metacommunicative Performative Competence

> metakommunikatív performatív kompetencia

Metacommunicative Performative Competence (MPC) ['mɛtəkə'mjuːnɪkətɪv/ /pə'fɔːmətɪv/ /'kɒmpɪt(ə)ns/] meta (prefix); situated change, communicative (adjective); embodied exchange, performative (adjective); creative enactment, competence (noun); cultural sensitivity.

 ENG (English)-HUG (Hungarian)

Metacommunicative Performative Competence (MPC), like performance, is an elusive, ephemeral and contested term.  Epistemologically, MPC raises questions about how performance is currently theorized and practiced.  MPC approaches performance from a communication’s perspective that views performance as a meaning-making system that helps structure the socio-cultural environment in which it takes place.  It describes the role that performativity plays in the social construction of reality. It also acknowledges that performance is created in one cultural-historical context, but is interpreted in another. It is this metacommunicative dislocation that makes interpretation necessary.

MPC also articulates the ways in which performers and their audiences navigate their relationship.  It draws upon principles like that of communication theorist Paul Watzlawick’s (1967) famous dictum: you cannot not react (communicate) to each other.  Thus, central to the metatheorum of MPC is the collapse of the binary distinction between performer and audience to highlight their symbiotic relationship.  Framed within Hans-Georg Gadamer’s (1975) ‘historical consciousness’, MPC explains that performance as a tradition-forming construct cannot be understood apart from its dependency upon that relationship and its social context.  Therefore, it is critical to take into account the situational processes and culturally performative conditions essential to effecting embodied communicative exchange and meaning-sharing that establishes the performer-audience relationship.

The theorization and continual transformative understanding of this ephemeral relationship is essential to how performance will be conceived and practiced in the future.  MPC implies that both performer and audience go beyond meaning-sharing to re-define their roles as participant co-constructors and, in so doing, arouse one another’s senses to achieve the performative state of co-experience in the here and now.  In this respect, MPC may be used by performance theorists and performers to understand and establish the democratic relationship between all participants as co-subjects.


     Author and translator: Deborah Newton