What role can provocation play in the process of renewal, both of individuals and of societies? Provocation in Popular Culture is an investigation into the practice of specific provocateurs and the wider nature of cultural provocation, examining, among others:
- Sacha Baron Cohen
- Leo Bassi
- Pussy Riot
- Philippe Petit
Drawing on Bim Mason’s own twenty-five year career as performer, teacher and creative director, this book explores the power negotiations involved in the relationship between provocateur and provoked, and the implications of maintaining a position on the ‘edge’.
Using neuroscience as a bridge, it proposes a similarity between complexity theory and cultural theories of play and risk. Three inter-related analogies for the ‘edge’ on which these performers operate – the fulcrum, the blade and the border – reveal the shifts between structure and fluidity, and the ways in which these can combine in a single moment.