Skip to main content

Distributed for Intellect Ltd

On Repetition

Writing, Performance and Art

On Repetition aims to unpack the different uses and functions of repetition within contemporary performance, dance practices, craft, and writing. The collection, edited by Eirini Kartsaki, explores repetition in relation to intimacy, laughter, technology, familiarity, and fear—proposing a new vocabulary for understanding what is at stake in works that repeat. Drawing on psychoanalysis, philosophy, linguistics, sociology, and performance studies—and employing case studies from a range of practices—the essays presented here combine to form a unique interdisciplinary exploration of the functions of repetition in contemporary culture.

225 pages | 11 color plates, 2 halftones | 7 x 9 | © 2016

Art: Art--General Studies

Literature and Literary Criticism: General Criticism and Critical Theory

Intellect Ltd image

View all books from Intellect Ltd


"On Repetition: Writing, Performance & Art offers a rich exploration of repetition as a complex and vital device across a range of creative contexts, including theatre, dance, performance art, stand-up comedy, music, film, and poetry....A major strength of this particular collection lies in its multidisciplinarity and its theoretical breadth.... a useful and engaging guidebook to an often under-analyzed and under-considered phenomenon, breathing new life into areas that perhaps have appeared well trodden and overlooked through its careful navigation of the creative possibilities of repetition."

Performance Matters

"Kartsaki elegantly assembles a group of essays that deepen our engagement with the most fundamental aspects of performance and open up new methodologies: a rigorous and thoughtful book that one can read for the sheer pleasure of the ideas. It’s an experience of scholarship that does not repeat often enough."

Theatre Research International

“This is a book full of fascinations. And also of passions, pleasures, novelties, dissatisfactions, and griefs. It is a book about the efforts we make to enact and to understand, to educate and politicize, about how to value that which is perpetually arriving, doing, and undoing itself; and also how to say goodbye. While making its case for the centrality of repetition, as constitutive of a range of art practices—through performance, stand-up comedy, poetry, film, craft work, and much more—On Repetition is no less concerned with those practices of investigation and attention, of critical recall and affective resistance, through which the lessons of art may be turned productively through the fabric of our lives. As such, it is also a book about humanities: making its own multi-voiced but assured case for the humanities, while investigating the ways that ‘our’ humanity is ever getting away from us, into multiplicity and strangeness and the unforeseen of what comes next.”

Joe Kelleher, University of Roehampton, UK

“‘Repetition creates bliss,’ Barthes once argued. In an era in which we hear repetition and think strain, when the repeated gesture is a sign for alienated labor, boredom or the abandonment of thought, this collection of essays shows how repetition can be a figure of creativity—not only in the art forms of visual art, dance, performance, and poetry, which are its subjects, but also in the lived experiences of work, desire, play, and political solidarity. Deeply insightful and more than a little compulsive, these explorations of repetition reveal a tactic and a drive at the heart of art’s relationship to contemporary spaces and bodies.”

Andrea Brady, Queen Mary University of London

Table of Contents

Persisting Forever: Introducing Repetition 
Eirini Kartsaki
Chapter 1 - Of Secret Signals, Absent Masters and the Trembling of the Contours: 15Walter Benjamin, Yvonne Rainer and the Repeatability of Gesture
Swen Steinhäuser
Chapter 2 - All the Home’s a Stage: Uncanny Encounters Between Auditorium and Oikos 
Alan Read
Chapter 3 - Repetition as Technology of the Numinous in Performance: The Artist Is Present by Marina Abramovic´
Silvia Battista
Chapter 4 - When Is a Joke not a Joke? Reading (and Re-reading) Stewart Lee’s ‘The Rap Singers’ 
Emma Bennett
Chapter 5 - The Crying Channel 
Claire Hind and Gary Winters
Chapter 6 -The Cyclical Pleasures and Deaths of Symbolization: How to Become 117 a Cupcake/The Famous’ Adaptation of Frankenstein 
Lauren Barri Holstein
Chapter 7 - A Pointless Pastime? Early Nineteenth-Century Pin-Prick Imagery
Alice Barnaby
Chapter 8 - Repeated Acts of Intimacy and Harm in Andrea Brady’s Mutability: Scripts for Infancy 
Gareth Farmer
Chapter 9 -‘I Was Not HEARD’: Trauma and Articulation in the Poetry of Geraldine Monk 
Linda Kemp
Chapter 10 - Déjà-vu, Doubles and Dread: The Uncanny and Christopher Smith’s Triangle 
Ruth McPhee
Chapter 11 - Farewell to Farewell: Impossible Endings and Unfinished Finitudes 
Eirini Kartsaki
Afterword: Repetition or Recognition? 
Clare Foster

Be the first to know

Get the latest updates on new releases, special offers, and media highlights when you subscribe to our email lists!

Sign up here for updates about the Press