2/7 Class Notes

Case Study #1: Maria & Jimena

El Colegio del Cuerpo, The College of the Body. Cartagena, Columbia.

• The College of the Body is not attempting to be a direct form of political intervention. However, it is having a political impact if it positively impacting the lives’ of children as well as the individuals in their community.

• It is a way to liberate the oppressed. A way of transforming, making another life possible, developing a future career, or generating a life change.

• Interesting relationship with performance artist Gomez-Pena: “The main artwork and center of the symbolic universe is the body itself.”

• The project is raising questions about socio-political issues in a fundamental way, particularly in regards to the conditions in which the community lives in.

• The College of the Body has performed in public spaces on various socio-political issues such as gender, poverty, race, etc.

• What does the act of intervening in public space do?

• Distinction between instrumental and expressive function – Boal. (Training people to use their bodies outside of their normal daily physical engagement).

• Performance plays many roles – reenactment helps us look at things with a different view/ perspective.

• Mind-body connection – artists have the capacity to go beyond words. The idea of performing is not to show people how good you are but to articulate things others might not be able to reciprocate.

• Most of us are on constant autopilot. With performance, the voice of the body is teased out by the practice.

• What was the context in which Boal was working?

• “Liberating the spectator as a whole person launches into action, no matter if the action is fictional.”

• A new space for creating other trajectories of action – various pathways to act.

• A rehearsal of having a civic process of coming to decisions.

• Invisible Theatre, Analytical Theatre, Image Theatre – all related to rehearsal of revolution. Gives them a chance to develop a pathway to a positive outcome.


Case Study #2: Chris

You Tube video: No Slots Spot Anti-Casino Philadelphia

Web: http://www.casinofreephilly.org

• What were some of the aspects that epic theatre highlights?


Case Study #3: Miranda

YouTube video: Greenpeace protests at Nestle Shareholder Meeting

Web: Theatre for Development Centre, http://www.tfdc-ng.org

• Must be careful to look at the political social implications of this action rather than the aesthetics.

• Invisible Theatre: More a purpose of disrupting events, rather than questioning them.

• Intervention in the Image theatre – intervene directly using the actor’s bodies.

• Participatory video used as a key tactical strategy. Is it an extension of theatre?

• Participants become aware and empowered – conceptualizing the performance almost always about socio-political issues that affect the community. Having access to production and some sort of control over the means of production.


Case Study #4: Piril

Performance Art as the Medium of the Oppressed

Videos: Yoko Ono Cut Piece, Valie Export Tap & Touch Cinema, Wafaa Bilal The Paintball Project Day 30

• Yoko Ono: Her way of challenging the dichotomy of the viewer.

• Valie Export: Challenging the male gaze and the idea of being a passive activist.

• Marina Abramovic – discomfort in a public space?

• The Subway Project

• Gomez-Pena: Gets the viewer to engage with “The Other.”

• What is a tool and what is a tactic? Humor can be used as a tactic. (ex. Charlie Chaplin)

• Is it art or propaganda?

• Without a spectator, it wouldn’t be interesting at all.

• Mayor of Bogota (Antanas) and the mime artists – used mime artists to re-educate citizens’ behavior as a means of fixing the chaotic and problematic issues the city faced. (Took about 10 years to see results).


Please feel free to add your notes and/or post comments…


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