“Not the exotic anymore, but the endotic”: Georges Perec and Performing the Ordinary

Sarah O'Brien

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    Abstract

    In 1973, French novelist and essayist Georges Perec declared that we should found our own ‘endotic anthropology’ in reaction to our ‘pillaging’ of the exotic through the mass media (2008 [1973]: 210). His critique was a reaction against the media’s privileging of the trauma of the ‘other’ (‘the front page splash, the banner headlines’) and the consequent value placed on trauma over that of everyday events. Perec saw the excessive documenting of the ordinary in daily life – the ‘infra-ordinary’ or the ‘endotic’ – as an antidote to this. Through an obsessive and meticulous accounting for everything and anything in one’s immediate surroundings, this ‘endotic anthropology’ would actively attempt to uncover the unimportant and the insignificant. This article begins to explore the possibilities of how the principles of 'endotic anthropology' can be translated into performance art practice.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)-
    JournalInternational Journal of Cultural Studies and Social Sciences
    Publication statusPublished - 31 Jul 2017

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