The Poetic Self

When Sisters Hope went to Goldmsiths to set up an interactive and affective learning-space to explore and investigate new forms of research and (re)presentation within the world of academia at the PhD Symposium Collective Futures, we dove into the exploration of what we came to term – The Exposed Self and The Poetic Self …

The Exposed Self

By the exposed self, we understand the self of everyday life, or more precisely and madly generalized; the self of the Western World. The reason for this? –  A reasonable direction to look could be in the direction of the psychoanalytical tradition revolutionizing the way we understand ‘the self’ or ‘the ego’ in the West. It is something suppressed by a superego, thus it is not harmonized with our true and instinctual desires. These are on the other hand hidden away somewhere in our the subconsciousm and one of our foremost aims as human beings is to travel down to the subconscious and allow the dark desires and intense emotions living and breeding down here to have a life in the bright daylight of our ego or self. Thus, we value the exposure or even explosion of emotions into everyday life. Not at least within the art world, and maybe even more specifically within Theatre and Performance Studies has this been the case. Thus, the grand old man of the art of acting in modern times, Stanislavskij, is planting his ideas simultaneously with Freud. Furthermore, the Method Acting Tradition inspired by both Stanislavskij and with a strong Freudian approach encourages the actor/actress to deeply sense and feel their innermost emotions and inhibitions, many of them based on childhood experiences, and not at least traumas, and then expose them on the stage. The aim: To make the audience expose similar feelings – To collectively get in touch with that what is inside, hidden away in the subconsciousness.

However, we question whether ‘the exposed self’ is actually a preferred place to be for the self. Rather we suggest and invite the participants of Sisters Hope to investigate and unfold their poetic self…

The Poetic Self

The term is based on our experiences with participants acting, behaving and living within the fictional framework that we provide through the enlivened narrative of Sisters Hope. Within this parallel universe we offer our participants to perform a new persona – A fresh character to build and explore – Fresh and full of new possibilities and potential.

Through the character the participants are offered a possibility to create a new self. It is a self that doesn’t have to expose itself, but can rise above. Rise to a position from which one can view the actions and emotions of the self from a higher position, and thus, from this position judge whether one or the other action or emotion is the better path to take. It is a self invited to act within a form, which is provided by the fictional universe. This is not to be confused with a disciplined self. It is a self, which is occupied with the creation of beauty and poetry and the activation of the aesthetic dimension.

We search through fiction…

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