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Bilha Blum

Dismantling the conventional plot-character-space unity that characterises drama in general, and neglecting the role of narrative embedded in it, has lately become the axis of postmodern performance practice. Defined by Hans-Thies Lehmann as ‘postdramatic theatre’ and by Elinor Fuchs as the kind of theatre in which character is dead or dying, it emphasises the conspicuous prioritising of the visual over the textual typical of this era. Among its main qualities, realised by means of visual constructs which include the replacement of the dramatic character by a body in space, is the cancellation of the focused referential frame or logocentric logic often offered by drama, thus becoming presentational: i.e., presenting the elements of performance as themselves, rather than as re-presentational of the real. Followed by a multiplication of frames or, alternatively, by the abandonment of frames altogether, the result is the emergence of a multifarious range of possible ‘looking standpoints’ that leave the spectators’ expectations for coherence and integration unfulfilled. The specific case of staging canonical plays, which presupposes not only the presence of a written text in performance but one that is also at the very core of accepted cultural practices and beliefs, problematises the issues of visualisation and looking, placing them at a conflicting crossroads. Seen as ‘the true art of memory,’ as defined by Harold Bloom, staged canonical plays would seem to retain their representational status and their evocative power despite postdramatic visualising strategies. The question thus arises as to whether the visual signs of such performances, intertwined with representational attributes, can nonetheless function as non-referential autonomous entities and objectify the spectators’ gaze. Thomas Ostermeier’s 2005 production of Ibsen’s Hedda Gabler and Lee Breuer’s 2003 production of Mabou Mines’ DollHouse serve here as my main examples in engaging with these issues.

Bilha Blum

Dismantling the conventional plot-character-space unity that characterizes drama in general and neglecting the role of narrative embedded in it has lately become the axis of postmodern performance practice. Defined by Hans-Thies Lehmann as ‘postdramatic theatre’ and by Elinor Fuchs as the kind of theatre in which character is dead or dying, it emphasizes the conspicuous prioritizing of the visual upon the textual typical of this era. Among its main qualities, realized by means of visual constructs which include the replacement of the dramatic character by a body in space, is the cancellation of the focused referential frame or logocentric logic often offered by drama, thus becoming presentational, i.e. presenting the elements of performance as themselves, rather than re-presentational of the real. Followed by a multiplication of frames, or rather by the annulment of frames altogether, the result of this cancellation is the emergence of a multifarious range of possible ‘looking standpoints’ that leave the spectators’ expectations for coherence and integrality unaccomplished. The specific case of staging canonical plays, which presupposes not only the presence of a written text in performance but one that is at the very core of accepted cultural practices and beliefs, problematizes the issues of visualization and looking, placing them at a conflicting crossroads. Seen as ‘the true art of memory,’ as defined by Harold Bloom, staged canonical plays would seem to retain their representational status and their evocative power despite postdramatic visualizing strategies. The question is then, whether the visual signs of such performances, intertwined with representational attributes, can nonetheless function as unreferential autonomous entities and objectify the spectators’ look. Thomas Ostermeier’s version of Ibsen’s Hedda Gabler (2005) and Mabou Mines’ DollHouse, directed by Lee Breuer (2003) will serve as my main examples in dealing with these issues.

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Eamonn Wall

“Digging into the west: Tim Robinson’s Deep Landscapes” is a detailed exploration of Tim Robinson’s Stones of Aran: Pilgrimage with the purpose of describing Robinson’s response to Aran Islands landscape and his efforts to map Inishmore, the largest of the islands. Robinson begins by drawing a traditional map though, when he finds such maps lacking in scope, he moves on to create a deep-map — one that includes the history, languages, folklore, and religious beliefs of the island and its people. His prose work is compared and contrasted to Synge’s The Aran Islands, the most famous modern work that examines the islands, and it is shown the degree to which Robinson has sought to revise Synge’s interpretation. This essay is underlined by the works of other writers and scholars who have written influential works on landscape — Declan Kiberd and William Least Heat-Moon, in particular.

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Romuald Tchibozo

contemporary perceptions of the technological and artistic situation of this part of Benin. People in this area are now overwhelmingly Muslim in belief; this fact, together with the distance from most of the Béninois centres for art historical research, which are in the south of the country (Tchibozo 1995

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Anne Haour and Barpougouni Mardjoua

–175cm BD and, as the continued fill of Pit 2, its nature was the same as that of Contexts 12 and 13. Ceramics, shell and bone were recovered. This layer was sieved at 5 mm. At the close of Context 14 it became apparent that, contrary to previous belief, the bottom of Pit 5 had not been reached. Context

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Olivier Gosselain, Lucie Smolderen, Victor Brunfaut, Jean-François Pinet and Alexandre Livingstone Smith

material, tools, actions, relations with other activities, organisation, beliefs and religious practices, technical vocabulary). Such enquiries were systematically completed by interviews aiming at documenting the biography of all technical actors involved. When direct observations were not possible

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Mounia Chekhab-Abudaya

them. The builders used local materials and (contrary to popular belief that associates the use of earth in architecture with poverty) its use results from a population’s adaptation to its environment. 51 There is a regional specificity in southeastern Algeria: the Mzāb, the Miya, and the Rīgh are