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In-Seguire la Regola: Giochi Linguistici e Arti Performative


Abstract In this paper, we will describe some characteristics of the relationship between spectator and artwork from the point of view of the mechanisms of comprehension of an artwork, with a specific focus on performing arts. We will develop our argument along the lines of a comparison between art and language, focusing on analogies and differences between the comprehension of an artwork and linguistic comprehension. We will build on Wittgenstein’s notion of rule and language game, and on models of linguistic interaction developed within the domain of cognitive science and psycholinguistics. Both paradigms rely on a systemic approach to linguistic interaction, with interaction being conceived as a regulated constellation of actions (LEVINSON 2013, HOHWY 2013). Within these models, comprehension is paraphrased as recognition of the pattern which regulates the interaction at stake, according to a collaborative and multimodal approach to meaning construction. We will show how, similarly to linguistic comprehension, in some artistic domains comprehension relies on the recognition of a specific set of rules or patterns, which enables the spectator to map the events in the artwork to familiar situations. However, differently from linguistic comprehension, meaning construction in art builds dynamically on the degrees of freedom intrinsic to the rule, thus generating a constant tension between expectations and surprise, conformity and alterity to known games. We will discuss some examples from performing arts (Erdem Gunduz, the standing man), theatre (Samuel Beckett) and cinema (Michelangelo Antonioni), showing how this interplay between recognition and dissonance, elicited by controlled violations of the rule, makes room for an experience of sense peculiar to artworks.