12 research outputs found

    'Leave no trace': The art of wasted space - the People's Republic of Stokes Croft

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    Based upon interviews and research connected to street art in Bristol and how it relates to theories of performance art

    "Transcribing Vocality: Voice at the Border of Music After Modernism"

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    This chapter features in the Routledge Voice Studies series inaugural volume "Voice(s): Critical Approaches to Process, Performance and Experience". It considers some of the challenges in documenting and writing meaningfully about classical vocal pedagogy as it applies to singing. It is situated within the cultural studies tradition of illuminating and interrogating the power structures embedded in disciplinary practices. Attendant to this is the location of vocal pedagogy as it arises from ideological and cultural investments that underscore perceptions of vocality as a marker of artistic and cultural identity in performance

    Staged Photography and the Performance of Autofacture: Cross-Genre Impersonation in Cindy Sherman’s Self-Portraits

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    This paper will use Roland Barthes’ observation of staged photography as a primitive form of theatre as its theoretical point of departure in order to reconcile both the theatrical and visual codes at play in Cindy Sherman’s self-portraiture of the 1980s and 1990s and the relevance of this to performance studies today. Accordingly, Sherman’s creations provoke and challenge the theoretical discourses of visual and performances cultures in their staging of the crises in representation and reception of the image and the genre. This may be reconciled with the enduring preoccupation of a theatre of images in contemporary performance-making in Western culture, effected by the deconstruction of character. Through her self-fashioning, Sherman’s ‘subject’ acquires an object-like status bearing the layered signification of historical costume, detectable prostheses, ill-fitting wigs, beards and grotesquely unnatural make-up that interpolates with the desires and expectations of the spectator in unraveling the meanings of these signs. The foregrounding of these signs function as a Verfremdsdungseffekt of identity; one of the legacies of Bertolt Brecht’s experiments in the theatre. Staged photography therefore is a liminal and challenging genre which calls into question the philosophical dichotomy of representation as truth or representation as fabrication; the latter being at the heart of the anti-theatrical prejudice, evident in historical literature. In presenting herself as the impostor of art and cinematic history in her self-portraiture, Cindy Sherman’s performance appears histrionic, in a way that has roots in psychoanalytic theories of visual culture. However, Sherman’s achievement of deconstructed imitation calls a number of theoretical assumptions into question about the processes of authorship and the unity of genre. The limits of the visible ‘subject’ are all destabilised to suggest the powerful arrangement of an impersonation

    Remediating the female voice in extremis(m): The Human Voice (1966) in The Female Voice in the Twentieth Century: Material, Symbolic and Aesthetic Dimensions.

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    The notion of an artwork that is in the process of becoming, through duress, is metaphoric of a number of experimental genres synonymous with the twentieth century. From the beginning of European avant-garde art movements in the early 1900s (and the unstable gendering of vocality-as-other implicated there) to the feminisation of performance art that took a corporeal turn towards the end of the last century, women and women’s voices have been the material reality, and also the cultural agency, that has shaped the terrain of vocality when it has come to experimentation (Dunn and Jones). It can become too tempting for commentators to approach vocal experimentation, including notions of ‘extended vocal technique’ with the effecting of an abject, identity ascribed to woman as animal/hysterical/other/extremist in ways that are not politically progressive (Cavarero, Dolar). Rather, the persona of the experimentalist, as woman, is one that breaks the divide between composer and interpreter and disrupts notions of authorship by making the vocal utterance performative. This chapter intends to address a 20th-century-specific response to vocality via a chain of remediations of Jean Cocteau’s play La Voix Humaine (1930), with a case study of the overlooked but exemplary vocal performance of Ingrid Bergman in The Human Voice (1966)

    ‘Punk’s dead, Michael’: Artifice, independence and authenticity in Leigh Bowery’s self-fashioned post-punk performative

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    The late London-based Australian nightclub sensation and fashion designer Leigh Bowery deployed a daily ritual of exhibitionist self-fashioning and applied design, which signified a tension between visual orders and performative cultures. In this article, Bowery’s practices are read as the dissident tactics of a punk-era dandy, by his grotesque self-fashioning parody of the artifice and dehumanizing influence of capitalist culture in the 1980s. From a post-punk perspective, this includes debates around authenticity and artifice that permeate much of our view of pop culture at that time, in which punk is often emblemized as an unstable signifier of authenticity. For Bowery and his fashionable coterie, punk music and fashion accompanied a ‘look’ – which he dismissed in a piece of archival film footage as being ‘dead’ to choreographer Michael Clark. However, Bowery’s live art and self-fashioning refused categorization, even in the archive, leading this study to conclude that Bowery enabled continuity between the experimental art movements of the early avant-garde and the infiltration of a punk aesthetic into high-fashion post-punk commercial codes. Having inspired subsequent generations of artists with a ferocity always compatible with the same ethos of punk independence, it is useful to consider whether, like the historical dandy, he animated only a fixed point in post-punk history or a process that is continually dialectical

    A Bran Nue Dae? Decolonising the Musical Theatre Curriculum in The Oxford Handbook of the Global Stage Musical

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    Decolonising the musical theatre curriculum in higher education is much more radical and comprehensive than exposing students to a greater volume of commercially-celebrated work featuring Black, Indigenous and Asian artists. The process of decolonisation begins by understanding how we could make universities accountable to the circumstances of the real artists who create the work. The challenge for academic leads in musical theatre is that they are preparing students for an industry that does not see decolonisation as an aim. For the globalised musical, the nexus of Broadway-West End is the cornerstone of an unyielding power structure that relies upon multiple canons of work enabled by a network of capitalist-colonialist nation-states whose social, economic and cultural structures depend upon the centrality of these canons. This chapter will consider how a very grounded story about a very particular set of lived circumstances, namely in Jimmy Chi and Kuckles’ Bran Nue Dae, is instructive as to how we begin to decolonise our understanding of commercial musical theatre globally and within the university sector. Entailed in this are matters of: who curates and theorises this material, who performs it as part of an educational curriculum, how we decolonise the training of skills in both analysing and performing the genre, and the productions we stage

    Empty houses, booming voices

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    Introductory chapter to the book 'The Legacy of Opera', edited by Dominic Symonds and Pamela Karantonis. The chapter discusses the way in which opera has historically commanded a dominant position over the musical stage, and explores how twentieth century performance forms have sought to negotiate its influence

    The legacy of opera: reading music theatre as experience and performance

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    The Legacy of Opera is a collection of essays that considers some of the ways in which opera's influence has informed our understanding of and approach to the musical stage. It perceives opera as part of a broader creative practice, music theatre, and interrogates the experience of contemporary audiences engaging with this practice in performance. In particular, the essays consider the effect of innovative expressive idioms, emerging performative paradigms, new technologies and contemporary ways of thinking, with approaches stemming from the multiple perspectives informed by the ideological, historical, corporeal and artistic. With contributions from international scholars in music theatre, this book's chapters explore both canonic and experimental examples of music theatre, spanning from the seventeenth century to the present day
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