Too much of the Self

Claudia Kappenberg

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceeding with ISSN or ISBNChapterpeer-review


This essay investigate the notion of syncope as a ‘breaking of rhythm’ and as method in contemporary performance practice. Scenarios that facilitate ruptures, interruptions and syncopic experiences are proposed as small ‘catastrophes’ which evoke the mutable body and challenge the rational concepts of self. I am drawing on my own performance practice to theorise rupture as an excess that foregrounds embodiment. The paper takes Clément’s syncope as a starting point, and also draws on phenomenological understandings of the body, and Drew Leder’s work in particular, whose reading of the phenomenological body is consistent with Clément’s critique of the Cartesian divide between body and mind, in that it accounts for the stronghold that this division has within Western cultures. I am arguing that rapture or rupture may be a response to sensing too much of the self.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLa syncope dans la performance et les arts visuels = Syncope in performing and visual arts
EditorsF. Dalmasso, S. Jamet
Place of PublicationParis
PublisherEditions Le Manuscrit
Number of pages26
ISBN (Print)9782304046243
Publication statusPublished - 29 May 2017


  • Catherine Clément
  • Drew Leder
  • Syncope
  • Self
  • performance
  • performance philosophy


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