MA Thesis Theatre Studies

Welcome to the Machine

Connor Schumacher’s The Fool as a case against 24/7

 

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Abstract:

This thesis focuses on the case study of Connor Schumacher’s 2015 performance The Fool from the perspective of Jonathan Crary’s 24/7: Late-Capitalism and the Ends of Sleep. In 24/7 Crary discusses 24/7 as a problem at the centre of a society that never stops, predicated on the eradication of sleep. This creates permanent half-wake state in which natural cycles are phased out, a society in which there is no space for resistance and where commonality is lost. 24/7 is about the individual at the expense of others. The problem is characterised by technological advances that ultimately do little besides finding new ways of perpetuating old structures of power, structuring attention in favour of consumerism. By looking at the way in which The Fool structures its spectator’s attention, focussing in particular on how it creates self-awareness using Maaike Bleeker’s focalisation, and by discussing liminality and the ritual as well as collaboration and communitas as possible modes of resistance to 24/7 following Victor Turner, I posit that The Fool can be seen as a case against some of the problematic aspects of 24/7 that Crary discusses. This thesis analyses The Fool and discusses the collaboration between Schumacher, his dramaturg Maaike Schuurmans and his concept developer Luis Rios Zertuche as well as the potential to resist 24/7 in their working process and collaboration. This thesis concludes that while The Fool is a sometimes subtle or ambiguous case against 24/7, it does direct audience attention in such a way that it creates awareness of some of the more heinous aspects of it. Furthermore, Schumacher, Schuurmans and Rios Zertuche also offer resistance in how they choose to work and in the themes they are drawn to.

Gender and Visuality in Technology

Retelling the Dutch Golden Age through vegetables, fruits and ashes.

An analysis of the “eat.inspiration: meet art, science & spirituality in a changing economy: experience the dutch golden age in 5 courses”, at Studio De Culinaire Werkplaats.

 

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Abstract:

An analysis of multi sensory experience that creates knowledge and subjectivity through taste in a 5 course meal centered around the Dutch golden age at design studio De Culinaire Werklaats in Amsterdam. This essay discusses how the food informs and teaches as well as inspires around the central theme of the Golden Age, to conclude that it actualises the concept in a nuanced and varied way, creating modes of subjectivity and knowledge transfer that could not have happened through telling the story alone. By using food as the medium and by not shying away from the uncomfortable historical and current truths of Dutch identity, De Culinaire Werkplaats manages to create something new and critical, that is best described as meaningful rather than delicious, though in the end it was both. In the bleeding together of stories and food, with the food informing the stories and vice versa, De Culinaire Werkplaats manages to create a multisensory experience that constitutes knowledge in a way that storytelling alone could never have.

BA Thesis Theatre Studies

Actual Cannibal Shia LaBeouf

Différance in Rob Cantor’s performance “Shia LaBeouf” Live

 

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Abstract:

“Shia LaBeouf” Live (2014) is an online performance and viral video created by musician Rob Cantor. As Cantor himself puts it in the video’s description: “It tells the true story of an actual cannibal.” In the performance, the story of a Hollywood superstar/actual cannibal, who is referred to with the same name as existing celebrity Shia LaBeouf, is told. This encounter with a spectator addressed as “you” is narrated by Cantor. The performance ends with a cameo by the celebrity, who is, during the earlier part of the performance, only referred to in the narration or in visual signs, but not present on the filmed stage. In this thesis, I will attempt to answer the main research question: In which three ways does the perspective offered on the role Shia LaBeouf in Rob Cantor’s performance “Shia LaBeouf” Live, differ and defer to constitute a self-reflexive, critical view on the theme of celebrity? The performance presents three roles: that of the Hollywood superstar, that of the actual cannibal, and that of Shia LaBeouf performing Charles Foster Kane. I will use Jacques Derrida’s concept of différance, and Philip Auslander’s practical application of it to performance, to determine which roles are presented in the performance and how they interact. Then I will look at what connotations each role adds to the performance, taking into account Maaike Bleeker’s work on audience address to see if these create a critical comment on the concept of celebrity as understood by Chris Rojek. I will conclude that the performance, through the use of the intermedial reference of the citizen kane slow clap, is self-reflexively critical, though not critical of the overall concept of celebrity.