ATT VARA VERKLIGHETENS TOLK - Estetik, politik och gestaltningen i dokumentär scenkonst
Sammanfattning: The 2013 Culture Programme for Gothenburg City together with Sweden’s national cultural policy objectives shows grand expectations on art and culture to contribute to growth, social progress, and democracy. Simultaneously, arts intrinsic value is highlighted in these objectives, a value also discussed to a great extent in contemporary debate on culture. One area where these dilemmas appear extra clearly is in the performing arts. Recent decades have seen an increase in documentary forms of expression, in media, TV and podcast as well as in arts, an increase that has been obvious also in Swedish performing arts where several of the most praised works in the 2000’s are more or less based on documentary material. This study, based in critical culture studies, investigates the part Swedish documentary performing arts wishes to play, and how this ambition is discussed in the media. Through qualitative interviews with creators of performing arts and studies of media texts dealing with documentary theatre some dominant incentives are manifested, where aspects as the appeal of the exploring modus operandi, the engaging identification with the authentic shape, and the implicit political function of the documentary are addressed. The result shows several contradictions and dilemmas concerning the value of art, among these a prevailing idea of art losing its purpose if given a predetermined agenda whilst creators of performing arts still explicitly wishes to contribute to a diverse public conversation. Furthermore, the result shows that Swedish documentary performing arts can be related to the agonistic model of democracy in its attempt to form a place for different political opinions to meet in public conversation, but also limitations to this attempt in the form of the confusion of radical form and radical content, and a limited reach in trying to reach wider audiences. In addition, the study points towards viable solutions to these dilemmas, solutions that suggests a critical and democratic art that heighten a conflictual consensus.
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