Abstract

This essay considers the reimagining of feminist performance art, bodily exposure, and female identity in two recent theatrical works, Annie Dorsen and Anne Juren’s 2010 Magical, and Young Jean Lee’s 2012 Untitled Feminist Show. In Magical, Juren reenacts a series of iconic feminist performance works, such as Carolee Schneeman’s Interior Scroll and Martha Rosler’s Semiotics of the Kitchen, while combining them with the illusionist tricks of a commercial magic show. In Untitled Feminist Show, an ensemble of six nude female performers stage a series of scenes and movement sequences that draw on feminist histories to offer visions of what Lee has called a “feminist utopia” in which identity is fluid and elective. These recent performances are read alongside their predecessors from the 1960s and ’70s and histories of feminist criticism, arguing that Magical and Untitled Feminist Show chart new forms of feminist identity in the theatre, forms built on evasion and nonidentification, anonymity and abstraction. Finally, the essay links these performances to the wider significance of gendered anonymity in the digital age, taking note of new modes of thinking that make their interventions current and pressing today.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1086-332X
Print ISSN
0192-2882
Pages
pp. 253-271
Launched on MUSE
2015-06-03
Open Access
No
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