Abstract

Much has been written on representations of shipping containers in film and visual art. this study of shunt’s The Boy Who Climbed Out of His Face (2014) builds on such scholarship, but specifically responds to the emergence of container aesthetics in contemporary performance. As a recent example of artists retooling shipping containers into performance space, london-based shunt’s immersive theatre tour is just one instance of an overlooked infrastructural aesthetic that proliferates in contemporary art in which containers are used as the actual structure for housing art. With The Boy Who Climbed Out of His Face as its starting point, this essay develops a method for examining the infrastructural politics of container aesthetics today, one that attends to both the politics of representing containers in performance as well as the stakes of transforming containers into aesthetic material. What geopolitical and historical conditions must first conspire to allow artists to repurpose a linchpin of international trade like the shipping container into the physical infrastructure for performance? And what can shunt’s container aesthetics reveal about the enmeshment of contemporary performance in the urban and transnational infrastructures of global capital?

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Additional Information

ISSN
1086-332X
Print ISSN
0192-2882
Pages
pp. 57-77
Launched on MUSE
2016-04-14
Open Access
No
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