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Misadventure, June 2009, Zagreb CROATIA

For nine months in 2008 and 2009, Laurie Beth Clark and Michael Peterson traveld around the world on a research leave, visiting fifteen countries across Europe, Africa, Asia, and South and North America. Misadventure was an event that combines a welcome-back party (thrown by the returnees themselves), a travelogue, and an experimental performance about violence, memory and performance.

The performance was by turns theoretical, critical, self-critical, 'academic' and playful. It incorporated Clark's academic research on tourism to sites that memorialize historical traumas and Peterson's on the relation between torture and performance. Spectators were invited to relax, chat, eat, drink and considered the potentials offered by travel, tourism and academic and artistic inquiry both for privileged movement through the globalized world and for a critique of that privilege.

Misadventure was in two parts. In Packed multiple threads of content, experience and activity were rapidly interspersed. In Unpacked the performance became a soiree, with a roster of special guests joining for a more casual consideration of the issues rainsed earlier.

The atmosphere of Misadventure was inspired by the all-night performances we attended in Indonesia. Audience members were encouraged to come and go at will. Food and drink (beer, wine, tea, water) were served. Flash photography was strongly encouraged.


20:00 - attempt to learn 50 words in Croatian

20:10 - yield the stage to Josh Abrams and Jennifer Parker Starbuck

20:15 - yield the stage to Jill Dolan and Stacy Wolf

20:20 - complain about tourist guidebooks

20:25 - survey trauma memorials and pay homage to Polish theatre

20:30 - look at wildlife and pay homage to South African theatre

20:35 - analyze boundaries and pretend to be a mountain gorilla

20:40 - question the neoliberal performance of 'torture' and 'rights'

20:45 - muse about photography

20:50 - look at scenery and pay homage to Nepali theatre

20:55 - critique the political economy of trauma tourism

21:00 - think about ruins and pay homage to Argentine theatre

21:05 - yield the stage to Paul Rae

21:10 - as people around the world about torture and performance

21:15 - whine about tourism

21:20 - yield the screen Chele Isaac, start to unpack and hear an Argentine song from the gorilla I


21:30 - serve drinks and dinner and answer questions along with Nick Ridout, Richard Gough, Marilyn Arsem, and others

22:00 - begin to discuss 'misadventures' with guests and continue to eat and drink

23:00 - Omakase Shimas: yield to audience

00:00 - learn Niko's song

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