Rethinking the graphic trace in performative drawing

Luzar, R (2017) 'Rethinking the graphic trace in performative drawing.' Theatre and Performance Design, 3 (1-2). pp. 50-67. ISSN 2332-2578

9795.pdf - Accepted Version
Repository Terms Apply.

Download (673kB) | Preview
Official URL:


This article critically investigates the ‘graphic trace’, commonly perceived in drawings as marks left from physical actions. It is a notion fundamental to current art practices engaging performance and experimental drawing. The graphic trace is investigated through ‘inscription’, which is popularly interpreted as the visual expression of thought through marks or imprints of physical movements, from free-hand sketching to tracing choreographic movements. A critique of this inscriptive ideology shows that the inscribed trace as ‘line’ expresses thought under vitalist schemas exemplified by Bergson’s notion of multiplicity, that life is prompted by a creative event, and Deleuze’s articulation of such an event as ‘lines of thought’. The critique proposed in this article is that a more radically discursive and exceptional event, or ‘multiplicity’, does not really take place. An overview is made of performative, choreographic and process-led practices since the 1970s, while unpacking philosophical concepts of gesture, movement and embodiment. The conclusion lays out the paradox that the graphic trace stultifies thinking, offsetting a more materialist kind of event that affirms discourse in exceptionally different ways.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: drawing, performance, trace, thought-event, line
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BH Aesthetics
N Fine Arts > N Visual arts (General) For photography, see TR
N Fine Arts > NC Drawing Design Illustration
Divisions: Bath School of Art, Film and Media
UoA: Art & Design
Identification Number:
Date Deposited: 24 Jul 2017 08:59
Last Modified: 15 Aug 2021 09:47
URI / Page ID:
Request a change to this item or report an issue Request a change to this item or report an issue
Update item (repository staff only) Update item (repository staff only)