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Associate Professor Marett Leiboff
School of Law, University of Wollongong

The conditions and circumstances of our lives are deeply etched in our bodies – ‘it is not that the body remembers, but that the body itself is memory’, as Richard Cieślak said of Jerzy Grotowski’s theatre practice. Once embedded, the body holds within it the ability to notice or register the circumstances of law, in an instant before thinking takes place, or perhaps more to the point, is able to see something in law and its circumstances that will fail to be noticed or registered in those whose lifeworlds haven’t been etched deeply by those marks. Grotowski’s theatre practice sought to mark memory into the body, of his actors and through them into the bodies of his spectators as a means through which memory is transmitted – bodily.

This transmission, once registered, becomes deeply held, and is now built into the body where it will produce a profoundly different reading of words on page. It notices. The body is now marked, and as memory, will produce a response and responsiveness unable to be registered by the unmarked body. Law looks very different when read through the noticing body, but it also looks different again through the unmarked body, as you will find out when your body is brought into memory. How that will play out depends entirely on what you and your body bring to this session.

Dr Marett Leiboff, Associate Professor, School of Law, University of Wollongong Australia. Marett is a jurisprudent who has drawn on her background in theatre studies to develop a new jurisprudence that draws from the work of theatre practitioner and theorist Jerzy Grotowski, which she’s styled theatrical jurisprudence. Her book Towards a Theatrical Jurisprudence was published by Routledge in 2019.

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