Thinking with Performance: Research-Based Aesthetics in Times of Conflict and Crisis

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis (compilation)


Thinking with Performance: Research-Based Aesthetics in Times of Conflict and Crisis is an artistic research project in which I examine how to critically think with performance. My main thesis is that research-based performance uses research to respond to conflict and crisis and to create spaces for thinking where artist and audience can reflect on the represented material. As such the research-based performance responds to a gesture of conflict or crisis and becomes itself a new gesture performing a call for response over time.

The project has two dimensions: on the one hand, I develop two performances using different research strategies; on the other, I identify a research-based working mode visible in a number of artistic practices that use, create, and perform research in order to imagine and represent other realities. The project is based on this duality, where I work artistically with research, while at the same time I develop a conceptual framework of research-based aesthetics. The first performance, Precarious Life, is a performance lecture about terror and autoimmune diseases. The second performance, This Is For Her, is about torture and therapy. Both performances focus on conflicts in the body of society and in the individual body.


  • Sofie Lebech
External organisations
  • University of Copenhagen
Research areas and keywords

Artistic work

  • Performance


  • Researchbased performance, Torture, Terror, Autoimmunity, Therapy, Performance art (body art, live art, happenings), Aesthetics and ethics, Documentary, affect theory, Criticality, artistic research, Practicality
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Copenhagen, Faculty of Humanities
Supervisors/Assistant supervisor
  • Schultz, Laura Luise , Supervisor, External person
Award date2019 Jun 3
Place of PublicationCopenhagen
Publication statusPublished - 2019 May 20
Publication categoryResearch
Externally publishedYes

Total downloads

No data available