Cordula Daus

‚Kay‘, lecture performance, 2020

Kay, or a Case for Intensity

PhD in Art, 2017-2022

My PhD research explores the reciprocity of body and language by focusing on the concept of intensity. It attempts to respond to questions such as: Where does intensity take place in the body, in language? How can I write or speak about intensity? How do emotion and language influence each other? And how do the methods of assessing, measuring and grasping intensity themselves relate to enjoyment? What kind of cultural codes are implied in feeling words such as ‘fucking’, ‘loving’ or ‘grieving’?

Clearly, intensity, pleasure or pain are highly subjective experiences, and thus non-empirical. My PhD project takes a ficto-critical approach: I propose a literary character, Kay, „a middle aged, white woman from the European middle classes“, to speak from and about her as a protagonist and ficto-subject. Situated at the intersection of artistic research, literature, and a general study of feelings, Kay or a Case for Intensity critically investigates feelings and their symbolic forms and offers different degrees of proximity for observing heterosexual relations. Furthermore, the project tests artistic research practices such as theory-as-material, experimental online-dating, semi-fictionality and questioning. For further information on my final thesis presentation click here.