The City As Performative Object

The City As Performative Object 2017, 20 min

The world in which this Essay in Footsteps takes place is Google Earth: an alienating landscape of almost seamlessly stitched-together satellite images. The stage of the walk, a utopian appartment building in the Amsterdam’s Bijlmer neighbourhood, seems warped and flattened and competes for attention with the black weirdness of its own shadows. During a repetitive walk around the building Polak uses Judith Butler’s ideas on the performativity of gender and applies them to the city space, exploring different possibilities of what she calls ‘move-categories’ and ‘move-drag’.



• The Essay in Footsteps was premiered on April 4 2017 at LIMA Amsterdam as part of the Conference “Critical Theory in the Humanities: Resonances of the Work of Judith Butler”

• The Essay in Footsteps is published in Open! Platform for Art, Culture & the Public Domain


• The Essay in Footsteps is executed as a live performance (in Dutch) as part of M4gastcollege Over Taal: