THE METAMODERNIST BODY: RECONSIDERING TIME, SPACE, & FREE WILL THROUGH 21ST CENTURY FASHION-DANCE PERFORMANCE.
submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree, Master of Arts in Fashion Studies.
Parsons Paris, The New School 2019.
Primary Supervisor: Dr. Paul Jobling
Secondary Reader: Dr. Marco Pecorari
This thesis explores metamodernism through the (renewed) intersection between fashion and dance in the 21st century to speculate on the larger question – what is the experience of the body in the metamodern space and time? It uses ‘fashion-dance performance’ as a springboard for its theoretical ambition of testing the current definition of metamodernism.
Metamodernism is a “structure of feeling” that responds to the limitations of postmodernism as a lens to understand art and society, and the state of present-day advanced global capitalism in its failure of the neoliberal doctrine. In this thesis I look closely at its characteristics of the experience of oscillation, a network logic, a new mode of addressing (the impossibility of) authenticity, and a turn to affects for experiences of ‘truth’. To do this, I study the intersection of two embodied practices, fashion and dance, treating phenomena and theory equally to foreground praxis. I demonstrate how this dialogue allows new understandings to emerge on both ends of phenomena and theory. Through the unique profile of 21st century fashion-dance performance, I identify a grammar around the metamodernist body.
How does the intersection between fashion and dance reveal spatio-temporal politics of the body through the 20th century? How does this foreground how we ‘read’ the metamodernist body in 21st century fashion-dance performance? What criteria emerge of metamodernist art and subjectivity? These are some foundational questions I explore in this thesis. Its interdisciplinary approach brings fashion studies into conversation with dance studies and philosophy, while keeping the body at its heart.
Key words: Metamodernism, neoliberalism, fashion-dance performance, politics of the body, Bergson, the affective turn, nomadic theory, psychopolitics
PRIMARY CASE STUDIES
Fashion Freak Show. Directed by Jean Paul Gaultier. Choreographed by Marion Motin. Folies Bergère, Paris, 2018.
Gravity Fatigue. Directed by Hussein Chalayan. Choreographed by Damien Jalet. Sadler's Wells Theatre, London, 2015.
“Immagine 79.” Directed by Ruth Hogben and Gareth Pugh. SHOWStudio. 2011.
“MOVEment: Gareth Pugh X Wayne McGregor.” Directed by Gareth Pugh and Ruth Hogben. Choreographed by Wayne McGregor. AnOther. March 20, 2015.