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(Dia)logics of difference : disability, performance & spectatorship

Hadley, Bree (2010) (Dia)logics of difference : disability, performance & spectatorship. In Performance Studies international (PSi) Conference 2010, June 2010, Toronto, Canada. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

In this paper I examine the way artists with disabilities use performances in public spaces to encourage people to reflect on their own contribution to the construction of publics, or counter-publics, during and after the moment of encounter. I focus on Liz Crow’s Resistance on the Plinth. This is the title Crow gave her performance on the Forth Plinth in Trafalgar Square as part of Antony Gormley’s One and Other project in 2009. Described as a public art project presenting a portrait of the U.K., Gormley’s One and Other gave 2400 people selected at random via a lottery the chance to do whatever they chose for an hour on the vacant Forth Plinth in Trafalgar Square. In her hour, Crow chose to present herself in a Nazi uniform, in her wheelchair. In this paper, I discuss how Crow’s performance used a counterposition of images – the Nazi uniform, associated with eugenics and a desire to eliminate people who do not accord with the Arayan ‘norm’, counterposed with her wheelchair – to encourage passersby to “stop, look, think.” I examine how Crow used this counterposition to prevent passersby from attributing a single, stable, monologic meaning to the image – forestalling the risk that passersby would read the image as a Nazi on the Plinth – and instead draw passersby into a dialogue in which the impossibility of reconciling the contradictory images, ideologies and cultural logics Crow embodied encouraged people to continue thinking and talking about these cultural logics during and after the encounter.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 39909
Item Type: Conference Paper
Keywords: Performance, Disability, Spectatorship, Liz Crow
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 2010 the author.
Deposited On: 07 Feb 2011 11:21
Last Modified: 08 Feb 2011 00:53

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