Ascription and Alienating. The postmodern crisis of representation and embodied knowledge in Balinese dance
Present differing cultures of knowledge is the topic of this book Balinese dance drama is described as a form to represent cosmological knowledge, which is set in relation to the postmodern crisis of cognition. Relating these two Hornbacher thus critically contemplates origins, possibilities, and limits of anthropology. On the basis of detailed case analyses of the Balinese ritual drama the author describes what self-critical future ethnography might be like it is a philosophical reflexion involving anthropological phenomena.
##...a first result of this study maintains that the Western epistemological tradition, even before any post-colonial encounter with representatives of other cultures (Said 1995), had developed a self-critique of the objective mimetic relationship or ’representation´. In contrast, it is the assertion of this investigation (Part I) that the apparently hopeless post-modern alternative between objective concretization and subjective ’fiction´ or literary ’construction´ of ’the´ Other is based on the presupposition of a simplified concept of representation and knowledge and thus for its part becomes questionable...
in my experience, the concept of semiotic meaning and representation receives not only a complement from the kinaesthetic form of representation and meaning in balinese dance. moreover, in the process the displacement of its mimetic model of reproduction, as the concluding section of the study will show, unexpectedly proves to be the return to the original meaning of ’representation´ itself. the interpretation of the other does not lead here to projection of the self but rather to the encounter with a thereby repressed aspect of one´s own culture of knowledge. precisely this is the subversive opportunity of a dialectically understood form of field research.##
Keywords: drama (Bali), dance (Bali), postmodernism and epistemology, epistemology and postmodernism, ethnography and epistemology