Rehearsal Behaviour – Three Activations of Peter Weiss –

Lengerer, Joachim. 2022. Rehearsal Behaviour – Three Activations of Peter Weiss –. Doctoral thesis, Goldsmiths, University of London [Thesis]

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Abstract or Description

In Rehearsal Behaviour – Three Activations of Peter Weiss, I research the concept and practice of ‘rehearsal behaviour’ as introduced by Yvonne Rainer in the making of her movie Lives of Performers (1972), as a form of ‘study’ described by Stefano Harney and Fred Moten in The Undercommons: Fugitive Planning and Black Study (2013). I propose to understand ‘rehearsal behaviour’ not via classical notions of the theatre rehearsal but via Harney and Moten, as an intellectual and bodily improvisational practice which constantly ‘frames and de-frames’ its institutional and social settings and thus rehearses forms of sociability which engender emancipatory forms of shared knowledge formation at the margins or in the ‘undercommons’ of institutions.

I furthermore put to the test my theoretical findings in a set of activations by establishing ‘rehearsal behaviour’ as a modus operandi in the practice as well as the written element of this thesis within original archival research on the political debates that formed in East and West Germany around Peter Weiss’s play Trotsky in Exile (1970) and his antifascist novel The Aesthetics of Resistance (1982). Thus, I mobilise a set of interconnected activations which include historical research on the formation of Aesthetics of Resistance reading groups from the end of the 1970s until the peaceful revolution in 1989 as well as transcriptions from East and West German archives as a specific kind of prose on the different leftist disputes around Trotsky in Exile on both sides of the wall and, in turn, the rehearsing of these transcriptions and further scripting in cooperative live reading sessions with contemporary witnesses.

Finally, I propose to make the intersections and juxtaposition of the different activations as well as the transactions on the level of cooperation form part of the written submission and to include it in another form of the practice presentation at the viva voce.

Item Type:

Thesis (Doctoral)

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‘Rehearsal behaviour’ as 'study', reading groups in West and East Germany before 1989, Peter Weiss 'The Aesthetic of Resistance' and 'Trotsky in Exile'

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30 June 2022

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Date Deposited:

07 Jul 2022 13:41

Last Modified:

07 Sep 2022 17:20


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