“Significance and Accomplishment: Migrating towards an Aged Female Embodiment”,

  • Bridie Moore (Speaker)

Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentation


IFTR conference in Belgrade in July 2018.

Following Kathleen Woodward (1991), to reject our mirror image as we age produces a disconnection between the visible manifestation and the subjective experience of identity, producing a crisis of embodiment and legibility. Woodward proposes that at the end of life there is an equivalent stage to Lacan’s mirror stage of infancy, in which in a reversal of the Lacanian infant – who understands and accepts the image in the mirror as a representation of his or her own body – the old person rejects their mirror image as not a true representation of their embodied self. This rejection brings on a psychic crisis: ‘[w]here then would we be located? Outside the mirror? Caught between the double and the absent?’ (Woodward, 1991: 67). How is it possible for the ageing female body to be inhabited and to be read?

Developed partly in conjunction with Terry O’Connor (Forced Entertainment) and meditating on the exquisite dilemma of ageing female embodiment, in which one’s own ageing is both perceived and rejected, this autoethnographical performance lecture will expose the reflexive dilemma and the phenomenological experience of a migration towards ageing femininity.

Performance, as Hamlet claims, is the mirror ‘held up, as ‘twere, to nature’. As such it is also able to bring into appearance acts that counter normative assumptions about the ‘natural’ ways of reading the embodiment of age; accordingly the piece proposes, discusses and demonstrates scenographical and physical strategies designed to encounter the phenomenon of ageing femininity as well as questioning the constitutive acts that perform age in its intersection with femininity. It finally proposes a radical embodiment of ‘significant shape’ and ‘accomplished form’ (Cristofovici, 1999) as a possible performative practice that might be undertaken by the ageing female body.
Period9 Jul 201813 Jul 2019
Event titleInternational Federation of Theatre Research 2018: Theatre and Migration: Theatre, Nation and Identity: Between Migration and Stasis
Event typeConference
OrganiserInternational Federation of Theatre Research
LocationBelgrade, SerbiaShow on map
Degree of RecognitionInternational