Episode 1: Exploring Agonism with Mischief
Mare Street, Hackney
The aim of this PhD research was to examine what happens when mischievous street theatre performers are deliberately agonistic in the public realm in the United Kingdom. The PhD practice-based research is contextualised by Chantal Mouffe’s political theory of agonism, and the instances in which she applies agonism to art practice (2001-2013). The research is led by the question How can mischievous and participatory performance facilitate politicised dissent? In this research, art practice is a method of research, and central to the methodology of argumentation using both theory and practice. The art practice takes the form of guerrilla street theatre.
The guerrilla street performances were planned and developed in Spring-Summer 2015, the performances took place over one day in Hackney and London Fields, East London in August 2015. The film clips are titled as Episodes in order to emphasis the iterative nature of the street performances. Only Episodes with ethical approval from participants are included in the Collection.
The art practice adapts L. Frank Baum’s 1900 novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz because of the opportunities Oz presents to initiate and facilitate public discussions about power and conflict through the structure of a journey. For more information about the practice, see the Collection page.