How do we perform our everyday lives for others, and why? What is the most mundane thing one can do and still be considered interesting? What are the racialized, classist, gendered, and political implications of “performing the everyday”–whether on stage, screen, or Twitch? Looking at the ways “everyday reality” is performed across various time-based, visual media (including theatre, video, film, tv, and digital forms) from a global perspective, this course will interrogate the production, marketing, and, in some cases, fetishization of the banal, everyday, routine, task-based, domestic, and interior elements of life. Contesting the definition of realism as the objective imitation of reality, we will instead seek to understand the aesthetics and conventions used to codify the illusion of “everyday reality” in performance, compiling data from sources that may include: realist films, such as Taiwanese director Tsai Ming-liang’s Goodbye, Dragon Inn and U.S. director Kelly Reichardt’s Wendy and Lucy; participatory theatre works, such as the German company Rimini Protokol’s theatre of “real people” and French director Mohamed El Khatib’s performances of sports fans; reality-based YouTube videos of people performing the art of “Swedish death cleaning” or celebrities living like “normal people”; reality-based tv shows, like Japan’s Terrace House, or the U.S.’s Black Ink Crew or Love is Blind; as well as reality-driven content live-streamed on digital and social media, such as Love or Host on Twitch. While pre-selected readings and theory will initially guide us in our exploration of the topic, our focus will be on discussing and analyzing materials found and chosen by members of the class. As a major creative component of the course, students will be required to create and develop a short video or other time-based piece in which they (as well as others, if they choose) “perform everyday reality” through a visual medium of their choice.
The Class: Format: seminar; For Spring of 2021, the format of this course has not yet been determined. It will likely be conducted in a hybrid fashion, held in both remote and in-person environments, with both synchronous and asynchronous components.
Requirements/Evaluation: weekly writing, group work, and participation in remote or in-person discussions; leading a class discussion; a midterm project expressed via a short paper, blog, or other format; a final, larger creative project involving the development of a performance, short video or other time-based work.
Enrollment Preferences: THEA, ART, COMP, and ENGL majors. All students from the College are, however, welcome into this class and are encouraged to reach out to Prof. Holzapfel with any questions and to express interest: [email protected]
Distributions: Division I