Friday, December 13, 2013

Researching Performance Art Through A Verrazano Enrichment Project

Adriane Musacchio, a Dramatic Arts and History/Secondary Education major in the Verrazano Class of 2015, completed an honors enrichment project for her New Performance class as part of her Verrazano course requirement.  Below, Adriane shares what she's been working on and what she has learned from the experience.
Hi Everyone!

My name is Adriane Musacchio and I am currently a Verrazano Honors student in the Class of 2015. I am currently pursuing a BS in Dramatic Arts and a BA in History and Secondary Education.  As a senior Dramatic Arts major, I enrolled in New Performance (DRA 375) for this Fall 2013 semester. In this class, taught by Professor Maurya Wickstrom, my fellow classmates and I have been exploring different and new kinds of performances. 

In order to gain Verrazano honors credit for this class, I wrote a 12 page research paper on performance artist Marina Abramovic, who created and still continues to create new forms of theatre. Before writing this paper, I had absolutely no idea who Abramovic was and had no clue as to why she was constantly referred to as “the grandmother of performance art.” However, after researching Abramovic’s works for nearly three months, I now understand why artists admire her and her works so much.  In each of her performance art pieces she tests her body, pushes limits, and tries things that have never been done before. Though her works are by no means complex, they are quite powerful.  

After completing my research for this paper, I found myself highly influenced and inspired by the works of Marina Abramovic. For my final performance for DRA 375, I must create a new performance of my own. The piece that I will be performing is titled Deception and is highly inspired by the works of Abramovic. Deception is a feminist and body art piece that will focus on the different illusions that can be created on each part of the female body daily. During this performance, each of my audience members will have the opportunity to come up to me, the blank pallet, and create their own illusions on me with makeup, clothing, accessories, and other items. This piece was highly influenced by Abramovic’s Rhythm 0 and Art Must Be Beautiful, Artist Must Be Beautiful
In Abramovic’s Rhythm 0 piece, she tested the relationship between the audience and the artist by testing if the audience members would harm or comfort her when given the option to do so. In my piece, Deception, I will also be testing the relationship between the audience and the artist. In Art Must Be Beautiful, Artist Must Be Beautiful, Abramovic used a metal brush to violently comb through her hair. As she recited, “Art must be beautiful, artist must be beautiful” over and over again, she hurt her face and removed pieces of her hair with the metal brush. This work inspired me to explore the definition of beauty in my performance art piece, Deception

Researching Abramovic also inspired me to explore the “new” and create something unlike anything that has been created before. With this said, I have created a senior project performance piece along with one of my classmates, Nicholas Easton, titled Reconstructing Reality: Playing (with) the Game of Life. This piece explores the new, which is something Marina Abramovic embraces in all of her pieces. Reconstructing Reality will allow our audience members to think about things they have never thought about before. This performance piece will be performed at 8pm on December 13th and 14th in 1P’s student black box Lab Theatre.
I am so glad that I decided to write my research paper on Marina Abramovic as my Verrazano enrichment project for my New Performance class. Not only did I get to learn a lot about this great performance artist, but I also became inspired to produce works of my own based on her principles.