- Purchase/rental options available:
Through a reading of Christiane Jatahy's Julia (Rio de Janeiro, 2011) and Kid Koala's Nufonia Must Fall Live (Banff, 2014), this essay examines how the juxtapositions that film, and particularly live film, sets up on the stage can lead audiences to reflect on labor. The contrastive deployment of film onstage underscores the sheer labor of performance, foregrounding an estrangement at once Marxist and Brechtian. Within the context of a renewed focus on labor in performance studies, the essay explores how intermediality enables a particular kind of engaged performance that reflects on its own conditions. Beyond the discussions about primacy and value that have characterized the "liveness debate," it proposes that the intermedial juxtaposition of the live and the recorded can effect a recognition of what performance requires from those who enact it, and what it can afford them in return. Transcending the mystification of live performance against which Philip Auslander justifiably warns, intermediality thus locates live performance on a continuum of labor that is more or less visible, more or less estranged, and invites the audience to engage with its affordances.