brings me back to Anna Odell. She embodied her former self and this embodiment is not a matter of pretence, but a matter of signification. “I would be a person like somebody else was once,” says the protagonist in Peter Handke’s play Kaspar from 1967.43 Anna Odell also wanted to be like somebody else was once, even though this ‘somebody else’ was herself of the past. This is the first point: she presented a particular side of herself in the form of Diderot’s ‘ideal model.’ This ‘model’ was the very young Anna who in a psychotic situation attempted to take her life, on the same bridge, under similar circumstances. In other words, one could say that she re-enacted a scene from her earlier life. Obviously, she enacted the scene very well because none of those who met her that night – pedestrians, policemen, ward personnel, and the doctor the next morning – detected her performing. Anna Odell is no actress and has never undergone any acting training, but she could nevertheless physically express her chaotic feelings. After thirteen years, her body still seemed to remember the situation and acted in such a convincing way that she left no doubt about the seriousness of her condition for those who met her. They reacted accordingly, which meant a number of different things. First, I want to distinguish two main groups: those who observed Anna Odell as citizens, passing her accidentally on the bridge, and those who had to engage with her professionally, from the policemen to the doctor. Surprisingly, both of these groups’ perception of Anna Odell was very similar. So convincing was her re-enactment that nobody even suspected anything other than an authentic case of illness. The impression of authenticity that Anna Odell created had long-reaching consequences.

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The pedestrians and cyclists of the first group mostly behaved like the inhabitants of big cities: they saw this unusual, disturbed and suicidal woman, but did not interfere. However, they reacted visibly: they stopped, they looked at her, and some even tried to talk to her. Did they realize how serious her condition was, given that the behaviour was perceived as authentic? Since most of them did not interact with the strange woman on the bridge, they probably convinced themselves that the situation was not serious enough for an intervention. Or: were they simply pretending that the situation was not so bad? So they could excuse themselves and continue on their way? In the end the question is: who pretended – Anna Odell or the pedestrians?

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Being Present There was at least one couple who acted according to what they perceived as an acute psychic illness. They called the emergency number and waited until the police car had arrived. These persons deserve our admiration for the civil courage they showed. They had the advantage of being two persons who could support each other. Nevertheless, I find them courageous. I hope I would have done the same had I passed Anna Odell on that occasion. Sorry to say, I am not so sure of myself, which became obvious when I saw the video documentary in the installation. I felt that the scene was addressed to me, personally: what would you have done in this situation, the screen asked. I could not give a clear answer and this shock-effect of the first encounter with the documentary video produced an instant feeling of presence. This strong awareness of presence that I experience at my first encounter with Anna Odell’s installation in Kalmar Art Gallery, had several, interconnected causes. As mentioned before, there was hardly anyone in Sweden who had not heard the story of the suicidal art student on the bridge and the many opinions about her enterprise. So I thought I was well prepared for a confrontation with the artwork, but, as it turned out, I was not. The careless (pretending?) pedestrians who passed the poor, freezing woman on the bridge, had never been mentioned in the media discussions. Of course, nobody had, at that point in time seen the documentation of the event. And even less so had the debaters been present on the bridge that night. Their opinions were based on hearsay. I recall my first visit to the installation in Kalmar where I entered a dark room with various flickering screens. The big screen with its documentary images immediately caught my attention. For the first time I saw what

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happened on the bridge and the shock of realizing the passivity of the pedestrians struck me. Mentally I was on the bridge myself with the question mentioned above: how would I have reacted? This question, in front of the documentary video with Anna Odell’s nightly actions, confronted me with the ethical problem right there and then. I felt ashamed of those people who passed Anna Odell on foot or bicycle because I could have been one of them. The emotional presence happened right in the gallery, although Anna Odell was only visible on a screen, virtually performing an authentic act.

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Well, the authenticity of the video can only be related to the pedestrians and the police. They acted ‘as if’ the re-enactment was an acute expression of real illness. For the police this was more or less a routine action. To take care of psychotic people in the city is nothing extraordinary. Therefore, the policemen probably never asked themselves if Anna Odell’s appearance could represent something other than what it seemed to imply: their task remained to take her off the bridge and bring her to the nearest psychiatric hospital.

Ill.15: Anna Odell is forcefully taken into a police car

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This is where the documentary video ends. What followed in the hospital we were only told about and in a later version of the installation Anna Odell added some footage showing her restrained in her hospital bed. The quality of the images was much better than that of the documentary video, but much less convincing in terms of its authenticity: here one could easily understand that the person on the screen acted in front of a camera. When the performance’s intention of demonstrating the use of bed restraints became noticeable, only the performing remained and I was not touched mentally at the moment. I only registered the information. What then is the point of authenticity and the function it had in Anna Odell’s installation?

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Authentic is usually translated as genuine or original, even solid or sincere. The word is related to the Greek syllable auto-, meaning ‘self’ as used in anything from autobiography to autoimmune. Anna Odell’s actions that she presented on the bridge were authentic in the sense that she had created them. When she enacted these actions, they were transferred into a re-enactment of earlier authentic actions. But Anna Odell’s behaviour on 21 January 2009 can no longer be seen as authentic. The in-authentic, reenacted actions were necessary to provoke authentic re-actions from all who came in contact with Anna Odell during that night. These people accepted the re-enactment as authentic, they had no other choice; they could neither see nor guess that Anna Odell’s appearance only ‘showed’ psychic illness. The playing aspect that usually links together the appearance and the beholder was completely missing on the bridge. When Anna Odell’s installation opened to the public, the play-element returned. Then the playing of the video screen immersed me deeply into the actions on show. All three variations of immersion were activated in the gallery hall. First of all, I could identify with the ‘poor woman on the bridge’ in the cold January night. My empathy was, however, not limited to the woman on the bridge but included Anna Odell as a person and artist. The way she was treated in the media aroused compassion in many people who supported her. The sensory immersion was related to the dark room with the flickering screen and nobody but me looking. I was immediately hooked to the big screen displaying the events on the bridge and I was standing in the room and watched the video loop of seventeen minutes several times in a row. Meanwhile, the reflective immersion triggered the depressing question of what I would have done had I met this woman on the bridge that night.

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Two places were involved in my experience: the art gallery in Kalmar, where I physically experienced the installation, and the high Liljeholms bridge in Stockholm where Anna Odell’s action took place. A remarkable reversion of those places occurred. The exact locus for my encounter with the installation was a dark room and this room could have been located anywhere without affecting my experience. The beautiful city of Kalmar on the east coast of Sweden remained completely insignificant in this context. In contrast, the bridge in Stockholm is a place I know very well. It connects two islands of the inner city and it is one of those bridges that can be opened for the passage of tall sailing boats. Since I live only a kilometre or so away from the bridge, I have crossed it many times, in my car and on foot. From this view, Anna Odell’s actions on this bridge came very close to me. My attention to place resulted in an awkward reversal: the physical location of the experience became insignificant, whereas the mental connection to the displayed place initiated a dense feeling of contemporaneity. Emotionally, I was present on the bridge, full of compassion for this suffering art student. Furthermore, I could also identify with the pedestrians on the bridge and the following reflective immersion produced my worries that I might have behaved just as despicably as the pedestrians I saw. What more can an artwork hope to achieve? Mediated presence had, at least in this case, as strong an effect as the direct experience of ‘here-and-now’. I can describe my reactions as coming in several waves. First there were these pedestrians on the screen. Then there was the question I asked myself: How would I have behaved, etc.? The answer was uncertainty. Why was I so scared by my own uncertainty? I realized the broader consequences and it made me think of ‘cupboard persons!’ The term cupboard person was invented by the German writer Werner Lansburgh in his book with the short title J, which stood for ‘Jew’ in German passports of the 1930s.44 In one of the short chapters of this book, Lansburgh defines cupboard persons as persons who in an emergency would hide you in their cupboard. Lansburgh thought of these heavy, handmade, freestanding, dark cupboards that were regular household equipment in central Europe. Being Jewish, although born after the Second World War, I have asked myself many times if my friends would hide me in their cupboards. I have always admired those people in Germany, Poland, Ukraine or France, who had the courage to risk their lives in order to save other lives. The majority of citizens of the time did not care when their fellow citizens were deported to the camps. Many people of my generation have been wondering along these lines. Géraldine Schwarz points to this uncertainty when she writes in her book Les amnesiques (Those who forget):

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Part Three Many times I wonder what I would have done. I will never know. But I understood what is important when I read Norbert Frei’s words: not to know how we would have behaved ‘means not that we do not know how we should have behaved.’ And how we should behave in the future.45

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Thoughts of this sort hit my mind when I was confronted with the images of helping and not-helping pedestrians on the bridge. The question still bothers me. The problem tends to be ever-present.

Fig. 6: Model of presence: Anna Odell

The case of Anna Odell is dominated by the Performing of the protagonist. Her re-enactment caused a lot of confusion, in particular since her actions practically lacked Playing altogether, especially for those who were physically confronted with the woman on the bridge. In mediated form, i.e. in her appearance on the video screen, playing had a strong impact, although far from being playful. In the same way in which Playing was both diminished and enlarged, Placing also had a double function, pulling in opposite directions. The place of enactment – the bridge – was certainly important, whereas the location where the installation was exhibited hardly

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made any difference. Since I prefer to see Anna Odell’s work in its complete form of an installation rather than as a process of creation, the Perceiving aspect is related to the experience in the gallery and not what happened originally on the bridge.

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EPILOGUE DYNAMICS OF PRESENCE

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In the Prologue of this book I described two extraordinary instances when a strong sense of presence captured my personal life. One was a theatre performance at the Old Vic in London when I was a young PhD student, the other was what I referred to as Ötzi’s coat that I saw in a museum in Bolzano some years after my retirement. Both of these experiences had an ever recurring impact on me which was the very reason why I brought them up right at the beginning of the book: I wanted to emphasize that experiences of presence are personal matters, that they can occur in all kinds of circumstances and that it is difficult to fully understand the mechanisms that produce these powerful and lasting impressions. In the Prologue I promised to return to these two examples after I had presented my ideas about presence, including the parameters of presence and some variations of presence. My hope is that the arguments from the eighteenthcentury discourses of aesthetics and my own thoughts in this matter might generate a wider understanding of these aesthetic experiences. What can such an argumentation add? Is it not obvious that the excellent performers in the theatre and the magnificent coat in the museum ignited these extraordinary experiences? Are any further explanations called for? Would it not be enough to label these moments as sublime? Ergo: sublime moments of aesthetic experiences triggered by extraordinary performers and objects! This sounds like a short and powerful formula of such rare moments of aesthetic enlightenment. But what is a sublime moment? I will not use this term without a closer examination of what ‘sublime’ means in everyday language and in the historical discourses of aesthetic philosophy.

