Experiencing Michael Mayhew's Away in a manger
spectatorial immersion in durational performance
Half of this chapter comprises an account, written as a spectator in real time, of Michael Mayhew's durational performance, Away in a Manger, in January 2012. The purpose of this writing as a practice was to induce what Georges Bataille calls "inner experience", whereas the purpose of writing the complementary text was to chart the territory in which such immersiveness was able to occur. In a gallery set to a soundtrack of birdsong over a seven-and-a-half-hour period, Mayhew transforms the white space with oil, straw, his own blood and phrases written on the walls while blind-folded. While drawing attention to globalized ecologies of addiction and complacency, these materials also frame the terms of his engagement with audience members.
Mock, R. (2016)., Experiencing Michael Mayhew's Away in a manger: spectatorial immersion in durational performance, in J. Frieze (ed.), Reframing immersive theatre, Dordrecht, Springer, pp. 77-91.
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