As our performance is feminist we had to look at a specific way of writing a text and learned the new language of Ecriture Feminine.
Helene Cixous is the creator of Ecriture Feminine. This type of writing frees the woman from the conventional way for writing forced upon us by the patriarchal system, instead of facts there are thoughts, instead of ‘you’ there is ‘I’. Cixous believes this type of writing has the “potential to challenge, undermine and replace the masculine order” (Seller, 1994, 37). As our performance explores femininity and beauty by women who have been oppressed by the patriarchal system, this type of writing is needed to enhance the performance, to connect the audience to our political message.
A practitioner we were influenced in when it came to developing our performance text in this way was Karen Finley. “Her monologues are obscenity in its purest form – never just a litany of four-letter expletives but an attempt to express emotions for which there are perhaps no words” (Hart and Phelan, 1993, 142). She speaks the unspeakable and speaks in a way that women have been taught and oppressed not to. Her monologues are made to shock but with underlying messages it’s clear to the spectator that she is fighting against oppression.
Our performance text will be based on the representation of women, both now and in the past, it will explore feminine beauty and the use of make-up.
Hart, L., and Phelan, P. (1993) Acting Out: Feminist performances. Michigan: The University of Michigan Press.