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Double lives, rebellious selves: rehearsing queer for the everyday

Double lives, rebellious selves: rehearsing queer for the everyday

Smith, Caroline (2010) Double lives, rebellious selves: rehearsing queer for the everyday. In: Northeast Modern Language Association (NeMLA), 8-11 April 2010, Montreal, Canada. (Unpublished)

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In this paper/performance I will explore the double (through the appearance of the identical twin, the alter ego, the shadow self) as an unpredictable, wilful and creative strategy to disrupt hetero-normalist discourse. I will furthermore explore the late theatre activist Augusto Boal’s notion of the stage as rehearsal site in the light of constructing new forms of queer identity. Boal demonstrated that audience intervention on stage can construct new ways of acting in the everyday. Using this as a model, performing self and its double opens up the possibility for imagined in-between and non-static spaces where queer identities unfold in relation to the duet (live and the double) on stage and can be assembled and cast off at will.

I am a live artist. I establish the double in Spank performed at National Review of Live Art 2008 in the form of a recorded newsreader, or as high femme alter ego, Mertle, in the participatory art project Eating Secret (Tate Modern 2009: international feminist art and the archive show Once More With Feeling).

These doubles and other selves explore queer sexualities through an interplay of private and public realms; the live and the represented; high heels and sex toys played with on stage versus the corporate and banal space of the newsroom; high femme Mertle and the shadow of the remembered 50s housewife. In destabilising notions of fixed identity by bringing selves into continual dialogue, a space in-between forms in the mind of the viewer or participant (this has previously been identified as a space where queer art can be located; erupting by necessity from the ‘cracks and rips’ of dominant discourse (Emmanuel Cooper). If we apply Boal’s notion, it is here that we can start to rehearse new possibilities, new queer identities for the everyday.

Item Type: Conference or Conference Paper (Paper)
Uncontrolled Keywords: queer, doubles, remapping, identities,nemla, live art
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PB Modern European Languages
Pre-2014 Departments: School of Humanities & Social Sciences > Department of Communications & Creative Arts
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Last Modified: 14 Oct 2016 09:12

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