Stage shows or public texts create realities in the moment of ‘showing’ or of ‘making-sensible’ and allow bodies to enter the public eye. The irrelevant, the uncanny or even the essential moves towards the background – and literally disappears in the shadow. In his Praise of Shadows (1933), Tanizaki Jun’ichirō describes the act of casting a dark light as an equally important part of human life. Are there luminous shadows? The ‘white shadow’ is something different, Stefanie-Lahya Aukongo claims in her eponymous poem from her collection Buchstabengefühle. Eine poetische Einmischung (2018). This ‘white shadow’ is the norm, which ‘gives advice’, ‘dresses’ or ‘educates’ – in order to withstand the heteronormative gaze. ‘And if I turned towards it?’, the final verse asks.
The lecture White Shadows sees the beam of light as a body and a place at the same time, both mobile and transformable. Examples from variety, haute couture, performance and contemporary dance shows as well as current debates on illusion, latency, body, gender and class will nuance with shadows a discussion about the dialectics of presence and absence of bodies in highly stylised artistic presentations.
is a dance historian and trained dancer. She regularly collaborates with artists and academics from the field of dance and dramaturgy. Her research focuses on the nexus of theory and practice in the context of a critical anti-colonial analysis of dance and culture’s historicity and underlying Eurocentric structures. Her book Schweres Schweben (2019) considers concepts and qualities of gravity in European art and science, with special emphasis on the oeuvre of German choreographer Pina Bausch. Since 2019, Diagne has facilitated trans-disciplinary exchange between artists and academics in Germany, Austria and Switzerland as part of her job as president of the Gesellschaft für Tanzforschung (gtf).