The Sublime Once more I turn to Moses Mendelssohn who has written a short dissertation “Über das Erhabene und Naive in den schönen Wissenschaften” (About the Sublime and the Naïve in Arts and Literature), from which I have already quoted in Part One.1 Mendelssohn refers, as everybody writing about the sublime seems to do, to the Greek philosopher of the

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third century AD, Longinus or Longinos. He belonged to a group of Hebrew-speaking academics in Alexandria in Egypt, so some hold that the Latin term sublimis came from the Hebrew word marom rather than from the Greek hypsos, all meaning high, uplift, grand, beyond limits and so forth. Longinus was the private teacher of Queen Zenobia in Palmyra in today’s Syria when he wrote his treatise Peri Hypsous (On the Sublime). Mendelssohn complains that Longinus’ explications are too general and that he gives no examples that would illuminate what he judged as sublime. Mendelssohn’s dissertation turns to the same argument as Aristotle – without mentioning him – that we have difficulties in perceiving something as beautiful when it is too big. Such an appearance he calls a “sensory immeasurable.”2 In nature, extreme extensions can easily produce some kind of vertigo and Mendelssohn mentions the endless sea, a wide plain, thousands of stars in the sky, high mountains or a deep abyss as examples. But the ‘immeasurable’ is not restricted to nature. In the arts we tend to accept representations of such extreme phenomena and we might even feel a certain “pleasant horror.”3 In architecture and also in literature endless repetitions can have similar effects. Mendelssohn arrives at the conclusion that “we usually call the intensive size, the strength and the strength in perfection with the special term of the sublime.”4 What does Mendelssohn mean by this description of the sublime? First of all, size or greatness is interpreted as the immeasurable physical extension or the numeric amount or the degree of strength and in particular the degree of perfection. These immeasurable sizes also contain a multiplicity of appearances and can therefore catch our attention and, moreover, our admiration. This admiration can be of two kinds, according to Mendelssohn. First there are the characteristics of an appearance and, secondly, there are the skills with which the artist represents those characteristics. The sublime is not (only) an outflow of natural phenomena, but it can also be created by artists. Many times, we more admire the way in which a picture is painted than what the picture represents, a point of view that Mendelssohn in another context labelled ‘mixed emotions.’ Mendelssohn makes some effort to clarify how painters, writers or composers can achieve works of art that are experienced as something sublime. If for example an orator wants to make a sublime impression, the speech needs to be cleared of all disturbing details. Using some Latin sentences (that I will translate below), Mendelssohn comes very close to a definition of the sublime. Metaphors and other decorative additions to a speech cannot appear, because all wittiness and the imagination from which it emanates will

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Epilogue discontinue in order to give the soul the liberty to further contemplate the sublime and to think over its greatness. The main concept of the sublime is after all the following, Judicis argutum quod non formidat acumen. One can say of it, volet hoc sub luce videri; instead of what concerns inferior concepts, hoc amat obscurum. Therefore the artist needs, whenever contemplating the sublime, a simple, naïve expression which lets the reader or spectator think more than is said.5

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The Latin phrases that Mendelssohn interfoliates are quotations from Horace’s De arte poetica, saying (and ‘it’ refers to the sublime): “since it is not afraid of the sharp gaze of the judge,” one can say that “it wants to be seen in the light” whereas inferior concepts “love the dark”. In these metaphors of light and darkness Mendelssohn circumscribes the revolving point of the sublime: the artist tries to attain but only the beholder can perceive the sublime. Nevertheless, in the remainder of his treatise, Mendelssohn presents numerous examples of sublime pieces of literature. Beginning with Horace and Cicero,6 he points especially to the monologues of dramas as the type of literature most suitable to awaken sublime reading. In order to make Hamlet’s monologue ‘To be or not to be’ accessible for German readers, he translated this monologue years before the entire play was accessible in German.7 Mendelssohn published this text in 1758.8 One year earlier, the Irish politician and philosopher Edmund Burke’s A Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of Our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful had been printed.9 Whereas Mendelssohn saw the sublime as a heightening of beauty and mixed emotions, Burke made a clear distinction between these two concepts and contended there was a dichotomy between sublimity and beauty.10 What unites both thinkers is their belief that beauty and the sublime belong to the realm of feeling and fantasy and cannot be understood rationally. Lessing was enthusiastic about Burke’s ideas, whereas Mendelssohn remained sceptical. As part of their ongoing theoretical discussions, Mendelssohn commented on Burke’s treatise section by section in a long letter to Lessing. In contrast to Burke’s claim in section XVI that the lack of desire to actually visit in reality an object represented in a painting is a reduction of the sublime, Mendelssohn maintains his idea of mixed emotions in the following way: The law that is instated on p. 29 in order to decide whether the pleasure originated from the representation or from the beauty of the object itself, is a shortcoming of the author because he wants to reduce to a single cause

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that which can only be deduced to the confluence of many causes. Why should our pleasure – just as completeness itself – not consist out of the representation of the beauty of the object and the skills of the artist?11

Mendelssohn’s argument appears to me surprisingly modern. The mixture of the What and the How of art fascinated him and he repeatedly returns to it in his comments on Burke. Mendelssohn insists on his own concept of mixed emotions. In another comment he focuses on the effects and affects of the sublime: The reflection that the sublime causes astonishment could have led the author to the inference that admiration is the source of the sublime; astonishment is only a higher degree of admiration.12

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Even in this instance Mendelssohn underlines the response of the beholder as the cause of the sublime, just like all aesthetic experiences. Immanuel Kant also understood the sublime as a continuation of the beautiful, when he wrote about this topic a few years later.13 Beauty only remains charming while the sublime really touches the beholder. Kant also found beauty to be of a feminine character whereas the sublime had male features, a distinction that he had allegedly picked up from Rousseau’s Émile. Maybe this notion was connected to Kant’s concept of the sublime as something that to a large extent points towards nature and contained threatening or shuddering visions. Much of Kant’s observations in his book are otherwise directed towards the sublime in moral terms, an issue I leave to others to contemplate. Two hundred years later, Theodor W. Adorno considered the ideas of the sublime as leftovers of the rationalist and classicist eighteenth century.14 Kant’s attitude towards the sublime in the arts was ascetic, according to Adorno. He quotes Napoleon’s famous sentence that there is only a short step between the sublime and the ridiculous and adds that history has proven this sufficiently and with all the horrors one could imagine. “What appears as sublime, sounds hollow, what continuously plays regresses to silliness, from which it originates.”15 For Adorno, the sublime is no category that can be maintained in today’s aesthetic discourses. “The heritage of the sublime is the un-extenuating negativity, naked and without the semblance that sublimity once promised.”16 The conclusion from these contradicting deliberations about the sublime is clear: For a deeper understanding of the aesthetics of presence, the term ‘sublime’ hardly brings us any further. In everyday language the word simply signifies an extraordinary experience. The philosophical sense of

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the word points towards something large or grand in the arts as well as in morals, intellectually as well as spiritually, and so forth. Therefore, I leave the concept of the sublime even though the performance at the Old Vic and Ötzi’s coat in Bolzano might have been sublime experiences.

Presence at the Old Vic

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The headline of this section caused me some headaches. Should I have called it ‘Ibsen at the Old Vic’ or ‘John Gabriel Borkman at the Old Vic’ or maybe ‘Sir Ralph Richardson, Peggy Ashcroft and Wendy Hiller at the Old Vic’ or should I have referred to Peter Hall who directed the play? I decided to keep the place of the experience and I hope that this choice will be complemented by my argument. But where should this argument start? Since this experience deals with a traditional – in this context almost oldfashioned – theatrical performance, it might seem natural to begin with Performing. Admittedly, performing was at the very centre of that evening’s experience. The precise situation that I describe in the Prologue’s first page is still, almost half a century later, a strong and lasting image: the round, white mound on the stage floor, the three actors standing on it, the silence. This is what and how we remember it. When I write ‘we’ I think of my wife Sylvia and myself sharing this experience, to this day. I cannot know what other people in the auditorium sensed at that precise moment, but our feeling was that the tension in the air included many, maybe most of the spectators in the room. Whoever else was caught by this situation or not, for Sylvia and me this became one of the brightest moments of theatrical experiences. The question remains: why was that so? Let me first focus upon the situation at the exact moment of our experience. Then I will try to remember the expectations and understandings we brought with us to the Old Vic, and more generally, to our trip to London that spring of 1975. Sylvia and I were sitting on the first balcony, on the end of the right curve, which brought us very close to the stage. We could not see the right side of the stage – usually indicated as ‘impaired view’ on the ticket and this was probably what we could afford. But the closeness to the stage action was to our advantage. All three actors were pretty old at the time and we were close enough to observe their wrinkles underneath the make-up. These circumstances brought us into the immediate circle of power that emanated from the stage. By circle of power I mean a distance at which direct communication is possible. Whether the performers looked in our direction or not, we felt that we were personally addressed.

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The actors’ Performing was met by our Playing and in this moment our playing focused mainly on the fictional situation. There were three people who were completely lonely in the world. The young couple had disappeared in their sledge and there stood three losers on the little white mound: a desolate mother, her abandoned sister, and a forlorn husband. Nothing in their lives had turned out the way they had hoped and now they could not even blame each other. And there were we: a young couple in their twenties, looking forward to a life together! The dreadful story on stage – was this what lay ahead of us? I think this brutal, existential perspective hit us quite strongly, surpassing our imagination.

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Maybe we were holding hands, maybe we felt each other’s body temperatures, in any case, our attention towards the stage actions was stimulated rather than reduced by our common reactions. Sensing that my partner had all her responsiveness geared towards the three persons on stage, this inspired my own sensitivity: there were these three actors and there were these three characters, almost indistinguishable at that moment, all under the same pressure of tension. Maybe it was the completeness of the performed moment of which Mendelssohn so often speaks as a condition of aesthetic experience that we sensed and internalized. Perceiving those impressions at that moment created memories that lasted for decades. How was it possible that Sylvia and I had developed such a high degree of attention that culminated in this situation? True, we had arrived with a maximum of expectations. Neither of us had been to the Old Vic before, we only knew the place from hearsay. The building as such was not so impressive; on the contrary, I remember it as quite shabby. The houses on both sides of the theatre were missing due to the war. There were mixed feelings, but of a different kind than the ones Mendelssohn had in mind: our high expectations were confronted with a run-down house – was it in there we should see the world-famous actors? The interior of the house I cannot remember at all. Our seats in the auditorium I can recall exactly, but the ticket office, the foyer, the stairs, etc. – no memory at all, as if all impressions were subordinated to the experience of the performance. The performance itself – what do I remember, what do I know about Ibsen and his play? I must confess two things: I had not read Ibsen’s John Gabriel Borkman before we saw it; and I have only seen a few productions of this play during later years – always disappointed that nothing comparable to the Old Vic happened. What I kind of remember was that the story was quite sad and very much told from the perspective of an old

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man. I could not say that I identified with any of these figures, not even the young ones. But I followed the story line and the story tightened from act to act and occupied more and more of my attention until Borkman, his wife and her sister ended up on the white mound.

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Alexander Gottlieb Baumgarten claimed that we have to ‘be torn off to a higher theatre than the one which is playing its role day-to-day’ and I think he is perfectly right in this case. Our expectations were awakened long before the Old Vic physically appeared before our eyes. I knew that the theatre was damaged by bombs during the Second World War and had only been in use again since the early 1950s. Long before that all the great English actors that we knew of had played on the stage of the Old Vic: Sir Laurence Olivier, Vivien Leigh, John Gielgud, Maggie Smith, Alec Guinness, Iris Roberts, and so forth. Sir Ralph Richardson, who in 1975 created John Gabriel Borkman, had been engaged by John Gielgud to join the Old Vic as early as 1931. One year later, Peggy Ashcroft played her first role on the stage of the Old Vic. To get a glimpse of this splendid period of English theatre was such an overwhelming feeling for two young students of theatre; no wonder that we did not care about which production we could get tickets for – if we only got a chance to see the actors. If our anticipation of the theatrical event was at the top of excitement, those high spirits were certainly completed by our personal circumstances. The two of us had met only half a year earlier and this was our first trip together. We had both been in London before. As a teenager Sylvia had an English boyfriend, but – hopefully – only her excellent pronunciation in English was left. Even I had been in London in amorous affairs, but all this was history. Now we wanted to celebrate our new relationship and of course we were in a very good mood. We were also supposed to meet with a friend of Sylvia’s who worked in London at the time, incidentally the same person we were hiking with in Padjelanta forty years later. The difficulty in describing my particular feelings towards Sylvia back in 1975 is overwhelming after so many years of marriage, but I think I am not exaggerating when I say that we were very much in love. In which way would this have increased our aesthetic experience at the Old Vic? I am convinced it had a strong influence; we had arrived at the top of a playing attitude of the kind that Schiller described: playing between material needs and a desire of form. The material and physical needs could be satisfied and formally this was the beginning of a life-long relationship. This mood of playing seemed to be the best possible preparation for a lasting theatrical experience.

