Making routes: Relational journeys in contemporary performance

David Overend

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Exploring an emerging trend in contemporary theatre and performance to utilize and respond to journeys and travel, this article focuses on Hitch by Kieran Hurley and The Boat Project by Lone Twin. As with many journey-based performances, these examples share a concern with meeting people and building meaningful relationships with different communities. As such, they are understood within the context of Nicolas Bourriaud's influential model of 'relational aesthetics', which was developed towards the end of the twentieth century. Responding to an increasingly globalized version of modernity, Bourriaud has since responded to shifts in the field of relational art, tracing its evolution as 'a site of navigation, a portal, a generator of activities' that connects to an expanded, global relational realm. This article argues that a wide range of contemporary performance practice uses the journey form as a conduit for a new type of social engagement with space and place that develops the concerns of the site-based relational artworks and performances of the 1990s.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)365-381
JournalStudies in Theatre and Performance
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2013


  • journeys
  • relational aesthetics
  • performance
  • Altermodern
  • mobilities paradigm
  • Kieran Hurley
  • Lone Twin


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