“Choreo-Dramaturgy of Love Machines” – Eylül Fidan Akıncı (The Graduate Center – City University of New York, USA)
This presentation draws from Eylül Fidan Akıncı’s doctoral research, which analyzes how nonhuman bodies mobilize to unsettle the category of liberal subjectivity in contemporary choreography. The session will center on South Korean artist Geumhyung Jeong (b. 1980) and her established practice of choreographing with anthropomorphic objects and automata. We will discuss two pieces Jeong created a decade apart: Oil Pressure Vibrator made in 2008 for black box, and Homemade RC Toy commissioned to premiere in 2019 for white cube. Through the continuities and shifts between these works, we will arrive at what Akıncı calls the “choreo-dramaturgy” of object agency and objectification. We will expand our inquiry to wider dramaturgical frames: What do these works reveal about the nonhuman agency and performativity across different contexts and modes of spectatorship? How do they redefine the affective imaginary and libidinal economy of human-machine interactions? How do they render the labor of making, moving, and caring political in performance and as social performance? Finally, how does Jeong return the “cyborg” to its oft-forgotten intersectional identity (female, Asian, postindustrial-informatics worker) that Donna Haraway anticipated in 1985?
Eylül Fidan Akıncı is a Ph.D. Candidate in Theatre and Performance program at The Graduate Center, City University of New York, and a former visiting scholar at Ghent University. Her doctoral research, “A Girl Is a Thing: Dramaturgies of Objects and Nature in Contemporary Choreography,” investigates the performativity of nonhuman through an ecocritical and posthumanist survey of six women artists from Europe, Japan, and Korea—Pina Bausch, Eiko Otake, Mette Ingvartsen, La Ribot, Gisèle Vienne, and Geumhyung Jeong. She published on public protests in Turkey, “Sacred Children, Accursed Mothers: Performativities of Necropolitics and Mourning in Neoliberal Turkey” in Performance in a Militarized Culture (Routledge, 2017). Her writing on performance has appeared in TDR: The Drama Review and Etcetera Magazine. Akıncı works independently as a dramaturg in theatre, choreography, and visual arts across the U.S., Europe, and Turkey.
This session will be moderated by Konstantina Georgelou.