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Loaded with all those positive desires, we were happy to encounter a performance with three marvellous performers. The story they presented was sad, touching, and scary. I have no memories that we associated the aging figures on stage with our parents; possibly we related them to our own future. I do not remember. What I do remember is the atmosphere of the story, reminding me of Bob Dylan’s line – ‘it’s all over now, Baby Blue.’ From one act to the next, the tension between these three persons on stage grew tighter and tighter, there was no return, all that was left was frustration. These negative energies collapsed in the fourth act, on that white mound. When the youngsters had left and the bells of the sledge had disappeared, there was nothing more to say. Absolute silence, serenity, stillness. There was absolutely nothing beautiful in this situation between the three elderly figures, on the contrary, they appeared ugly and destructive and at the same time destructed. The beauty was in the performance. Among actors the task of walking across a stage is considered to be one of the most difficult. To stand still, do nothing, expressing nothing on the boards that mean the world, is an almost impossible task. It needed three of the most eminent performers who were available at the time to execute this scene in which absolutely nothing happens. The few sentences that are uttered in the course of these frustrating moments disappear into the wings. It was literally breath-taking and it almost takes my breath away now while I am writing these lines. For professional reasons I have seen hundreds, thousands of theatre performances so I know how rare are these moments of complete absorption. It was a privilege to experience the power of presence while we were still so young. In those days I had never heard of Moses Mendelssohn, let alone read any of his texts. In retrospect I understand that our experience in the Old Vic in 1975 was an excellent example of what Mendelssohn described as ‘mixed emotions’. It is not a question of a simple blend of positive and negative feelings, nor is it limited to an admiration of the artistic skills. True, there were these outstanding artistic skills, but unlike a circus artist who seemingly transgresses the laws of gravity, the performance of Richardson, Ashcroft and Hiller expressed a point in the telling of a story that would not have become visible without their skilful enactment. Their bodies, their costumes, their triangular position on the white mound embodied the story. Fiction and creation melted together without dissolving each other: expressions such as “Richardson is Borkman,” “Ashcroft is Gunhild” and “Hiller is Ella” depict exactly this point. For us, as excited and immerged spectators, it was easy to see both the actors and

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their characters and the actors as characters. Mixed emotions envisage a point from which both are seen and felt as one. There were these two young persons, wide-open in their mind and prepared to perceive the wonders of the world. They were in a playful mood, however with some misgivings concerning the play they were about to see. But the place with its heavy traditions made up for some of the doubts along the way. The performers were magnificent, both in terms of what they performed and how they performed it. Altogether, this confluence of parameters provided the lucky circumstances of an unforgettable experience of presence.

Ötzi’s Coat

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Performing was doubtless one of the strong parameters in our encounter with Ibsen’s play at the Old Vic. When it comes to my sensitive experience of Ötzi’s coat in the museum in Bolzano, the aspect of performing is not immediately obvious. How can a thing, an object, perform? It performs because it is perceived as performing. I will return to this point later, because right now I have to admit that the reception of Ötzi’s coat was a bit more complicated than was indicated in the Prologue where it was first mentioned. The problem was that my friends did not at all share my enthusiasm for Ötzi’s coat. In the Prologue I described our path from the Ötztal in Austria, where we had been hiking (almost) up to the place where Ötzi was found, as fortunate preparation for the visit to Otzi’s museum in Bolzano. This is absolutely true and I could add that prior to the Ötztal we had visited Stone Age caves and pile dwellings in the area in southern Germany where I grew up. I arranged these excursions to the Charlottenhöhle and to the Federsee for my friends, because this was the first time that they visited my hometown. These were the same friends we had been hiking with in Padjelanta and before that in Spain, Tanzania, Costa Rica and other places. I mention these rather private circumstances because I want to consider to what extent the parameter of perceiving is influenced by the company in which we experience a thing or an event. Obviously, my accompanying Sylvia was important at the Old Vic. Now Sylvia, her friend who we met at the time in London and her husband were again forming a group that might have had a particular influence on my experience of presence in Bolzano. However, our trip to the Alps was not particularly geared towards Ötzi; rather, the main purpose was to hike in a new area and to become familiar with these mountains during the summer season.

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The fact remains that despite our collective activities and the partly unintentional preparations for Ötzi, my friends’ reactions towards the coat were insignificant. Their focus was directed towards other items in the museum, in which we spent more than two hours entirely devoted to Ötzi. There was the naked corpse of the mummy with its remarkable tattoos. This exceptionally well-preserved body had been studied by medical experts from all over the world. The results of these investigations of bones and joints and skin of course attracted the attention of the physiotherapists in our little group. The biologists were fascinated by the crops and seeds that were available to people five thousand years ago. There were items among Ötzi’s personal belongings that triggered the curiosity of all of us, such as a birchbark container in which glowing pieces of coal were taken along in the backpack to facilitate a quick fire at the next stop. And then there was this coat, exhibited among all the other stuff he was wearing – leggings, belt and pouch, a loin cloth, shoes and a fur cap. Since my friends almost neglected what to them appeared as pieces of skin fragments, I have to ask myself what caused my particular curiosity and what excited my personal attention towards the beauty of a coat. I must confess that these thoughts only strike me now, when I think about the coat’s aesthetic appeal and its immediate presence when I stood in front of it. The coat was there, I perceived it in its full size rather than only as the pieces of goat and sheepskin on display. I was struck by its harmony and beauty. The dark stripe over the breast and the two stripes from the breast to the waist – all that appeared so complete and beautiful to me. What triggered my imagination at that moment? Baumgarten thought that man has ‘a natural disposition to think beautifully.’ Maybe this capacity was activated when I stood in front of the coat. Could it be that in these minutes, I was a felix aestheticus, a happy aesthetician of the kind that Baumgarten describes? When I first encountered Baumgarten’s term, I thought that felix aestheticus was a permanent status that one achieved after many years of education and exercises, requirements that Baumgarten also underlines. Now I wonder whether this state of aesthetic exaltation is limited in time and thus has a certain duration. Maybe it only lasted during my very first encounter with these pieces of skin, when I realized the pattern of dark goatskin stripes against the bright sheepskin, while my imagination completed the pieces in front of me. I went back to the showcase several times and every time I was struck by Ötzi’s coat.

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Felix aestheticus – an overly flattering expression when applied to one’s own experiences – possibly covers the moment of ‘discovery’ of the coat, but certainly not all the way leading up to these reflections. Education, knowledge, earlier experiences, interests, desires – it feels awkward, almost embarrassing, to publicly dig into one’s own preconditions that might have influenced a situation in a museum. Looking at it straightforwardly, I have to ask myself: what kind of knowledge and interests did I bring to a mummy from the Stone Age and why was this coat of all the exhibited materials the one item that aroused my special interest? Allow me a short deviation into the formation of my interest in ancient history. Having studied Latin at school, a certain amount of information about the political, social and cultural achievements of the Romans followed. The Greeks were a dominating part of Western theatre history who had fascinated me from the beginning of my theatre studies. This also came to include the stories that Greek dramas deal with such as Oedipus in Thebes and Agamemnon in Troy. The Trojan War was probably not a war at all but the Greeks conquered and robbed cities along the Aegean coast. If it happened, it took place around 1250 BCE, which was the same period when Ramses II reigned in Egypt. The ancient high culture along the Nile had also fascinated me. I have been to Cairo, I have visited the Egyptian Museum in Torino – the only one entirely devoted to Egyptian culture outside Egypt – and I have recently written an article about the real and the fictional Egyptian Queen Cleopatra. At some point I realized that Ötzi lived before the pyramids of Giza were constructed. This gave me a giddy historical perspective, a timeline beyond the Egyptians. My interest in ancient history was not limited to the Mediterranean but also included the Nordic countries, especially from the Bronze Age onwards. I had learned that bronze was imported to Sweden from Italy and areas around the Black Sea indicating an extensive mobility among the inhabitants of Western and Northern Europe. The climate in the north was much milder than today and the clothing was light and easy. Archaeology has shown that the wealthy had access to valuable and richly decorated accessories and jewellery. But compared to the gold of Egypt, the amber and pearls of Nordic graves remain poor. So much about my fascination with ancient history, which admittedly remained amateurish with the exception of topics related to theatre. Since I describe Ötzi’s coat as an item of fashion, I wonder where my interest in fashion came from. I do not conceive of me as a particularly fashion-oriented person, either in my personal attitude and consumption or as a general interest. There are a few books on fashion history on my

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shelves, but they belong more to the toolbox of a theatre historian than as the result of a personal interest. I can see fashion and costumes as part of the aesthetic field I deal with. I have earlier mentioned Elsa Ascoli and her daily walks through the centre of Vicenza and I have always wondered how the magnificent architecture of Italy influences the taste and creativity of Italian designers. Is it only by accident that so many Italians have been successful in this area? Or: has the success of BMW, designed by Bavarian Motor Works, anything to do with the lavish Rococo style in southern Germany that fills every palace, church and synagogue in the area? Or: could Alvar Aalto’s furniture be imagined without the endless Finnish forests? Of course, there is no such evidence, but these connections are not just a joke. A certain sensitivity for creative design is something we are not always aware of, but we are nevertheless exposed to it. Maybe this, in combination with my historical interest in theatrical costumes, was enough to direct my eyes towards a Stone Age coat.

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My intention is not to prove a superior attitude towards ancient things and even less can I in retrospect substantiate a cause for my experience. By opening up on my ‘secret’ passions I wanted to point to possible links between our earlier experiences and our openness towards new items we are confronted with. Perceiving appears as a combination of wide-open preparedness and curiosity, i.e. our capacity to think beautifully, on the one hand, and our knowledge, education, and desire, on the other. There are often reasons for our interests, even though we are not always conscious of them. Let me move on from Perceiving to Playing. What circumstances are caught by the parameter of Playing? The characteristics that Johan Huizinga had in mind when he set down some rules of playing were tailored towards playing as activity. Playing is a free activity, without physical necessity, beyond special interests, distinguished from regular life.17 Huizinga also contends that playing is limited in time and place and follows certain rules. Although Ötzi’s coat is not an activity but a thing, some of its characteristics fit very well into Huizinga’s scheme: the design follows no physical necessity, has probably no particular interest, and distinguishes itself from daily life, although the coat as such belonged to everyday necessities. Here it seems important to distinguish between the coat as a piece of clothing and the design of it. In the Prologue I applied the term amazement to describe my spontaneous reaction when seeing Ötzi’s coat for the first time. The question that immediately popped up was: have human beings always had the desire to

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look beautiful – not just to keep warm? Through this question the aspect of playing is activated. The coat had a clear function – to keep Ötzi warm. Archaeologists or cultural historians could judge whether Ötzi’s coat was a good coat in the sense of keeping its wearer warm. They could see that the coat had been worn for a long time and that is has been mended at some point. The stripes of goatskin, however, had no function, either to warm the bearer or as mending material. The stripes move the coat away from daily necessity. They represent at this early stage of Western civilisation what Schiller characterised as the playing desire.

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In his letters “On the aesthetic education of humankind,” discussed in Part One, Schiller distinguishes two basic desires in human life: the sensory desire aiming at physical survival, i.e. the unregulated satisfaction of material needs, and the formal desire which serves to establish some order and regularity. Only in the latter stage can man ‘find things beautiful.’ The connecting link between the materiality of the sensory desire and the imagination of the formal desire is playing. Playing advances the human being from being trapped in the struggle for survival to being able to master life in a morally responsible way. Playing as a link is defined as an aesthetic condition and it is exactly this aesthetic condition that the stripes on Ötzi’s coat express. They lift the everyday item to the level of aesthetic pleasure. Realizing that this lift happened in the valleys of the Alps, before the pyramids were built in Egypt, this surprise triggered the feeling of presence and, at the same time, a feeling of eternity: beauty that has survived millennia and could still transmit a notion of pleasure. Placing seems to be a simple parameter as long as the physical places are considered. First there was the Ötztal that gave its name to Ötzi and then there was Bolzano where the museum is located. Our choice of hiking area in Austria was in part – or at least for me – guided by the wish to visit Ötzi in the museum. Originally, we had no idea whether it would be at all possible to walk towards the place he was found. We found this route almost by accident and because we had not planned an extensive hike to the top of the pass where Ötzi was shot to death, we contented ourselves with seeing the place at some distance. Even so, I cannot deny that the closeness to the point where it all happened 5300 years ago made a major impression on me. When we drove by car up the Ötztal to the Timmelsjoch pass at a height of 2509 m, we all sensed the loftiness of the High Alps and the eternity of these mountain tops, at least seen from a human perspective. The drive down to Merian was a steep road with aweinspiring views, with the remainder to Bolzano just a regular highway. A two-hour ride for us, a transfer of 5000 years for Ötzi.

