Review of Performing Bodies in Pain: Medieval and Post-modern Martyrs, Mystics, and Artists
Theatre Research International
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Performing Bodies in Pain does what many of us were taught never to do: it places contemporary examples of theatre and performance art alongside analogous works from a totally alien historical period and seeks fruitful, politically charged comparisons. Carlson’s project is to uncover the cultural work accomplished by the spectacle of suffering then (the medieval period in France) and now (contemporary America, centred on New York City in the period immediately before and after 9/11), and to ask ‘not only why but also why now and why then’ (p. 2).