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Duplicity/complicity : misperforming the social drama of disability

Hadley, Bree J. (2009) Duplicity/complicity : misperforming the social drama of disability. In PSI 15 : Misperformance : Misfitting, Misfiring, Misreading, Performance Studies international Conference #15, June 24-28, 2009, University of Zagreb, Zagreb, Croatia. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

In this paper, I investigate the (mis)performance of ‘passing’ in the context of bodies with disabilities. The desire to conceal, control or contain a body’s idiosyncrasies can be a deceitful act, complicit with dominant cultural assumptions about the benefits of fitting in. Passing, and the performative tricks, techniques and prostheses that support the ‘lie’ of passing, upholding a social contract in which a closeting-as-cure approach accommodates discomfort with difference. In this paper, I consider moments of non-passing, where people are caught out by mistakes or deliberate misperformances of the daily social drama of ability and disability. I reference the work of disabled artists Bill Shannon, Aaron Williamson and Katherine Araniello, who re-perform their daily personal interactions in the public sphere as a sort of guerilla theatre. Their work brings hidden assumptions about how disabled people should act and interact to the brink of visibility. It challenges passers-by to confront their complicity in these discourses by pressing them to re-perform their own spontaneous reactions to bodies that misperform the ‘lie’ of normalcy.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 29442
Item Type: Conference Paper
Keywords: Performing Arts, Spectatorship, Disability
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN CREATIVE ARTS AND WRITING (190000) > PERFORMING ARTS AND CREATIVE WRITING (190400) > Drama Theatre and Performance Studies (190404)
Divisions: Current > Schools > Drama
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Past > Institutes > Institute for Creative Industries and Innovation
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2009 Bree Hadley
Deposited On: 24 Dec 2009 10:02
Last Modified: 22 Apr 2010 02:31

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