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The museum as part of the South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology is situated on Via Museo 43 in the middle of Bolzano. The entire museum is devoted to Ötzi. The ground floor tells the story of how Ötzi was found and how the mummy was interpreted in the beginning. The first floor contains the original finds such as the mummy, the clothing and equipment. The second floor presents life in the Copper Age, medical research, the murder mystery and various reconstructions of Ötzi’s appearance. I liked the museum, a bright and friendly space, the short and distinct explanations to the various exhibited items and the structure in which the exhibition was presented. All these positive impressions contributed to opening my mind towards any unexpected information or view.

Ill. 16: Ötzi’s coat as displayed in the Archaeological Museum in Bolzano

The view of Ötzi’s coat came unexpectedly. The coat was one of the objects among all the clothing that Ötzi was wearing. Nothing distinguished it from the other things in the same showcase, no special lighting, no colourful background, no particular explanation. It was just lying there in front of me. Nevertheless, it was Performing.

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Epilogue

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How can the frayed pieces of a ragged coat perform anything? First of all, the torn pieces of goat and sheepskin perform a coat – for me. This ‘for me’ is of great significance. What I see in front of me turns not only into a coat, as indicated by the short text next to it, but in my mind these fragments are transformed into a complete coat. In my imagination I draw the stripes all the way from shoulder to shoulder and vertically down to the waist or knees, just as I have described it in the Prologue. In one of the reconstructions exhibited on the top level of the museum the coat is kneelength, but striped length-wise all over in two brown colours, which are not at all in concord with the exhibited fragments. At least not in my view, maybe I should add. Maybe the archaeologist who made or supported this drawing was not interested in the design potential that the leather pieces indicated. His or her Ötzi appears as if he was just trying to keep warm. My Ötzi is a bold and free man exposing his coat to the world. How can I know? Are these free fantasies beyond scholarly evidence? Of course not, but humanist interpretation as an academic technique might need some more explication. The materiality of an object has lately been discussed in post-humanist circles.18 This focus on things and matter is certainly an adequate step of inclusion, next to the activities of human beings. To attribute agency to material things is, however, misleading in my view, because there is a kind of pretence that objects actually and actively reach out into their environment. Maybe I am too old-fashioned to get a grip on such sophisticated innovations, but for me ‘things’ – for instance props on stage – have always been significant. Things are not acting, but they can activate the beholder through their appearance. Having said this about agency in general, I return to Performing which means that someone or something appears in front of a beholder. The argument throughout this book has been that there is no A(ppearance) unless there is a B(eholder). In the communicative relationship between A and B, three levels were distinguished: a sensory, an artistic and a symbolic level.19 On the sensory level I saw the coat’s fragmented pieces of leather. The kind of sensory experience I was struck with can be described as amazement. There were these fragile pieces, more than 5000 years old, still in front of me, not as pictures but all real. I cannot say that I found the pieces beautiful; they were dry patches of skin and the shape of a coat was not easily distinguishable. Here, the artistic level of communication came to my help. In the moment when I discovered that these pieces are not lying there in a random order but that a distinct form could be noticed, the communicative process moved to another level. Two processes started simultaneously: partly I tried to interpret the pattern I

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saw into something complete, and partly I sought some order into which it would fit. The result of these processes I have already described: the horizontal and vertical stripes turned into the artistic expression of design, a design that someone has invented, applied, appreciated. I saw both the artistry of the designer and the aesthetic dimension of the coat. Exactly at this point I sensed an awareness of presence. When I perceived the coat as an aesthetic item, it hit me with the power of 5000 years, right there and then. The coat appeared in what Mendelssohn always called ‘completeness and perfection.’ This experience of aesthetic presence made a lasting imprint on my mind.

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After this touching moment came reflections and questions. Had this coat any significance on the symbolic level of communication? Was it a common garment or was it exclusive? Did it express a certain status of its owner? Is it reasonable to apply social perspectives to a man from the Stone Age? I can say ‘yes’ to the last question, but the crux of the matter is that these questions will not be answered. There is too little evidence, nothing to compare with, no indications in the material itself – so we will never know. But asking the questions is one of the duties of research in the humanities. We need to be aware that the questions are relevant although we can barely discuss possible answers hypothetically. Our reflections will, however, tell us that human relations were not completely different between then and now: Clothes maketh the man, as Hamlet states. The communicative levels distinguish what in reality can be experienced as an extremely short process. The time dimension can in a way be suspended, just as Schiller described the transitory phase of playing.20 The attention drawn to the material thing, the recognition of its aesthetic quality, the moment of amazement, and the reflections about what I am experiencing are tightly interwoven and nevertheless distinguishable from a scholarly point of view. Due to my interest in ancient history and stylistic forms, supported by the places of my encounters with Ötzi, the playful interaction between the sensory and the formal qualities of the coat created a moment of total immersion during which the time gap was suspended and Ötzi became all present: not the man in its material shape but the spirit of his age and its sense of beauty.

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Epilogue

The Four P:s – a Model, a Method, and the Pleasure of Ugliness

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Let me briefly summarise some of the arguments I attempted to develop throughout this book. It should be obvious at this point that presence is conceived as a phenomenon beyond measurements and statistics. Presence is an emotional reaction. Notions of presence in the realm of aesthetic experiences have been my prime interest although presence is not restricted to aesthetics. When aesthetics was elevated to the status of a philosophical discipline in the middle of the eighteenth century, the discourse focused on the beholder as the decisive instance of aesthetic perception. Only through the emotional presence of a reader, viewer or listener can stories, pictures and songs achieve an aesthetic quality. In other words: presence occurs vis à vis aesthetic appearances. The aesthetics of presence is an attempt to sketch the moment and circumstances of what Baumgartner named sensory perception. Clearly this perception is geared towards a thing or an event, something or someone performing. To be able to perceive this kind of performing, a certain degree of playing was found to be necessary. Finally, the place where all this happens can have a decisive influence. These four P:s – Perceiving, Playing, Placing and Performing – circumscribe the process of experiencing the presence of aesthetic sensations. They provide no definition and they are far from guaranteeing an aesthetic experience even though the conditions seem perfect. Presence can never be predicted. The four P:s might however be helpful in understanding one’s own and other people’s aesthetic experiences. The four P:s have been presented as the four corners of a model in order to illustrate the dynamics of presence. Such a visual representation in the form of a rhomb is nothing but a visual representation, nothing more. It does not show how ‘presence works’ nor does it measure the intensity of an experience. What the model shows or at least is intended to show is the complexity of aesthetic experiences – how various parameters affect sensory perception and how different the resulting experiences might be. A model is not the solution of a problem but a source of inspiration. At the same time, the model can also be seen as a guiding line to methodological approaches. Each P comprises a number of perspectives that can be included as methods in empirical investigations. Let me once more sum up some crucial characteristics of the four P:s in a kind of bullet point list.

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Perceiving includes a broad number of preconditions that open up one’s mind: education, knowledge, interests, intellectual curiosity and so forth. In addition, the mood and atmosphere of the situation influence one’s willingness for and care of emotional encounters. It should not be forgotten that experiences of presence are basically emotional matters. Preparations before an aesthetic encounter are certainly important for the availing of full attention to a situation. The preparations can aim directly at the phenomenon in question, or indirectly through given circumstances.

-

Playing is what lifts a phenomenon into the aesthetic sphere when it appears before a beholder. Cognitive immersion in the fiction of images and stories is one of its traditional main characteristics. Sensory immersion is another aspect, not least in modernist artistic expressions.

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Playing is very often situated between a serious state of mind and the playfulness of games, rituals and sports. Through playing, an activity is set in contrast to everyday life. Participants can engage in the active playing of games and plays or they can take part as observers. Through the presence of beholders, playing can become arts. -

Placing has both a physical and a mental side. In the real world, a location is a concrete place where something happens or has happened. When a place is significant from a historical point of view, a mixture of mental or intellectual imagination and the actual place appears. We can also imagine historical places without being there or ever having been there. However, the decisive point is the location of the beholder. It is from the beholder’s horizon that placing affects the aesthetics of presence.

-

Performing can be easily distinguished into two categories: one is an activity of showing or presenting something for someone – such activities are creative acts intended for beholders who consciously perceive such acts as performing; the other kind of performing is entirely created by the beholder and can concern any thing or event that the beholder gives attention to. The point is that performing is always depending on the perception of the beholder, provided there is room for a certain playfulness

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that distinguishes it from everyday life, while the place of the appearance adds significance to it. In addition to these parameters there are other characteristics I have mentioned which have some impact upon our sense of presence. I have referred to three kinds of immersion: cognitive immersion that guides us into the realm of fiction, sensory immersion that relates to our physical involvement, and reflective immersion giving room to thoughts that follow from aesthetic experiences. Another aspect that I discussed repeatedly is the duration of presence. We tend to imagine that presence is a matter of moments. Even a moment has a temporal dimension. Aesthetic experiences can last very long ‘moments,’ sometimes they are repeatable, but mostly they only stay as memories. The strength of a memory might very well reflect the power of the aesthetic presence.

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Finally, I would like to resume Moses Mendelssohn’s thoughts of aesthetics and pleasure. Ever since I first read this eighteenth-century philosopher’s views on the mixed and sometimes even contrasting feelings we have in front of aesthetic phenomena, I understood that aesthetics never was a question of admiring beauty. Mendelssohn has proven to me that even ugliness has an aesthetic dimension. To some, ugliness is even more fascinating than beauty, as for instance the late secretary of the Swedish Academy, Professor Sara Danius writing about Umberto Eco’s book on Ugliness: Beauty is boring. However pleasant. Beauty satisfies our senses and gives pleasure, sometimes awakens our desires. But beauty does not provoke our nerves. Beauty builds on harmony, proportions and moderation. It seeks perfection. Over time, beauty becomes tiresome. Every visitor to a museum or reader of Vogue knows this. But Ugliness! The ugly is continuously and superbly exciting our nerves. Ugliness is formless, tasteless, unsightly, repellent, terrible, challenging, terrifying, sickening, repulsive, anguishing, disgusting, dirty, filthy, obscene, grotesque, distorted, naughty, hideous, criminal, wicked, demonic, witchlike, hateful. In short: ugliness is inexhaustible. Nothing hits us like ugliness, except maybe death.21

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This quotation is a bit more explicit than Mendelssohn who would not separate beauty from ugliness, but combined them so “when some bitter drops mix with the honey sweet cup of pleasure, they raise the taste of pleasure and double its sweetness.”22 By understanding the complexities and contradictions of sensory perception, our lives are expanded, made human, socially and politically worthwhile, make us rich by providing experiences of moments that afford us the aesthetics of presence.

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NOTES

Prologue 1

Hannah Arendt, “The Crisis in Culture: Its Social and Its Political Significance,” Between Past and Future, London: Penguin Classics 2006 (1954), p. 210. 2 The bibliographic information concerning these publications will be presented when the situations are further explored in Part Three. See also the bibliography.

