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Queer exceptionsSolo performance in neoliberal times$
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Stephen Greer

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781526113696

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9781526113696.001.0001

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The optimist: alternatives in the here and now

The optimist: alternatives in the here and now

(p.189) 7 The optimist: alternatives in the here and now
Queer exceptions

Stephen Greer

Manchester University Press

Reading against futural accounts of utopia in the work of Jill Dolan and Jose Esteban Muñoz, this chapter examines the significance of solo works which emphasise the ‘here and now’ as a space of personal, social and political intervention. By juxtaposing shows which tackle the uncertain task of planning for a future with intimate, one-to-one performances, it suggests how vulnerability may be deployed to address the exposure to harm faced by marginalised and/or minority subjects while also inviting audiences to recognise alternatives to the status quo. Understood as a focused attentiveness to the present that is not straightforwardly affirmative – and which may paradoxically involve feelings of doubt and vulnerability – optimism in performance describes how opportunities for resistance and change already exist. Such opportunities, though, are also riven with risk – particularly for queer, trans and other non-conforming subjects. Featured practitioners: Deborah Pearson, Ivana Müller, Duncan Macmillan, FK Alexander, Rosana Cade, Nando Messias.

Keywords:   Optimism, Futurity, Utopianism, Vulnerability, One-to-one performance

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