In order to bring more meaning to our performance, we knew that a performance text was needed. Our first attempts at writing our text resulted in a magazine sounding piece filled with opinions and some facts rather than an actual performance piece. As a result, we looked at the works of Karen Finley and Helene Cixous to gain inspiration to write an improved one.
Cixous said, “Nearly the entire history of writing is confounded with the history of reason, of which it is at once the effect, the support, and one of the privileged alibis. It has been one with the phallocentric tradition” (Cixous, 1976, 879) For so long language has not been for women and instead has been used by the patriarchy to oppress them. Instead, “Woman must write herself: must write about women and bring women to writing, from which they have been driven away as violently as from their bodies” (Cixous, 1976, 875) She seeks to show that through writing it can bring women to reconnect to their bodies; to express their own personal stories as well as helping other women to explore theirs too.
This was a good foundation for listening to Karen Finley’s work such as, It’s My Body, from a Certain Level of Denial, We felt this piece sounded more like a story, taking us on a journey using her feminist opinions to guide us. Keeping this in mind when rewriting another text, I tried to make it less literal and more of a stimulus that could spark thoughts from those who might listen to it, just as Finley did to me. A quote that gained my interest from her speech was, “No one’s controlling me, no one’s controlling my body, we’ve been raped, we’ve been discriminated against, we’ve been oppressed, we’ve been persecuted, we’ve been controlled. Men are not controlling us any longer.” (JennifuhLeathuh, 2012) Coincidentally, Leanne also found this to be of quality, so we both intertwined it into our own texts as it fit with our own message about women that conform to the masculine ideals of beauty.
Cixous. H (1976) The Laugh of the Medusa [Online] Chicago Journals.1 (4) Available from: http://www.dwrl.utexas.edu/~davis/crs/e321/Cixous-Laugh.pdf [Accessed: 24th April]
JennifuhLeathuh (2012) Karen Finley: It’s My Body, from A Certain Level of Denial [Online] Available from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HUxKEtCcdVo [Accessed: 24th April]