sitting apart (the)


> auseinandersetzung


[English/German]

The German word auseindersetzung can be translated to mean two different notions that can be divided into two categories.

Notion A (possibly referring to a positive definition of the word):

1) analyses 

2) assessment

3) coming to terms with

4) concerning oneself with something specific

5) dealing with

6) debate 

7) discussion 

8) evaluation

9) examination 

10) exchange

11) extensive exploration

12) grappling with

13) intense involvement

14) serious engagement

15) setting apart things, for example opinions (of other people)

16) setting apart one’s own feelings or thoughts; to have an internal dialogue

17) sitting apart, sitting something apart

18) studying something in depth

19) taking apart

20) thorough research

21) unpicking an issue

Notion B (possibly referring to a negative definition of the word):

1) argument

2) dispute

3) disagreement

4) clash

5) conflict

6) confrontation

7) contention

8) contest

9) face-off (between two opposing parties)

10) hassle

11) quarrel

12) row

Normally, the word is translated into either notion A or notion B. I suggest that in the context of performance, the word is always ambiguous and cannot easily be translated into one or the other. 

Furthermore, I suggest that performance by its very definition always means both notion A and B. Performance is always a setting apart (of one or more issues), as well as a conflict between one or more people (choreographer, performer, dancer, director, dramaturge, spectator, etc.). 

In performative terms the word can literally be understood as a sitting apart of performer and spectator.

Author and translator: Antje Hildebrandt (with advice from Regina Fichtner)