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Part One 1 “A Rough History of Modern Aesthetics” is offered by Martin Seel, Aesthetics of Appearing, transl. by J. Farrell, Stanford: Stanford University Press 2005, pp. 1-18. The German original appeared in 2000 as Ästhetik des Erscheinens. 2 For an extensive analysis of the Meditationes philosophicae de nonullis ad poema pertinentibus see Sven Olov Wallenstein, “Baumgarten and the Invention of Aesthetics”, Site 33/2013. 3 Dagmar Mirbach, “Magnitudo aesthetica, Aesthetic Greatness. Ethical aspects of Alexander Gottlieb Baumgarten’s Fragmentary Aesthetica” (1750/58), The Nordic Journal of Aesthetics No. 36-37 (2008/2009), pp. 102-128. 4 Wallenstein, “Baumgarten,” p. 36. 5 The translation of cognitionis sensitivae into sensory cognition is mine. Others argue that the term ‘sensitive’ is more appropriate. The difference is, according to my understanding, that ‘sensory’ points to the physical experience of seeing, hearing, touching, smelling, and tasting, whereas ‘sensitive’ characterizes a mental capacity. 6 According to G.F. Meier’s German translation of Metaphysica from 1766, cognitio sensitivae means sinnliches Erkenntnisvermögen. 7 Mirbach, “Magnitudo,” p. 107. 8 “disposition naturalis animae totius ad pulcre cognitandum,” Mirbach, “Magnitudo,” p. 112. 9 Baumgarten, quoted from Mirbach, “Magnitudo,” p. 113. 10 Baumgarten, quoted from Mirbach, “Magnitudo,” p. 113. 11 Baumgarten, quoted from Mirbach, “Magnitudo,” p. 116. 12 Mirbach, “Magnitudo,” p. 111. 13 See illustration # 13 on page 142. 14 Moses Mendelssohn, Ästhetische Schriften, Hamburg: Meiner 2006, p. 3: ”Eine jede Vorstellung, die wir lieber haben, als nicht haben wollen nennen wir eine angenehme Empfindung und im höheren Grade Vergnügen.“ Italics in original; all

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translations from Mendelssohn are mine. The term Empfindung can be translated as sentiments, emotion, sensation. 15 For more information concerning Mendelssohn’s choice of names for the two epistolares, as well as other scholarly references, see Anne Pollok’s eminently clarifying notes in her edition of Mendelssohn, Ästhetische Schriften, pp. VII-LIII. 16 Mendelssohn, Ästhetische Schriften, p. 13. Italics in original. 17 Mendelssohn, Ästhetische Schriften, p. 15. 18 Mendelssohn, Ästhetische Schriften, p. 38. 19 Mendelssohn, Ästhetische Schriften, p. 71ff. 20 Mendelssohn, Ästhetische Schriften, p. 73. 21 Lessing’s letter of 2 February 1757 is quoted from Mendelssohn, Ästhetische Schriften, p. XXIV. 22 Mendelssohn, Ästhetische Schriften, p. 157. 23 For details concerning Mendelssohn’s life, see Thomas Lackmann, Das Glück der Mendelssohns. Geschichte einer deutschen Familie, Berlin: Nicolai 2015. Also: Alexander Altmann: Moses Mendelssohn. A Biography, Birmingham: University of Alabama Press 1973. See further Simon Schama, Belonging. The Story of the Jews 1492-1900, London: The Bodley Head 2017, pp. 277-314. 24 Hannah Arendt, Rahel Varnhagen. The Life of a Jewish Woman, New York & London: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich 1974, p. 4. 25 This term confirmed Mendelssohn’s role as intermediary between Germans and Jews. He had translated the Pentateuch, i.e. the Torah, containing the Jewish law, into German, but the spelling was in Hebrew letters like in Yiddish, because this was the only writing the Yiddish-reading Jews could access. For Mendelssohn it was important that Germany’s enlightened Jews could refer to the Bible in German. 26 Denis Diderot, Paradox of the Actor, transl. by Walter Herris Pollock, London: Chatto & Windus 1883, p. 23. 27 The full German names are: „Bibliothek der schönen Wissenschaften und der freyen Künste“ (1757-65), and „Briefe, die neueste Literatur betreffend“ (175965). 28 The play Die Juden was attacked as being ’improbable’, meaning that there were no noble Jews in the real world. Although rarely produced, it can still be very effective; it was performed by Jewish refugees in Stockholm during the Second World War and I saw it at the Berliner Ensemble in 2015, staged by Georg Tabori. 29 The relation between the various editions is carefully explained by Anne Pollok in the preface of Mendelssohn, Ästehtische Schriften, p. XLVIII. 30 Lessing added yet another subtitle: “Mit beyläufigen Erläuterungen verschiedener Punkte der alten Kunstgeschichte.” (With sporadic explanations of various points of the old history of the arts), which was directly addressed to Winckelmann. This also happened to be the same year in which the theatres of Drottningholm outside Stockholm and in Cesky Krumlov in Böhmen were opened. 31 G.E. Lessing, „Laokoon, Oder über die Grenzen der Malerei und Poesie”, Lessing Werke 2, ed. Paul Stapf, München: Emil Vollmer Verlag 1978, s. 274, my transl.

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Lessing, Laokoon, pp. 285, 287. Lessing, Laokoon, pp. 289-90. My italics and my translation. The Latin phrase means ’terrible screams ascend to the stars’. 34 Lessing, Laokoon, p. 349. 35 Lessing, Laokoon, p. 290. 36 Lessing, Laokoon, p. 299. 37 A same-size copy of the sculpture I could study at the National Museum in Stockholm. 38 Lessing, Laokoon, Paralipomena, p. 450. 39 Quoted from Georg Hensel, Spielplan, vol. 1, Darmstadt: C.A. Koch Verlag 1966, p. 328, my translation. 40 Shama, Belonging, pp.307-9. 41 The full title of Rousseau’s book is: Discours sur l’origine et les foundements de l’inégalité parmi les hommes (Discourse on the origin and foundations of inequality among men). 42 Mendelssohn, Ästhetische Schriften, p. 131. 43 Hedvig Charlotta Nordenflycht, Defence of the Female Sex against J.J. Rousseau Citizen of Geneva, originally published in Swedish in 1761, translated into English and French by Alan Crozier and Francoise Sule, Ellerströms, Lund, 2016. Mary Wollstonecraft’s book A Vindication of the Rights of Woman appeared in 1792. 44 J.-J. Rousseau, Collected Writings of Rousseau, ed. by Roger D. Masters & Christopher Kelly, Hanover NH and London 2004, vol. 10, p. 263. 45 See also my contribution to Rousseau on stage – playwright, musician, spectator, ed. by Maria Gullstam & Michael O’Dea, Oxford: Oxford University Studies in the Enlightenment 2017: “A theatrophobic dramatist: J.-J. Rousseau in theatre historiography and on today’s stage”, pp. 227-53. 46 James Joyce, Ulysses, New York, London, Toronto: Alfred A. Knopf 1997, p. 24. 47 The German term ‘des Menschen’ could also be translated as ‘man’, provided it includes ‘woman’. 48 Friedrich von Schiller, „Über die ästhetische Erziehung des Menschen“, Gesammelte Werke, ed. By Reinhold Netolitzky, Berlin, Darmstadt, Wien: C.A. Koch’s Verlag Nachf., Bd 5, p. 330. In German, the quote reads: „Er soll empfinden, weil er sich bewusst ist, und soll sich bewusst sein, weil er empfindet.“ My transl. 49 Schiller, “Education,” p. 333. 50 Schiller, “Education,” p. 331, emphasis in original. 51 Schiller, “Education,” p. 366, emphasis in original. 52 Schiller, “Education,” twenty-sixth letter, p. 379. The term Schein has sometimes been misinterpreted as illusion or a false appearance, which lies beyond Schiller’s use of the word. 53 Critique of Pure Reason appeared originally in 1781 and in a revised form in 1787, Critique of Practical Reason came in 1788, and Critique of judgement (Kritik der Urteilskraft) in 1790.

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54

Immanuel Kant, Critique of Judgement, transl. by J.H. Bernard, London: Macmillan 1914, p. 53. 55 Kant, Judgement, pp. 53-54. 56 Arendt, Between Past and Future, p. 221. The original reads: “Errare mehercule malo cum Plato … quam cum istis vera sentire.” Tusculan disputations I. 57 Nico H. Frijda, The Emotions, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 1986, describes such steps of emotional responses to stimuli.

Part Two 1

Elsa Ascoli was a distant relative of my father, who in turn told this story to me. Hanna Arendt, “Crisis of Culture”, p. 210. 3 Jacques Derrida, Of Grammatology, transl. by Gayatri Chakravorti Spivak, Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press 1997, pp. 174-204. 4 David Wiles, Theatre & Time, London: Palgrave Macmillan 2014, p. 8. 5 Baumgarten, quoted from Mirbach, “Magnitudo,” p. 113. 6 The Aesthetics of Everyday Life, ed. by Andrew Light & Jonathan M. Smith, New York: Columbia University Press 2005. 7 Pierre Bourdieu, La distinction. Critique sociale du jugement, Paris: Edition de Minuit 1979. Inspired by Bourdieu, I have constructed profile groups concerning spectators’ social and cultural classification when studying their responses to various theatre performances. See Theaterögon. Publiken möter föreställningen – upplevelse, utbud, vanor, Stockholm: Liber förlag 1986, and also my chapter ”Theatre Talks. How to Find Out What the Spectator Thinks”, Willmar Sauter, The Theatrical Event. Dynamics of Production and Perception, Iowa City: University of Iowa Press 2000, pp. 174-186. 8 Henri Schoenmakers, “Aesthetic emotions and aestheticized emotions in theatrical situations,” Advances in Reception and Audience Research, vol. 3/1992, pp. 39-58. 9 See for example Margaret Wetherell, Affect and Emotion. A new social science of understanding, Los Angeles: Sage 2012. 10 Martin Seel, Appearing. In the German original, the key terms are Erscheinung and Erscheinen. 11 Seel, Appearing, p. 33. 12 See illustration # 12 on page 138. 13 I have presented this model in more detail in “New Beginnings”, in my book Theatrical Event, pp. 6-14. In the same book, there is also a chapter on “Sarah Bernhardt in Phenomenological Perspective. To Study a Living Legend”, pp. 117145. 14 Jacqueline Martin & Willmar Sauter, Understanding Theatre. Performance Analysis in Theory and Practice, Stockholm: Almqvist & Wiksell International 1995, p. 91. 15 Judith Butler, Gender Trouble. Feminism and the Subversion of Identity, New York: Routledge 1999 (1990); see also her book Undoing Gender, New York: Routledge 2004.

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2

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16

Jacques Derrida, La voix et le phénomène. Introduction au problème du signe dans la phénoménologie de Husserl, Paris: Presses Universitaires de France 1967, especially Chapter 4. See also Hélène Cixous, Portrait de Jacques Derrida en Jeune Saint Juif, Paris: Editions Galilée 2001; Engl. transl. by Beverley Bie Brahic, Portrait of Jacques Derrida as a Young Jewish Saint, New York: Columbia University Press 2004. 17 Jacques Derrida, “The Theatre of Cruelty and the Closure of Representation,” Writing and Difference, transl. by Alan Bass, London: Routledge 1978, pp. 232250. 18 Derrida, “Theatre of Cruelty,” p. 237. 19 Derrida, “Theatre of Cruelty,” pp. 247-8. 20 Derrida, “Theatre of Cruelty,” p. 249. 21 Joseph Roach, It, Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan Press 2007, pp. 7-8. Italics in original. 22 Roach, It, p. 8. Italics in original. 23 I owe this experiment to Manfred Wekwerth, director and teacher at the Berliner Ensemble in Berlin. 24 Mendelssohn, Ästhetische Schriften, pp. 216-259. Concerning Schiller’s reading of Mendelssohn, see also Anna Pollok’s introduction. 25 Mendelssohn. Ästhetische Schriften, p. 257. 26 Schiller, Über die ästhetische Erziehung, p. 333. Emphasis in original. 27 Johan Huizinga, Homo Ludens. Proeve eener bepaling van het spel-element der cultuur. 1938. Engl. transl. as A Study of the Play-Element in [sic!] Culture, London: Routledge & Kegan Paul 1949 and later editions. 28 Johan Huizinga, Herfsttij der Middeleeuwen 1919. 29 Johan Huizinga, In de schaduwen van morgen 1935, translated by his son Jacob Herman Huizinga In the Shadow of Tomorrow. 30 In the English translation from 1955, the subtitle was still using the erroneous ‘in Culture’. 31 Shulamit Lev-Aladgem, “Playing Culture: The Return of/to the Homo Ludens.” Playing Culture. Conventions and Extensions of Performance, ed. by Vicki Ann Cremona et al., Amsterdam, New York: Rodopi 2014, p. 34. 32 Milton Singer, Traditional India: Structure and Change, Philadelphia: American Folklore Society 1959. 33 Victor Turner, From Ritual to Theatre. The Human Seriousness of Play, New York: PAJ Publications 1982. 34 Huizinga, Homo Ludens 1955, p. 13. 35 In English published under the title Man, Play and Games, Chicago: University of Illinois Press 1961. 36 Anneli Saro, “The Poetics of Playing,” Nordic Theatre Studies 26/1, 2014, pp. 919. 37 Karl Groos, The Play of Man, transl. by Elizabeth L. Baldwin, New York: Appleton 1901. 38 Andreas Kotte, “Play is the Pleasure of Being the Cause. On the Comparability of Scenic Sequences within the Playing Culture.” Playing Culture. Conventions

