Article/Publication Details

The Body as Expression. A Creative Gesture According to Merleau-Ponty and Its Revision Based on Experiencing the Improvisation

(Original title: Tělo jako výraz. Tvůrčí gesto podle Merleau-Pontyho a jeho revize na základě zkušenosti improvizace)
Filozofia, 2013, vol. 68, No 5, pp. 367-375.
Language: Czech
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The paper compares the notion of bodily expression as used in Merleau-Ponty’s Phenomenology of perception with the notion gained from the analysis of The Acting with the Inner Partner. The Acting with the Inner Partner is a kind of dramatic improvised performance, developed at the Department of Authorial Creativity and Education at the Theatre Faculty of the Performing Arts in Prague. Whereas Merleau-Ponty grasps the experience of non-certainty, so typical for the creative state of mind, by the schema empty intention/fulfillment, The Acting with the Inner Partner is based on the ability of a body’s expression to create its own meaning. Thus the body’s expressivity is liberated from the meaning given in advance, no matter if fulfilled (as it is in the case of imitation) or just empty or intended (as when realizing an idea). The improvisation thus offers a new means how to get to the “very birth” of our experience (Merleau-Ponty’s understanding of the proper goal of phenomenology), and to understand the intrinsic creativity of our own body.


Acting with the Inner Partner, Body, Corporeality, Creativity, Emptiness, Expression, Improvisation, Phenomenology

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