Emersive Microperformativity: On physiological meditation in Yann Marussich's 'immobile' performances

TitreEmersive Microperformativity: On physiological meditation in Yann Marussich's 'immobile' performances
Type de publicationArticle
Année de publication2020
Titre de la revuePerformance Research
Auteur(s)Bernard, A., Andrieu B., Cipoletta G., Marussich Y. et da Nobrega P.

A performance art that focuses on physiological processes rather than on physical movements can be aptly described through the lens of micro-performativity combined with the analytical grid of emersiology, which aims to explain how unconscious and uncontrolled activities of the living human body surface. This paper demonstrates both the epistemological and aesthetic potential of these concepts by scrutinizing how French, Geneva-based performer Yann Marussich’s ‘immobile’ performance art challenges the very concept of a mesoscopic ‘body’ as a whole, delimited by the borders of its skin. His work dramatizes hardly perceptible micro-movements and physiological flows and offers a projection space where the internal work of the ‘body’ emerges, while stretching the usual perceptive parameters and increasing awareness for spatial micro-phenomena and temporal macro-phenomena—for the performer and the audience alike. Such art that can be qualified as emersive is the result of what the living body of the artist produces by micro-performative physiological phenomena, such as pain, breathing, blood flow or body posture. Emersion is a movement during which forms appear to spectators on the body’s surface, which externalize the artist’s internal sensations. In order to be activated, and to emerge up to consciousness by producing an aesthetic form, these micro-performative phenomena occur first and foremost by the immersion of the artist's body in constraining displays or devices.