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and Extensions of Performance, ed. by Vicki Ann Cremona et al., Amsterdam, New York: Rodopi 2014, pp. 39-61. 39 Hans-Georg Gadamer, Wahrheit und Methode. Grundzüge einer philosophischen Hermeneutik, 4th edition, Tübingen: J.C.B. Mohr (Paul Siebeck) 1975, p. 519, my transl. The latest English edition is Truth and Method, 2nd rev. edition, transl. by J. Weinsheimer and D.G. Marshall, New York: Crossroad 2004. 40 Cf. Lessing, Laokoon, p. 450. 41 Gadamer, Wahrheit und Methode, pp. 103-4, my transl. 42 Gadamer, Wahrheit und Methode, p. 105. 43 Henri Lefebvre, La production de l’espace, Paris: Anthropos 1974. Engl. transl. by Donald Nicolson-Smith, The Production of Space, Oxford: Blackwell 1974. 44 For a detailed account of the theatre’s various uses, see Sauter & Wiles, Drottningholm, 2014. 45 Mendelssohn, Ästhetische Schriften, pp. 201-2. 46 Willmar Sauter, “Thirty Years of Reception Studies: Empirical, Methodological and Theoretical Advances,” About Performance no. 10/2010, pp. 241-263. 47 Gadamer, Wahrheit und Methode, p. 255 ff. 48 “Theatre Talks: How to Find Out What the Spectator Thinks,” Sauter, Theatrical Event, pp. 174-198. 49 Yael Feiler, “What happens when The Merchant of Venice is being staged? A comparative analysis of the reception of three European productions.” Shakespeares Shylock och antisemitismen, ed. by Yael Feiler & Willmar Sauter Stockholm: Stuts 2010 (second edition), pp. 133-162. 50 Martin Esslin, The Field of Drama. How the signs of drama create meaning on stage & screen. London: Methuen 1987; Jacqueline Martin & Willmar Sauter, Understanding Theatre. Performance Analysis in Theory and Practice, Stockholm: Almqvist & Wiksell International 1995; Colin Counsell & Laurie Wolf (eds.), Performance Analysis. An introductory coursebook, London: Routledge 2001. 51 David Wiles, The Players’ Advice to Hamlet. The Rhetorical Acting Method from the Renaissance to the Enlightenment, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 2020.

Part Three 1

Rebecca Forsberg, who collaborated with the article, and Rebecca Örtman in this text are the same person. 2 “Antigone’s Diary – A Model for Democratic Decision Making in Suburban Stockholm.” In Contemporary Theatre Review, 2016, Vol. 26, No. 2, pp. 227-240, httm://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10486801.2015.1078325 – the authors are Love Ekenberg, Rebecca Forsberg, and Willmar Sauter. 3 See pp. 47-49. 4 Manilla Ernst & Willmar Sauter, “Antigone’s Diary – Young Audiences as Cocreators of GPS-guided Radio Drama,” Nordic Theatre Studies vol. 27/1, 2015, pp. 32-41.

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5

Willmar Sauter, “Cyclic Perseverance and Linear Mobility of Theatrical Events.” Representing the Past. Essays in Performance Historiography, ed. by Charlotte M. Canning & Thomas Postlewait, Iowa City: University of Iowa Press 2010, pp. 117141. 6 Willmar Sauter, Eventness. A Concept of the Theatrical Event, Stockholm: Stuts 2008, p. 9. 7 See also my article “Interference between Present and Absent Performers: TimeSpecific Performance as Phenomenal Experience,” Nordic Theatre Studies vol. 24, 2012, pp. 76-84. 8 Jonas Eklund, The Sensational Body. A Spectatorial Exploration of the Experience of Bodies on Stage in Circus, Burlesque and Freak Show, Stockholm: Stockholm University (Diss.) 2019, successfully applies a ‘relational approach’ to describe collective spectator experiences. 9 “The Appearance of Bloomsday as Appearing to Dubliners, Joyceonites and Tourists,” Culture Unbound, vol. 1, 2009, pp. 469-485. http://www.cultureunbound.ep.liu.se. 10 Willmar Sauter, “Introducing the Theatrical Event.” Theatrical Events – Borders, Dynamics, Frames, ed. by Vicky Ann Cremona et al., Amsterdam, New York: Rodopi 2004, pp. 3-14. 11 Sorry to say, my dear friend died a few years after the Bloomsday anniversary. 12 Sauter, “Bloomsday”, p. 484. 13 Anezka Kuzmicova: “Literary Narrative and Mental Imagery: A View from Embodied Cognition,” Style, Vol. 48, No. 3, Fall 2014, pp. 275-293. 14 See my description in Part One. 15 Willmar Sauter, “Immersion,” Oxford Companion to Performance and Politics (forthcoming); see also the section on Empirical Methods in Part Two. 16 Wolfgang Hildesheimer, The Jewishness of Mr. Bloom/Das Jüdische an Mr. Bloom, English/Deutsch, Frankfurt/M: Suhrkamp 1984. 17 Joyce, Ulysses, pp. 505-6. 18 Joyce, Ulysses, p. 513. 19 The subtitle reads: Refugees, Anti-Semitism and the Holocaust, Cork: Cork University Press 1998 (second printing 2002). 20 David Marcus, Who ever heard of an Irish Jew? London: Bantam Press 1988. 21 Mendelssohn, Ästhetische Schriften, p. 16. 22 Mendelssohn, Ästhetische Schriften, p. 195. 23 Willmar Sauter, “Hiking Beyond Roads and Internet. Weather, Landscapes, and Performance North of the Arctic Circle.” Performing Ice, ed. by Matt Delbridge et al., London: Palgrave Macmillan (forthcoming 2020). 24 Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Wahlverwantdtschaften, Gesammelte Werke, ed. by Bernt von Heiseler, Bd 5, 1977, p. 395. Here and the following are my translations. 25 Goethe, Wahlverwandtschaften, p. 412. 26 Goethe, Wahlverwandtschaften, p. 436. 27 Willmar Sauter, “Playing is not pretending”, Playing Culture, pp. 63-82. 28 Dagens Medicin, 28 January, 1 & 9 February 2009.

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29

See also Appendix B. Willmar Sauter, “Unknown Woman by Anna Odell: The Event, the Trial, the Work – Reflections on the Mediality of Performance,” Theatre Research International, vol. 37, Number 3, October 2012, pp. 249-264. 31 In Playing Culture, pp. 225-242. 32 Kirsten Gram Holmström, Monodrama – Attitudes – Tableaux Vivants. Studies on some Trends of Theatrical Fashion 1770-1815. Stockholm: Almqvist & Wiksell 1967, especially the “Historical Introduction,” pp. 11-39. 33 Denis Diderot, The Paradox of Acting, ed. by Wilson Follet, New York: Hill & Wang 1957, p. 15. 34 Elly Konijn, Acting Emotions, Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press 2000, p. 128. 35 Konijn, Acting, p. 144. 36 Schoenmakers, “Being Oneself,” Playing Culture, p. 226. 37 Schoenmakers, “Being Oneself,” p. 234. 38 Schoenmakers, “Being Oneself,” p. 238 39 Schoenmakers, “Being Oneself,” p. 240. 40 Willmar Sauter, “Playing Is Not Pretending”, Playing Culture, pp. 63-81. 41 Shakespeares Shylock och antisemitismen, ed. by Yael Feiler & Willmar Sauter, Stockholm: Stuts 2006; the second edition from 2010 contains a chapter by Yael Feiler in English, “What Happens When The Merchant of Venice is Being Staged? A comparative analysis of the reception of three European productions,” pp. 133162. 42 “Playing Is Not Pretending”, p. 67. 43 Peter Handke, Kaspar, Frankfurt: Suhkamp 1967. The English translation follows Lola Pierson’s production from 2014. The German original reads: „Ich möchte ein solcher werden wie einmal ein anderer gewesen ist.“ 44 Werner Lansburgh, J. Eine europäische Vergnügungsreise, Ahrensburg: Damokles 1968. 45 Géraldine Schwarz, Les Amnésiques, Paris: Flamarion 2017; Engl. transl. Those Who Forget: My Family’s Story in Nazi Europe – A Memoire, A History, A Warning (forthcoming).

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30

Epilogue 1

Mendelssohn, Ästhetische Schriften, pp. 216-259. In German: das Sinnlichunermessliche. 3 Mendelssohn, Ästhetische Schriften, p. 217, my transl. 4 Mendelssohn, Ästhetische Schriften, p. 218, italics in original, my transl. 5 Mendelssohn, Ästhetische Schriften p. 225, my translations. 6 „Dic hospes Spartae…” which in German has been translated into the phrase that gave Heinrich Böll the title of his novel Wanderer kommst du nach Spa (1950). 7 Mendelssohn, Ästhetische Schriften, p. 231. 8 Bibliothek der schönen Wissenschaften und der freyen Künste II, 2, Leipzig 1758. 2

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Notes

9

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Edmund Burke, A Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of Our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful, Harmondsworth: Penguin Classics 1998. 10 Robert Doran, The Theory of the Sublime from Longinus to Kant, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 2015. 11 Mendelssohn, Ästhetische Schriften, p. 112, my transl. and my italics. 12 Mendelssohn, Ästhetische Schriften, p. 112, my transl. 13 Immanuel Kant, Beobachtungen über das Gefühl des Schönen und Erhabenen (1764), translated into English in 1799 as Observations on the Feeling of the Beautiful and Sublime. 14 Theodor W. Adorno, Ästhetische Theorie, Frankfurt/M: Suhrkamp 2003 (1970), pp. 292-6. 15 Adorno, Ästhetische Theorie, p. 294. 16 Adorno, Ästhetische Theorie, p. 296: ”Erbe des Erhabenen ist die ungemilderte Negativität, nackt und scheinlos wie einmal der Schein des Erhabenen verhieß.“ 17 Cf. Part Two, section “Playing” – pp. 70-79. 18 Peter Sloterdijk, “The Anthropocene: A Process-state at the Edge of Geohistory?” Art in the Anthropocene, ed. by Heather Davies & Etienne Turpin, London: Open Humanities Press 2015; Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht, Production of Presence: What meaning cannot convey, Stanford: Stanford University Press 2004; New Materialisms: Ontology, Agency, and Politics, ed. by Diane Coole & Samantha Frost, Durham: Duke University Press 2010. 19 See Part Two, pp64-65 and also Appendix A. 20 See Part One, p. 44-47. 21 Sara Danius, ”Umberto Eco och det fula,” Husmoderns död och andra texter, Stockholm: Bonniers 2014, p. 299, my transl. 22 Mendelssohn, Ästhetische Schriften p. 73.

