The Audience Loves You!
“Am I object? Am I subject?”
Those questions are ever so relevant in “Presence” in Absentia by Amelia Jones. The article focuses on the difference between performance with an audience and without. Are audiences really necessary? I believe that they are 100% crucial to portraying a message. If you had no audience, there would be no change, because ultimately that is what performance is for. When you put on a show, as both a director and actor, you are trying to leave the audience changed in some way. You are trying to make them think. Without them, you wouldn’t have a show. It would be like you never had a show to begin with. So to answer the earlier question, when you are doing something for an audience, you are both object and subject. You are putting yourself out there for people to pick apart, and that is the art of performance.
This also has to be done first hand as an audience member. The subject of a performance being retold is brought up in the article. Is a performance just as successful being retold to somebody who hasn’t seen the show first hand? Absolutely not. People were given the ability of freethinking for a reason. One should use their own mind to make their own decision because, if everything were just retold, we would have a society of same-minded citizens. Art is very personal and people need to be given the opportunity to internalize it and make it their own because, in the end, that is what it is. Art is completely subject and open to interpretation. Your own interpretation. Everyone takes something different away from something they see or experience, and that is how something becomes successful. One person cannot spread word, share work, or start a movement without the help of a community and that is why art is so uniting. It is important to share things with people so they can share it as well. It’s a cycle that is imperative to success.