Creating Complex and Diverse Communities of Meaning Makers with Help from Remington

In: Perspectives on Arts Education Research in Canada, Volume 1

Abstract

I explore spectatorship and the culturally-inscripted body within our ever-growing world of fluid borders and hybrid identities. My work challenges traditional learning paradigms, inviting personal and fractured narratives as a catalyst to examine the notion of self and other within an autobiographical and collective storying process. Fusing my art practice and research, I have created research characters which I have inhabited performatively for 10 years. These characters tell stories of others through dance/theatre improvisations, and with a variety of costumes and physical traits, they move through unchartered landscapes of potent metaphors creating ecosystem of meaning-making whereby the character becomes a mere catalyst opposed to central subject. As a result, the performer surrenders to a process of collective creation and interpretation removing the individuated authority to the event. The power of absolute narratives recedes and what is replaced is what Merleau-Ponty (as cited in McCann, 1993) calls a co-mingling of readings and meanings resulting in a collective space of reciprocity and deep listening. My interest is to find imaginative, playful ways of generating catalysts for new understandings of sometimes-difficult information such as isolation or detachment.