Queering the Epistemologies

Hybrid Matters and Disidentification in the Performing Arts

Keywords: queerfeminist epistemologies, dramaturgies, promiscuous bodies, disidentification, performance


How is the performance intertwined with the transformations and crises of the present? How do the live arts make-world? And vice versa, can the forms of life and subjectivities emerging from ongoing conflicts provide us new glimpses into performative practices? From a queer feminist perspective, the paper maps some incandescences and zones of commonality between aesthetic forms and life forms – both understood as modes of creation, of invention. Contemporary live arts destabilize systems of perception that are considered stable, questioning the status of corporeality, the boundaries between human/more-than-human, the ways of composing the world, the logics of the sensible, opening up to new epistemologies and perverse archives. Hybrid, promiscuous bodies. Phantasmatic bodies, spectral frequencies, hauntings. Impossible, illegible, unthinkable bodies. Mixed, impure lives, meteorological dramaturgies. Mixtures with the animal, the machine, the inanimate matter. In these processes of research and interstices in-between, the performance does not represent but creates new corporealities, sequences of movements, scores, other possible anatomies.


Download data is not yet available.

Author Biography

Ilenia Caleo, Iuav University of Venice

Ilenia Caleo is a performer, activist and researcher. Since 2000 she has been working as an actress, performer and dramaturg for the contemporary theatre, collaborating with various companies and directors. She is the dramaturg of Tutto brucia (2021) and Frankenstein (a love story) (2023) by Motus. Together with the artist Silvia Calderoni, they create their own research projects: KISS (2019), a performance with 23 performers; SO IT IS for Queering Platform – Freespace West Kowloon (Hong Kong). They were part of Flu水o (2021), a cross-disciplinary project (Italian Council 2020) performed in Milan, Seoul, and Shanghai; Pick Pocket Paradise (2022), an installation for Castello di Rivoli – Museo di Arte Contemporanea (Turin). In January 2023, their latest performance The present is not enough premiered in Hamburg. Master Degree in Contemporary Philosophy, her research focuses on bodies, feminist epistemologies, experimentation in performing arts and new cultural institutions. She teaches Performance, Gender Studies, and Sexuality at IUAV in Venice, where she is a research fellow. Co-founder of Master Gender Studies and Politics at Roma Tre University, she collaborates with the research project “INCOMMON. In praise of community. Shared creativity in arts and politics in Italy (1959-1979)”, ERC Starting Grant 2015, directed by Annalisa Sacchi. She has recently published Performance, materia, affetti. Una cartografia femminista, Bulzoni 2021 and co-edited with Annalisa Sacchi and Piersandra Di Matteo In fiamme. La performance nello spazio delle lotte 1967/1979, b-r-u-n-o 2021. She is an activist in queer and commons movements, involved in several networks of artistic and precarious struggles.

How to Cite
Caleo, I. (2023). Queering the Epistemologies: Hybrid Matters and Disidentification in the Performing Arts. Mimesis Journal, 12(2), 127-142. https://doi.org/10.4000/mimesis.2815