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BIBLIOGRAPHY

Adorno, Theodor W., Ästhetische Theorie, Frankfurt/M: Suhrkamp 2003 (1970). Arendt, Hannah, “The Crisis in Culture: Its Social and Its Political Significance.” Between Past and Future, London: Penguin Classics 2006 (1954). Arendt, Hannah, Rahel Varnhagen. The Life of a Jewish Woman, New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich 1974 (1957). Altmann, Alexander, Moses Mendelssohn. A Biography, Birmingham, AL.: University of Alabama Press 1973. Bourdieu, Pierre, La distinction. Critique sociale du jugement, Paris: Edition de Minuit 1979. Burke, Edmund, A Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of Our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful, Harmondsworth: Penguin Classics 1998. Butler, Judith, Gender Trouble. Feminism and the Subversion of Identity, New York: Routledge 1999 (1990). Butler, Judith, Undoing Gender, New York: Routledge 2004. Cixous, Hélène, Portrait de Jacques Derrida en Jeune Saint Juif, Paris: Editions Galilée 2001. Counsell, Colin & Laurie Wolf, eds., Performance Analysis. An introductory coursebook, London: Routledge 2001. Danius, Sara, ”Umberto Eco och det fula.” Husmoderns död och andra texter, Stockholm: Bonniers 2014. Derrida, Jacques, La voix et le phénomène. Introduction au problème du signe dans la phénoménologie de Husserl, Paris: Presses Universitaires de France 1967. Derrida, Jacques, “The Theatre of Cruelty and the Closure of Representation.” Writing and Difference, transl. by Alan Bass, London: Routledge 1978, pp. 232-250. Derrida, Jacques, Of Grammatology, transl. by Gayatri Chakravorti Spivak, Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press 1997. Diderot, Denis, Paradox of the Actor, transl. by Walter Herris Pollock, London: Chatto & Windus 1883. Doran, Robert, The Theory of the Sublime from Longinus to Kant, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 2015.

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Ekenberg, Love, Rebecca Forsberg & Willmar Sauter, “Antigone’s Diary – A Model for Democratic Decision Making in Suburban Stockholm,” Contemporary Theatre Review, 2016, Vol. 26, No. 2, pp. 227-240, httm://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10486801.2015.1078325. Ernst, Manilla & Willmar Sauter, “Antigone’s Diary – Young Audiences as Co-creators of GPS-guided Radio Drama,” Nordic Theatre Studies, Vol. 27/1, 2015, pp. 32-41. Esslin, Martin, The Field of Drama. How the signs of drama create meaning on stage and screen, London: Methuen 1987. Feiler, Yael, “What happens when The Merchant of Venice is being staged? A comparative analysis of the reception of three European productions.” Shakespeares Shylock och antisemitismen, ed. by Yael Feiler & Willmar Sauter Stockholm: Stuts 2010 (second edition), pp. 133-162. Frijda, Nico H., The Emotions, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 1986. Gadamer, Hans-Georg, Wahrheit und Methode. Grundzüge einer philosophischen Hermeneutik, 4th edition, Tübingen: J.C.B. Mohr (Paul Siebeck) 1975 (1960). Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von, Wahlverwantdtschaften, Gesammelte Werke, ed. by Bernt von Heiseler, Bd 5, 1976. Gram Holmström, Kirsten, Monodrama – Attitudes – Tableaux Vivants. Studies on some Trends of Theatrical Fashion 1770-1815, Stockholm: Almqvist & Wiksell 1967. Groos, Karl, The Play of Man, transl. by Elizabeth L. Baldwin, New York: Appleton 1901. Gumbrecht, Hans Ulrich, Production of Presence: What meaning cannot convey, Stanford: Stanford University Press 2004. Hensel, Georg, Spielplan, vol. 1, Darmstadt: C.A. Koch Verlag 1966. Handke, Peter, Kaspar, Frankfurt/M: Suhkamp 1967. Hildesheimer, Wolfgang, The Jewishness of Mr. Bloom/Das Jüdische an Mr. Bloom, English/Deutsch, Frankfurt/M: Suhrkamp 1984. Huizinga, Johan, Homo Ludens. Proeve eener bepaling van het spelelement der cultuur, 1938. Huizinga, Johan, A Study of the Play-Element in Culture, London: Routledge & Kegan Paul 1949. Joyce, James, Ulysses, New York, London, Toronto: Alfred A. Knopf 1997 (1922). Kant, Immanuel, Critique of Judgement, transl. by J.H. Bernard, London: Macmillan 1914.

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Keogh, Dermot, Jews in Twentieth-Century Ireland. Refugees, AntiSemitism and the Holocaust. Cork: Cork University Press 2002 (1998). Konijn, Elly, Acting Emotions, Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press 2000. Kotte, Andreas, “Play is the Pleasure of Being the Cause. On the Comparability of Scenic Sequences within the Playing Culture.” Playing Culture. Conventions and Extensions of Performance, ed. by Vicki Ann Cremona et al., Amsterdam, New York: Rodopi 2014, pp. 39-61. Kuzmicova, Anezka, “Literary Narrative and Mental Imagery: A View from Embodied Cognition,” Style, Vol. 48, No. 3, Fall 2014, pp. 275293. Lackmann, Thomas, Das Glück der Mendelssohns. Geschichte einer deutschen Familie, Berlin: Nicolai 2015. Lansburgh, Werner, J. Eine europäische Vergnügungsreise, Ahrensburg: Damokles 1968. Lefebvre, Henri, La production de l’espace, Paris: Anthropos 1974. Lessing, Gotthold Ephraim, “Laokoon, Oder über die Grenzen der Malerei und Poesie.” Lessing Werke 2, ed. by Paul Stapf, München: Emil Vollmer Verlag 1978. Lev-Aladgem, Shulamit, “Playing Culture: The Return of/to the Homo Ludens.” Playing Culture. Conventions and Extensions of Performance, ed. by Vicki Ann Cremona et al., Amsterdam, New York: Rodopi 2014. Marcus, David, Who ever heard of an Irish Jew? London: Bantam Press 1988. Martin, Jacquelin & Willmar Sauter, Understanding Theatre. Performance Analysis in Theory and Practice, Stockholm: Almqvist & Wiksell International 1995. Mendelssohn, Moses, Ästhetische Schriften, ed. by Anne Pollok, Hamburg: Meiner 2006. Mirbach, Dagmar, “Magnitudo aesthetica, Aesthetic Greatness. Ethical aspects of Alexander Gottlieb Baumgarten’s Fragmentary Aesthetica” (1750/58), The Nordic Journal of Aesthetics No. 36-37, 2008/2009, pp. 102-128. New Materialisms: Ontology, Agency, and Politics, ed. by Diane Coole & Samantha Frost, Durham: Duke University Press 2010. Nordenflycht, Hedvig Charlotta, Defence of the Female Sex against J.J. Rousseau Citizen of Geneva, originally published in Swedish in 1761, translated into English and French by Alan Crozier and Francoise Sule, Ellerströms, Lund, 2016.

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Rousseau, Jean-Jacques, Collected Writings of Rousseau, ed. by Roger D. Masters & Christopher Kelly, Hanover NH and London 2004, vol. 10. Saro, Anneli, “The Poetics of Playing,” Nordic Theatre Studies 26/1, 2014, pp. 9-19. Sauter, Willmar, Theaterögon. Publiken möter föreställningen – upplevelse, utbud, vanor, Stockholm: Liber förlag 1986. Sauter, Willmar, The Theatrical Event. Dynamics of Production and Perception, Iowa City: University of Iowa Press 2000. Sauter, Willmar, “Introducing the Theatrical Event.” Theatrical Events. Borders, Dynamics, Frames, ed. by Vicky Ann Cremona et al., Amsterdam, New York: Rodopi 2004. Sauter, Willmar, Eventness. A Concept of the Theatrical Event, Stockholm: Stuts 2008. Sauter, Willmar, “The Appearance of Bloomsday as Appearing to Dubliners, Joyceonites and Tourists,” Culture Unbound, Vol. 1, 2009, pp. 469-485. http://www.cultureunbound.ep.liu.se. Sauter, Willmar, “Thirty Years of Reception Studies: Empirical, Methodological and Theoretical Advances,” About Performance No. 10/2010, pp. 241-263. Sauter, Willmar, “Cyclic Perseverance and Linear Mobility of Theatrical Events.” Representing the Past. Essays in Performance Historiography, ed. by Charlotte M. Canning & Thomas Postlewait, Iowa City: University of Iowa Press 2010, pp. 117-141. Sauter, Willmar, “Interference between Present and Absent Performers: Time-Specific Performance as Phenomenal Experience,” Nordic Theatre Studies Vol. 24, 2012, pp. 76-84. Sauter, Willmar, “Unknown Woman by Anna Odell: The Event, the Trial, the Work – Reflections on the Mediality of Performance.” Theatre Research International, Vol. 37, No. 3, October 2012, pp. 249-264. Sauter, Willmar & David Wiles, The Theatre of Drottningholm – Then and Now. Performance between the 18th and 21st Centuries, Stockholm: Acta Universitatis Stockholmiensis 2014. Sauter, Willmar, “Playing Is Not Pretending.” Playing Culture. Conventions and Extensions of Performance, ed. by Vicki Ann Cremona et al., Amsterdam, New York: Rodopi 2014, pp. 63-81. Sauter, Willmar, “A theatrophobic dramatist: J.-J. Rousseau in theatre historiography and on today’s stage.” Rousseau on stage – playwright, musician, spectator, ed. by Maria Gullstam & Michael O’Dea, Oxford: Oxford University Studies in the Enlightenment 2017, pp. 227-53.

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Sauter, Willmar, “Hiking Beyond Roads and Internet. Weather, Landscapes, and Performance North of the Arctic Circle.” Performing Ice, ed. by Matt Delbridge et al., London: Palgrave Macmillan 2020. Schiller, Friedrich von, “Über die ästhetische Erziehung des Menschen.“ Gesammelte Werke, ed. by Reinhold Netolitzky, Berlin, Darmstadt, Wien: C.A. Koch’s Verlag Nachf., Bd 5, 1976. Schoenmakers, Henri, “Aesthetic emotions and aestheticized emotions in theatrical situations,” Advances in Reception and Audience Research, Vol. 3/1992, pp. 39-58. Schwarz, Géraldine, Les Amnésiques, Paris: Flamarion 2017. Seel, Martin, Aesthetics of Appearing, transl. by J. Farrell, Stanford: Stanford University Press 2005. Schama, Simon, Belonging. The Story of the Jews 1492-1900, London: The Bodley Head 2017. Singer, Milton, Traditional India: Structure and Change, Philadelphia: American Folklore Society 1959. Sloterdijk, Peter, “The Anthropocene: A Process-state at the Edge of Geohistory?” Art in the Anthropocene, ed. by Heather Davies & Etienne Turpin, London: Open Humanities Press 2015. Smith, Adam, The Theory of Moral Sentiment, ed. by Sálvio M. Soares. MetaLibri 2005, http://metalibri.wikidot.com/title:theory-of-moralsentiments:smith-a. The Aesthetics of Everyday Life, ed. by Andrew Light & Jonathan M. Smith, New York: Columbia University Press 2005. Turner, Victor, From Ritual to Theatre. The Human Seriousness of Play, New York: PAJ Publications 1982. Wallenstein, Sven Olov, “Baumgarten and the Invention of Aesthetics”, Site 33/2013. Wetherell, Margareth, Affect and Emotion. A new social science of understanding, Los Angeles: Sage 2012. Wiles, David, Theatre & Time, London: Palgrave Macmillan 2014. Wiles, David, The Players’ Advice to Hamlet. The Rhetorical Acting Method from the Renaissance to the Enlightenment, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 2020.

