[D-G] theater performance practitioners?

NZ pretzelworld at gmail.com
Thu Oct 13 11:28:10 PDT 2005

"theater preformace practitioner" is like a palette for coloring your life.
bread and puppet (and extended punk-puppet family) are the most
obvious D-G practioners. you really get a sense of "that idea" growing
into a community, that is growing like punk hakim bey's
Its incredibly problematic to agree on lowering the bar to the fourth
wall without declaration (let alone the safety-net of Heraclitus's
soul-death). That seems to be a real zone of play. I recently watched
two movies that packed a similar punch, mtv's "Election" with reese
witherspoon, and season one of "Strangers with Candy" with amy
sedaris. Both  from 1999, dealing with overachieving "girls" with
brilliant performances by both leading ladies. So brilliant infact
that they manage to walk me through an amazingly complex
"destratification process" that dumped me out at the end in mental
shambles. (kinda like reading pvirillio for the first time.)
"Election" mainly concentrated on demolishing personal moral law with
the calculated prescion of a counter-intelligence Psy-ops think-tank
of the sort responsible for fox's "oil storm" (my word! what is a
Deleuzian to make of that?) But anyway, "Strangers" really is much
better, going all the same places "Election" went, and then even
deeper off the deep end. For example, where "Election" stops to
prostelytize about the mtv's version of lesbianism as an option for
thoughtful girls, the "Strangers" version of the lesbian falls in love
with a guy who turns out to be her son. Of course, she still wants to
have sex with him. "Election" is also interesting in terms of the
narrative motion from 3 to 4, the problem is that it just never gets
around to ever happening - the holding back, that ultimately ends up
in NYC of all places(?). In "Strangers," co-writer Dinello repeatedly
"holds back" the flowing narrative by using the clever rhetorical
technique of disagreement followed by repeating that with which was
originally disagreed.... as a demonstration of power (whew... know
what I mean?). I just saw Dinello on NYC public access doing a
man-on-the-street performance show. He would "accidentally" drop a $20
bill on the sidewalk and film whoever picked it up to see what they
would do next.  Not everybody called out to him and returned the
money, of all the various people only men-wearing-suits would stuff
the money in their pockets and walk briskly ahead, very funny tv!

But aside from discussing movies, it's the performative aspect of
theory that is interesting. Like ionesco's "rhinosaurus" that
practically demonstrates foucault's "horizontal control" theory of
power. There are also the vienna actionists who in my opinion amount
to little more than a pre-rock'n'roll era "fear factor."

During my free time in NYC I have had a chance to be a part the performances of
ortho.... see video, statements, etc...

Their particular take on the performative aspect of theory is that it
sucks and have found (in 8 years of trial and error) alternatives to
dealing with the problem. The main problem is that the audience does
not necessarily "get" the statement. this is so much an issue that
ortho does not deal with just the statement alone but instead deals
with that zone of difference between statement-ideal and
statement-actual as a creative space (similar to vienna actionists
sence of intent) Ortho relies on simple narrative structures (such as:
man flies to moon, returns as an alien) that are often disturbed by
anachonistic symbolism and most often by the destruction of technical
equipment resulting in total noise and confusion bracketed within the
performance setting. my favorite ortho shows were during the
phi-phenomena tour sept.2001. Phi-phenomena are phenomena that move so
slowly that they cannot be experienced.

- - -

"Shambles" comes from the Saxon "Fleshammels", which means, "the
street of the butchers."

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