Baltrušaitytė, Renida: The Contemporary Circus Field: A Heterotopic Body of the Artist

The research in the field of art is mostly done by representatives of the art field. This case appears in Lithuania when mostly only gatekeepers (art researchers, culturalogists and art critics), who possibly have a biased relationship with their field, are explaining phenomena in art. This means that research is done only inside the field. Due to this, there appears several problems like a problematic reflection on themselves, the bias of knowledge coming into daylight and the creation of universal truths. So, this means it is a field where sociological imagination should be used.

By this presentation, I would like to reflect the body as a space in the contemporary circus field. According to Plessner (1970), we can use our bodies, or parts of them, as tools and also the whole human body to become a tool for living, performing, acting, creating life and creating causes to appear in ideologies for rituals and material spaces, geographic topographies (Hallensleben 2008). Opportunity to have the body and be the body can be examined through the relationship of the body composed of smaller space and body as space. The body creates culture by controlling itself and, through this self-creation and transformation, creates cultural spaces of the body.

In terms of space (or body as space), there could be mentioned that it is not finished, so it can be said that body‘s space is a product of the current time, always open to future changes. Body users can simply use or absorb this space to change, redesign, or make sense in other ways than expected during its creation (Massey 2009). By linking this theory with heterotopic spaces defined by M. Foucault (1984[1967]), it can be said that the contemporary circus artist’s body exceptionally becomes difficult to separate from artwork, where it is used, and its actual presence and functioning in society. As a whole accommodating heterotopic space, the artist’s body is not fully closed or fully open,it is seemingly created only for a certain moment and existing only for a certain time, for certain people, who may cover several historical periods of time. Following this idea,I will present a theoretical part of my research. The aim is to analyze and describe the manifestations of heterotopic human bodies appearing in the field of contemporary art.