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LIST OF FIGURES

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Illustrations 1. The Moss Campions at Lake Sårjåsjáurre in Padjelanta. Photo: Sylvia Sauter 2. Anna Odell on the Liljeholms bridge in Stockholm. Courtesy of Anna Odell 3. Sandycove Beach outside Dublin during Bloomsday. Photo: Sylvia Sauter 4. Youngsters listening to Antigone’s Diary in Husby, Stockholm. Photo: Rebecca Medici 5. The author on a snow patch in Padjelanta. Photo: Sylvia Sauter 6. Amateurs performing scenes from Ulysses in Dublin. Photo: Sylvia Sauter 7. Concentrating on the mediated voice of Antigone. Photo: Rebecca Medici 8. The audience of Antigone’s Diary gathering on the main square of Husby. Photo: Rebecca Medici 9. Reading the messages their schoolmates have sent to Antigone. Photo: Rebecca Medici 10. The author in front of the Martello Tower overviewing Sandycove Beach. Photo: Sylvia Sauter 11. One of the many Mr. Blooms during Bloomsday. Photo: Sylvia Sauter 12. Clouds revealing Mount Akka in Padjelanta. Photo: Göran Abel 13. Ice floes at the outlet of Lake Sårjåsjáurre in Padjelanta. Photo: Göran Abel 14. Anna Odell on the bridge before the arrival of the police. Courtesy of Anna Odell 15. Anna Odell is forcefully taken into a police car. Courtesy of Anna Odell 16. Ötzi’s coat as displayed in the Archaeological Museum in Bolzano. Coutesy of South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology/Harald Wisthaler

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Aesthetics of Presence: Philosophical and Practical Reconsiderations

Figures 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

The geometrical shape of a rhomb The parameters of presence Model of presence: Antigone’s Diary Model of presence: Bloomsday Model of presence: Padjelanta Model of presence: Anna Odell

Appendix A: An expanded model of theatrical communication

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Appendix B: The Theatrical Event – The Diamond Model

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ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

Books are rarely written by a single person, even though only one name appears on the front cover. Usually many people have contributed to one’s thoughts from the first concept to the printed copy. This book is no exception and I am not sure where to begin the list of people who I remember with gratitude.

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Back in 2007, I had the privilege of being involved with the Research School of Aesthetics at Stockholm University. Even though the word aesthetics only functioned as an umbrella term for academic disciplines such as literature, film, arts, theatre, and music studies, philosophy and the history of ideas, the students demanded clarifying concepts of aesthetics. This was grateful inspiration for a teacher. At about the same time, the artistic director of the Drottningholm Court Theatre, Maestro Mark Tatlow, conductor of the orchestra, involved me in practical and historical problems of this unique eighteenth-century theatre. Together we invited a number of specialists, among them Inga Lewenhaupt and Rikard Hoogland, Maria Berlova from Moscow, Eske and Motomi Tsugami from Tokyo and David Wiles from Oxford. We were pondering about how we could learn from the artists of the past for productions of the future and I am immensely grateful for what I learned from my colleagues. David Wiles and I then wrote a book about the Drottningholm Theatre, a wonderful collaboration and a continuing friendship. Mark Tatlow formed a research group together with me, called Performing Premodernity, which included four more permanent members: Meike Wagner, Magnus Tessing Schneider, Petra Dotlacilova and Maria Gullstam. They were also the first readers of the first part of this book. Their questions and suggestions and their lasting inspiration over the years have been extremely helpful. Another group of readers was my colleagues and doctoral students at the Department of Culture and Aesthetics, among them Lena Hammergren, Leo Marko, Tiina Rosenberg and others who I have mentioned above. A third group of readers consisted of some colleagues from the IFTR Historiography Working Group: Tracy Davis, Michael Bachmann, Jim

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Davis, Pat Smyth and, once more, David Wiles. To all of them I owe many thanks. I also want to thank my earlier collaborators on texts that I have based much of this book on: Love Ekenberg, Rebecca Örtner, Chiara Rossitta, Manilla Ernst, and Yael Feiler. To Anna Odell, Rebecca Medici and Göran Abel I am indebted for allowing me to reproduce their photos and video stills; the figures were generously scanned by Gunnar Åsell. All along the process of writing, Adam Rummens at Cambridge Scholars Publishing was a strong and reliable partner and I am thankful for his patience and encouragement. When the English text seemed reasonably understandable, Peggy Geiselbrechtinger and Sue Morecroft helped me to also make it readable. Their corrections and revisions were highly appreciated and I want to thank them from all my heart.

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My wife Sylvia has followed me through all stages of my professional and private life, but this is the first time she appears by name in my text. To experience moments of aesthetic pleasure together with one’s life companion is a privilege that cannot be fully appreciated in words.

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APPENDIX A

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An expanded model of theatrical communication

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APPENDIX B

The Theatrical Event – The Diamond Model

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INDEX

Abramovic, Marina 108 Adorno, Theodor W. 12, 167, 192 Altman, Alexander 185 Antigone’s Diary 14, 47-9, 96, 98115, 128, 189 Aquinas, Thomas 20, Arendt, Hannah 12, 29, 51, 56, 78, 184-5, 187 Aristotle 20, 57, 100, 165 Artaud, Antonin 67 Ascoli, Elsa 55-7, 62, 66, 80, 175, 187 Ashcroft, Peggy 9-10, 69, 168, 1701, 187 Aston, Elaine 152 Augustine 20

Castiglione, Baldassare 68 Cicero, Marcus Tullius 12, 51, 166 Cixous, Hélène 188 Clairon, Mlle (Clair Josèphe Hyppolyte Leris) 153 Corneille, Pierre 20 Counsell, Colin 94, 189

Bal, Mieke 152 Barnacle, Nora 42, 125 Baumgarten, Alexander Gottlieb 12, 17, 20-6, 48, 52-3, 57, 61, 132, 170, 173, 184, 187 Beijer, Agne 82 Bergman, Torbern 132 Bernhard, Isaak 30 Bernhardt, Sarah 64-5, 187 Bloom, Leopold 14-5, 42-4, 118, 120-41, 190 Bloomsday 14-5, 42-4, 61, 89, 93, 98, 116-24, 126-31, 141, 190 Bly, Nellie 147, 149 Boileau, Nicolas 20 Bourdieu, Pierre 61-2, 120, 187 Brook, Peter 108 Burke, Edmund 32, 166-7, 192 Butler, Judith 66, 187

Eco, Umberto 182, 192 Ekenberg, Love 100, 102-3, 189 Ernst, Manilla 106-7, 110, 189 Esslin, Martin 94, 189

Caillois, Roger 75-8, 95 Camus, Albert 77

Danius, Sara 182, 192 Derrida, Jacques 17, 56, 67, 187-8 Diamond Model 58, 60, 118 Diderot, Dennis 31-2, 34, 40, 65, 68, 153, 155, 157, 185, 191 Doran, Robert 192 Dylan, Bob (Robert Zimmerman) 171

Feiler, Yael 189, 191 Felix aestheticus 23, 173-4 Gadamer, Hans-Georg 17, 76-9, 89, 137, 189 Garrick, David 36, 65 Gesser Edelsburg, Anat 93 Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von 39, 46, 50, 54, 95, 104, 116, 132-4, 142-3, 190 Gottsched, Johann Christoph 20 Gram Holmströn, Kirsten 191 Groos, Karl 76, 188 Guggenheim, Fromet 30, 39 Gumbrecht, Hans Ulrich 192 Gumpertz, Aaron 33 Gustaf III, King of Sweden 82, 139

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Aesthetics of Presence: Philosophical and Practical Reconsiderations Hall, Peter 168 Handke, Peter 157, 191 Hegel, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich 51 Heidegger, Martin 78 Hensel, Georg 186 Hildesheimer, Wolfgang 129-30, 190 Hiller, Wendy 9-10, 168 Hilleström, Pehr 139 Hofstätter, Peter R. 155 Horace (Quintus Horatius Flaccus) 20, 166 Huizinga, Johan 17, 71-9, 95, 175, 188

Marcus, David 130, 190 Martin, Jacqueline 94, 187, 189 McAleese, Mary 119 Mendelssohn, Moses 12, 17, 26-30, 32-4, 39, 40, 49, 52-3, 57, 66, 71, 85, 99, 132, 134, 139, 143-4, 164-7, 169, 171, 179, 182-6, 188-92 Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, Fanny 30 Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, Felix 30 Merchant of Venice, The 93-4, 156, 189, 191 Mirbach, Dagmar 21-2, 24, 184, 187

Ibsen, Henri 9, 16, 100, 168-9, 172

Nathan der Weise 39, 187 Neuber, Caroline 33 Nicolai, Friedrich 28, 32-3, 185 Nordenflycht, Hedvig Charlotta 40, 186

Jackson, Shannon 149 Jelinek, Elfriede 155 John Gabriel Borkman 9, 16, 134, 168-71 Joyce, James 14-5, 41-2, 44, 98, 116-31, 137, 186, 190

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205

Kant, Immanuel 21, 32, 46-7, 4951, 69, 167, 187, 192 Keogh, Dermont 130 Kernell, Amanda 137 Konjin, Elly 154, 191 Kotte, Andreas 76, 188 Lackmann, Thomas 185 Lansburgh, Werner 161, 191 Lefebvre, Henri 17, 80, 84-5, 87, 143, 189 Leibnitz, Gottfried Wilhelm 20-2, 26, 29 Lessing, Gotthold Ephraim 17, 28, 33-6, 38-40, 49, 78, 153, 166, 185-6, 189 Lev-Aladgem, Shulamit 72, 76, 188 Levi Laestadius, Lars 136 Linné, Carl von 95, 140 Lise & Otto 100, 111-4 Longinus, Cassius 165, 192 Lozenge 85, 99

Ocular observations 88, 90 Odell, Anna 15-6, 30-2, 36-8, 66-8, 98, 146-63, 191 Örtman, Rebecca 14, 48, 100, 102, 104-6, 189 Ötzi, the Iceman 10-2, 16-7, 70, 134, 164, 168, 172-9 Pacino, Al 94 Padjelanta 15, 24-5, 58, 60-3, 85, 93, 98, 132-46, 170, 172 Palladio, Andrea 55-6, 80 Plato 20, 32, 51, 187 Plutarch (Lucius Maestrius Plutarchus) 34 Pollok, Anne 28, 185, 188 Pope, Alexander 32 Quintilian (Marcus Fabianus Quintilianus) 68 Racine, Jean 64-5, 153 Reusch, Johan Peter 21 Richardson, Sir Ralph 9-10, 69, 168, 170-1

Sauter, Willmar. Aesthetics of Presence : Philosophical and Practical Reconsiderations, Cambridge Scholars Publisher, 2020.

206 Roach, Joseph 68-9, 77, 188, 190 Rousseau, Jean-Jacques 17, 32, 401, 44, 53, 67, 167, 186 Saro, Anneli 76, 188 Schiller, Friedrich von 17, 44-7, 4950, 53, 71, 78, 170, 176, 179, 186, 188 Schlingensief, Christoph 149 Schoenmakers, Henri 62, 153-7, 187, 191 Schwarz, Géraldine 161, 191 Seel, Martin 62-3, 184, 187 Shama, Simon 186 Shaw, George Bernhard 15, 114 Singer, Milton 73, 76, 188 Sloterdijk, Peter 192 Smith, Adam 36 Sophocles 14, 36, 47, 102-6, 110 Strindberg, August 102, 114, 116 Sulzer, Johann Georg 32 Suttner, Georg 108 Theatre Talks 91-3, 187, 189 Turner, Victor 73, 188

Index Ulysses 14, 41-2, 74, 121-3, 125-7, 186, 190 Unknown Woman 16, 146-7, 152, 191 Varnhagen, Rahel 29, 185 Vergil (Publius Virgilius Maro) 26, 34-6 Voltaire (Francois-Marie Arouet) 40 Wahlverwandtschaften 132-4, 142, 190 Wallenstein, Sven Olov 22, 184 Wallraff, Günter 149 Weber, Max 68 Weigel, Helene 65 Wetherell, Margaret 187 Whybrow, Nicolas 149 Wiles, David 56, 187, 189 Winckelmann, Johann Joachim 34, 185 Wolf, Laurie 94, 189 Wolff, Christian von 20-1, 26, 29 Wollstonecraft, Mary 41, 186

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Zeami, Motokiyo 68

Sauter, Willmar. Aesthetics of Presence : Philosophical and Practical Reconsiderations, Cambridge Scholars Publisher, 2020.