Cerca e premi Invio

CFP – Mantichora n 14 – «The Performance of Objects»

CFP – Mantichora n. 14 –

«The Performance of Objects»

Ed. by Paolo Pizzimento

«I would say that the moment an object appears in a narrative, it is charged with a special force and becomes like the pole of a magnetic field, a knot in the network of invisible relationships. The symbolism of an object may be more or less explicit, but it is always there. We might even say that in a narrative any object is always magic». Thus Calvino writes in his Six Memos for the Next Millennium (1988), sensing – in a still dawning era for the studies on performativity – the essentially performative and agentive nature of the objects that appear within narratives.

Human culture has had a centuries-old relationship with the objects it itself has produced. If in Antiquity and the Middle Ages some objects were surrounded by a quality that made them not only unique, but also capable of arousing amazement in their observers and conveying a meaning, in Modernity they have gradually freed themselves from the constraints imposed by tradition, and lost, with their “aura”, also their value as symbols (personal, family and social). Finally, in the postmodern climate, objects, now virtually infinitely reproducible, are transformed into “a performative material”, into an “information network”, they become “signs” in the Baudrillardian sense.

Schechner’s approach favors a performative vision of objects: if it is true that, as the American scholar states, «performance isn’t “in” anything, but “between”» (Performance Studies. An Introduction, 2013), objects can be studied as much as vectors and, according to an “as performance” approach, as agents of the performance itself. On the other hand, Cognitive Sciences, interested in the investigation of the entanglement between men and the things that surround them, tend to consider objects not as simple products of human material culture but as entities endowed with their own agency that interacts and interferes with the human one: they therefore become part of a dynamic organic system and can even be understood as prostheses of mental processes extended beyond the brain and the body.

This issue of «Mantichora», therefore, intends to explore the ways in which the performing arts and media arts have welcomed “things” into their codified imaginative activity to evaluate with which processes of “cutting out” from the world objects become a form of content of a text and a literary or artistic theme.

Specifically, we encourage proposals relating to:

–       The relationship between the objects of the world and the objects of narration in the performing arts and media arts, from Antiquity to the Contemporary;

–       Case studies relating to specific narrative objects;

–       The performance “conveyed” by the objects in the ritual;

–       The cinematic representation of objects, goods and consumer practices.

This issue is edited by Paolo Pizzimento (paolo.pizzimento@unime.it).

Article proposals, including an abstract (no longer than 1000 characters) must be sent by 31 July 2024. Articles accepted by the editorial team must be sent, ready for publication, by 30 September 2024, following the editorial rules and the instructions available on the Submissions page of the «Mantichora» website.

Proposals in Italian, English and French are accepted. Submissions in a language other than Italian (English or French) are appreciated and encouraged, especially for articles relating to foreign authors.

Essential Bibliography:

Appadurai A., The Social Life of Things: Commodities in Cultural Perspective, Cambridge 1986.

Baudrillard J., Le Système des objets: la consommation des signes, Paris 1968.

Bodei R., La vita delle cose, Rome-Bari 2009.

Boivin N., Material cultures, material minds. The impact of things on human thought, society, and culture, Oxford 2008.

Costa A., La mela di Cézanne e l’accendino di Hitchcock. Il senso delle cose nei film, Turin 2014.

Douglas M., Isherwood B., The World of Goods: Towards an Anthropology of Consumption, London 1979.

Gell A., Art and Agency: An Anthropological Theory, Oxford 1998.

Giancotti M., Marfè L., Violi P. (eds.), La memoria degli oggetti, Milan 2023.

Gosden C., What do Objects Want?, in «Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory», 12, 3, 2005: 193-211.

Knappett C., Malafouris L. (eds.), Material Agency: towards a non-anthropocentric approach, New York 2008.

Latour B., Petite réflexion sur le culte moderne des dieux faitiches, Paris 1996.

Malafouris L., Renfrew C. (eds.), The cognitive life of things: recasting the boundaries of the mind, Cambridge 2010.

Orlando F., Gli oggetti desueti nelle immagini della letteratura, Turin 1993.

Osborn R. (ed.), A Cultural History of Objects in Antiquity, Bloomsbury 2021.

Pels D., Hetherington K., Vandenberghe F., The status of the object: Performances, mediations, and techniques, in «Theory, Culture & Society», 19, 5/6, 2002: 1-21.

Perricone R. (ed.), Etnografie ad Arte. Agency, mimesis, creatività e pratica degli artworks, Palermo 2021.

Schechner R., Performance Studies. An Introduction, New York-London, 2013.