Thoughts on Theatricality.
I am quite worried about imbuing a certain degree of theatricality into this performance, like camp theatricality I mean. I feel like the tear away reveal is an important part of the queer shame experience I worry that it’s over used though. Like, the one way to come to be okay with shame in those instances seems like pushing in the opposite direction. Like if I can be as showy and camp and glittery as possible the pain and self-loathing will miraculously catch on fire and burn away.
I kind of want to push against that as the only way to address shame. I also worry that these direct theatrical reveals will leave an audience in the position where they must feel better and changed by this experience. I don’t want that. I want there to be a potential for some to get some kind of change out of it. But I don’t want that to be a forced part of the work. That’s not okay. I’m setting up an emotional structure (perhaps for someone who has experienced it already) and I want it to have levels of interest but I don’t want a clear way out. I don’t have answers, I have questions.
I think this is maybe where the EKS quote about the ecstasy of review comes into this. Perhaps the way to make this work shift is by getting a bit more erotic with it? That word blush seems so important at the moment. Its both a moment of embarrassment and excitement. There is that in the song Total Control too. And there was that element of going on a date in the work from the beginning. Perhaps it’s a valent sensuality… The reflux of the blush of shame. I want to hold onto that feeling.
Thoughts On Gender, freedom and those things
I think one of the impulses that drive this work is the idea of doing things right and having a better experience and art making as a way to work through emotional intensities in an almost religious sense. A self-temple of sorts. The thing that becomes difficult with that as well though is that the intensity of thought and paranoia and fear can produce this foggy mindset and blurred situation. So many voices speaking at once overlapping and intertwining and receding then resurfacing. Is this calamity a distraction or is this a sign of being on the right track? It’s almost psychosis inducing the intensity. Frozen for choice. Paralyzed by trying to figure out whats right and whats wrong. Loosing sight. But can sight be gained in general?? What is right or wrong?
Shame, Theatricality and Queer Performativity: Henry James’s The Art of the Novel.
“In a number of places, for example, James more or less explicitly invokes Frankenstein and all the potential uncanniness in order to undo it [shame when reviewing past work], or at least do something further with it, by offering the spectacle of — not his refusal — but his eroticized eagerness to recognize his progeny [inner child or previous self] even in its oddness: ‘The thing done and dismissed has ever, at the best, for the ambitious work man, a trick of looking dead if not buried, so that he almost throbs with ecstasy when, on an anxious review, the flush of life reappears. It is verily on recognizing that flush on a whole side of “The Awkward Age” that I brand it all, but ever so tenderly, as monstrous’. (Art 99). It is as if the ecstasy-inducing power of the young creature’s ‘flush of life,’ which refers to even while evoking the potentially shaming brand of monstrosity, is the reflux of the blush of shame or repudiation the older man in this rewriting doesn’t feel.” p 41