• Between excess and subtraction: Scenographic violence in Howard Barker’s Found in the Ground

      Kipp, Lara Maleen; University of Derby (Centre de recherche VALE, 23/06/2017)
      The article examines the violence produced by the scenography of Howard Barker's Found in the Ground, which emerges out of the play’s formal experimentation. Thematically, the play is rife with violence, such as former Nuremberg judge Toonelhuis’ consumption of the remains of high-ranking Nazis he sentenced to death, the continuous burning of books and the retelling of various murders by the war criminal Knox. Found in the Ground re-visions the collective European memory of the Holocaust; this thematic violence is expanded and subverted by scenographic means, radically reimagining the historical context. The particularity of the spatio-temporal, audio-visual rendering of violence in Barker’s text is the focus of this article. The article relates the play to Artaud’s conception of cruelty and to Lyotard’s thinking on the sublime. It contextualises the play through Barker’s theoretical writings, Lingis’ notion of catastrophic time (2000) and Aronson’s proposition of the stage as an abyss (2005).
    • Brides and widows: Iconic dress and identity in Howard Barker’s costumes

      Kipp, Lara Maleen; University of Derby (Intellect, 01/06/2017)
      One of the strongest recurring motifs in the work of contemporary British playwright Howard Barker is women’s marital status: brides and widows abound in his work. Their status as such is often crucially configured, but also subverted through their costumes (in a Western cultural context). This paper considers the central role that brides and widows play in a variety of Barker’s dramatic texts and identifies some core working principles with regard to his use of costume. It explores the notion of the iconic garment (cf. Hannah 2014) and its influence on these characters’ identities. Drawing on aesthetic discourse, in particular that of the sublime, I analyse how Barker proposes a reconsideration of stable subject identity through these recognisable, yet ambiguous and unstable female figures.