Eliza Steinbock
Taking it Lying Down: On the Labour of Gender Non-Compliance in Doran George’s Live Art
– Queer Dramaturgies: International Perspectives on Where Performance Leads Queer
Book chapter 2015


On 9 June 2001, Doran George spent a workday in a large emptied store within a shopping centre located at the heart of London’s Elephant and Castle district in the UK. This area south of London city proper usually has the connotation of being a not desirable area; it has been largely a rundown working class and immigrant neighbourhood though also the historic site of theatres. On a global scale, this moment is shortly pre-9/11, less than a decade before the world recession, and, more locally, fifty years post-renewal following the district’s destruction during the Second World War. In the intervening years the locale had changed its notoriety from a consumerist space of prostitution to a massive shopping centre, the first of its kind in the United Kingdom. The commercial space George took over for the day was thusly converted into a performance space, shifting the register from buying and selling to enacting. My approach to this performance is to ask in what ways does its various components make concrete, or localise, the time and place of its actions, affects, and political gestures within the ever-expanding space of neo-liberal economic orders? Against the backdrop of globalizing tendencies that leverage the masses into the precariat, what can this performance teach us about shifting registers and political allegiances?'