Originally, I assumed metatheater was any live performance which broke the fourth wall, but that is false. Metatheater is complicated. It meditates on the play existing as theater. There are multiple ways of understanding it.
One consensus we reached in class is that a drama created by the characters in the primary narrative, such as Teodoro adopting the identity as the son of a noble, is metatheater. The characters creating characters shows construction of theater in theater. Does that mean metatheater lies in the complexity of characters? Does it mean whenever a character in a story lies about who they are it’s metatheater? Is Don Quixote metatheater?
Another aspect is that metatheater juxtaposes different threads of conflict, such as in a braided narration. But is a braided narration metatheater? According to our discussion in class, not so much.
Finally, if metatheater is live performance which shows the construction of the play in its narration, does that mean metafilm is a film of making a flim? Apparently not. Metafilm is a different, obscure concept of narratives watching each other. Dr. Carrion suggested its inextricably linked to camera angles.
Ultimately I understood from this chapter that metatheater is a form of art which deals with existential concepts.
This week we explored the audio visual language that surrounds violence in both film and theater. We watched Tesis (Amenábar), we read Lope de Vega’s Punishment Without Revenge and Mulvey’s theoretical piece “Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema”.
Thank you Jan-Mar for prompting discussion last week. Your blogposts were terrific!
This week we are going to continue our discussion about performance, adding one new term to the mix: performativity. Tomorrow we are going to bring up for discussion the main arguments of Diana Taylor’s chapters “The New Uses of Performance,” “Performative and Performativity,” “Knowing Through Performance,” and “Artivists (Artist-Activists).” I would like for Kyle to take the first one, Jan-Mar the second, and Abram, the third. With the concepts and arguments from those three chapters, we will put our heads together to discuss arts and activism, as Taylor presents in the fourth chapter. For instance, how can simulated environments and scenarios used to treat PTSD be used further to deactivate militarism? What role does performance play in such activist proposal?
Please, come to class prepared to present for five minutes what is the central argument (or what are the main arguments) brought forth by Taylor in the respectively assigned chapters. Think how do new uses of performance relate to performance and performativity (an urgently needed connection in this day and age), and how in turn those connections contribute to knowing through performance. With that network of knowledge, we’ll return to H.I.J.O.S. and their installations.
By Saturday at 5pm, I would like for you to choose one of these connections, and to think of how that connection mobilizes both art and activism.
Yes, we talked about performance and hunting grounds (and the Lady Dick, and the Latino Dolls).