Portfolio Exercise 8: Anna Deavere Smith, Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992

Anna Deavere Smith’s reenactment of this dramatic work is incredibly powerful. I think her choice of words, movements, appearance, and mannerism are very useful tools in communicating the different individuals she is bringing to life which is not easy to do in a one woman show. The fact that all these individuals are real human beings involved in a real situation that was highly publicised makes this even more of a difficult performance to deliver. And, these reenactment strategies are precisely what allow Smith to portray these different characters in such compelling ways. Obviously, one important political implication of her work is the subject matter of the performance and that she is a woman of colour heightens this due to the nature of the trial. The Rodney King trial caused outrage around the globe and in the US and brought attention to the treatment of minorities by the police which was a very political incident in itself. Hence, the fact that Smith chose this matter definitely had important political implications and draw further attention to the issues faced by people of colour in the United States. Moreover, I believe Smith does justice in her performance to the chaos and deeply disturbing violence that incident has ignited. She beautifully portrays people of different socio-economical backgrounds and genders in her performance which certainly is not easy to accomplish. Finally, I was truly captured by the multi-media aspect of the performance. The fact that she wrote and performed the play based on the media coverage of the incident made it even more interesting.

Portfolio Exercise 7: Archives II response

At the archives, I looked at some drawings of someone who used to be a Parson’s student, called Luis Rey. They were drawn in the 1960’s and had been kept very safely and still are being kept. In the drawings, the same room was drawn over and over again, from different perspectives. We could see the room from an upper side view and from the inside. There was also one sculpture that Luis Rey used in several drawings. I thought that the houses were very modern, and to be honest I was surprised when I found out that the drawings were really old. The rooms, living rooms looked like the living rooms we have nowadays. These drawings made me think that the guy who drew them is a very farsighted person which is interesting because the other paintings and drawings of the houses and rooms in 1960’s were like nothing I’ve seen before and the fact that he was a person living in those times and still being able to imagine such different perspectives and figuring out different ways to portraying what the human eye can see is very precious and should be kept for a really long time.

Portfolio Exercise 6: Yuknavitch, Dora

I was truly very impressed by the book. The things that Dora suffers are not easy at all. Having a psychological problem like hers requires patience, hope and most of all the ability to be aware of the situation one’s in in order to be cured. Dora is very aware of what she’s going through and I personally can relate to her trauma (which is her dad’s heart attack) because I have had a similar trauma a while ago. I believe that she is a very strong character, however the reader must be emphatic towards her in order to like her character and enjoy the book. In the book, Dora is described as having a poor relationship with her father, however I do not believe that she is to blame for this. If we would put ourselves into Dora’s shoes, we could see how her father has wronged her. Reading this book helped me broaden my perspective, it reminded me that there is always two sides to a story.

Portfolio Exercise 5: Erasure, Parody, Remix

Erasure Exercise Attempt: For this exercise, I will be attempting to do an exercise in erasure. I will be using my favourite song. This was my favourite song with my boyfriend and we were dating when I first heard it and we always used to listen to it together. This erasure is how I felt while listening to this song after our breakup. Erasure Exercise -2d7jpa0

Portfolio Exercise 4: Archives I response

Our first visit to the archives was very interesting and informative for me. I did not have an opportunity to look through archives prior to this experience. As a result, I did not know what to expect before our visit. I was especially taken by the archives of former students that the school has preserved. It is incredible to think that some of these former students who started exactly where I am starting, and have their work in these archives have grown to be world renowned and famous artists who flourished in their chosen fields. Hence, I was probably most impressed by the work of Parsons students that was in the archives. In terms of revision, I find it very intriguing that these works at the time of their storing probably did not carry some of the meanings they hold today. As the world has changed, the way we look at these has also changed. For instance, the more historical photographs in the archives are very telling of a different time. Pictures that were documenting mundane objects and occurrences have significant meanings as time passes and politics change. Moreover, I was also very interested in the revisions of the magazines in the archives. I find the idea of taking something like a magazine cover of a current day and revising it to be very profound.

Essay #1

December 24th, 1998, the day I was born, to an amazing family, a great mom and dad, and to a life that almost as if everything was already planned for me. Where I would go to school, the languages I would speak, the kind of friends I would have, they were all certain. I was born in Istanbul, Turkey. I have grown up within many events. All those events have affected my life in both good ways and bad ways.

 

I don’t have any siblings, that’s why while I’ve gone through many many things, noone was there for me in my bedroom that i could cry to. -Here’s the disturbing part- I was born to a bipolar dad, and a very patient mother. They both are amazing people, but my dad’s actions made me grow up way before my classmates in school, and my friends the same age as me, did. I was more mature than everyone around me, starting from the point when I was 7 years old.

 

My dad would get very angry, most of the time, and he would break things in the house, shout at my mother, but when I was younger, when I would tell him to stop, he would always listen to me, because I was his little girl, his most precious thing in the world. My mom and I have gone through so many things, but we were always patient, we would wait for him to get better, and when we did, he would come to me and tell me that it was all an act, everything he did was only a play and he would tell me that whenever he acted that way, I should also play along. So that’s what I did for several years- well for at least 5 to 6 years. I played along, and just to think that none was real, none of the things he said or did was his real self, made me feel so good, so comfortable.

  1. Here is what I haven’t told you, my goal is to become an actress, a successful one, and my dad has a huge part on why I want this. You see, since he told me to play along, act along, I’ve realised that acting made me feel better about myself and others. It helped me get through bad times in my life, although they still happened to be bad times, what hurt, hurt less.

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