On Openings

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This article responds to the edition 5:1 of Performance Research 'On Openings' edited by Ric Allsopp and David Williams in 2000. Reflecting on their proposition which constructs the opening 'as two-way flow, as dynamic reaching outwards, drawing inwards and back-wards, […] displac[ing] the directionalities of time, visuality and expectation', I explore the opening as a potential space of psychic movement and a portal through which we can imagine our future 'possible' selves. I propose that childhood imaginings of the future self that the subject might become, informed by popular culture and literary texts, are an example of the Lacanian 'Ideal-I'. Examples are drawn from Marion St John Webb's 1917 children's novel 'Knock Three Times', in which two children move through a magical opening in an oak tree to find a world where anything and any version of self is 'possible', Courtney Kessel's 2017 collaborative performance with her 13 year old daughter 'A Blessing, Wish or Spell for the Next Generation' that reflects on rites of passage rituals, and my own 2007 performance 'Ode to Morten Harket', a look back on my girlhood expectations of the kind of woman I would one day be.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)408-410
Number of pages3
JournalPerformance Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2018


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