sandra bernhard’s without you i’m nothing. twenty years ago flick… looking for information on the film. on reviews. on ways academics approached it. a sort of retro hunt. http://www.filethirteen.com/reviews/wyin/wyin.htm this little exerpt… the film really begins and Bernhard belts out her first tune. Oddly, it is the only song in the film she doesn’t break [...]
sandra bernhard’s without you i’m nothing. twenty years ago flick…
looking for information on the film. on reviews. on ways academics approached it. a sort of retro hunt.
this little exerpt…
the film really begins and Bernhard belts out her first tune. Oddly, it is the only song in the film she doesn’t break from singing to do a spoken-word monologue within. The song is a wonderful character study by Nina Simone called “Four Women.” Bernhard sings it dressed in a huge watermelon-shaped dress that is as much a parody of a native African-American dress as it is one in actuality. Even though Bernhard camps throughout, or maybe simply because of this, her version of the song is gorgeous. When she finishes the tune, at an odd place, with mock vibrato, she waits smilingly, anticipating thunderous applause which never come. This idea is played shamelessly throughout the film to remind all of us fans how unappreciated Bernhard is and also to remind us just how many people don’t get her schtick. Throughout the film, a primarily African- American audience watches the show with little interest in the proceedings. They talk amongst themselves, order drinks, and get up and walk about hardly noticing that anyone is on stage.
Janet Maslin, not so thrilled by without you…
but a search for bernhard, and psychoanalytic, and many academic papers show up, papers, books, conference readings, etc. what is it to get stuck in this film…the continuation of which happens every time bernhard shows up to do a performance. and the reactions to bernhard, curious.
but the question of audience of framing the location the scene the spaces we’re allowed to inhabit, the ones not allowed, the ways in which reception happens, the people who are “in the know.” that framework of bourdieu’s distinction.
how that plays out on-line. curious. this sense of staging and for whom and with what kind of irony.
so this strange world of self promotion on – line. bernhard has her site. that seems logical, and that it seems logical is some sort of commentary on something…. and then a link on that site to her myspace site, which when clicked on launches into a song from this show, where she’s now doing something so similar to that without you, but now somehow something of her daughter? and how to navigate her daughter’s desires. and the ways in which audience feels always disjointed when watching her work. a curious thing. she plays with that sort of self-conscious way of being known/seen. how to navigate that play?
she’s using youtube. wikipedia. or rather. her fans are.
giving new meaning to the without you (you defined as web 2.0 worlds?) i’m nothing. of sousveillance/surveillance.
When people go roaming on-line, looking up what others are doing, what does that give?
something of the frames of surveillance, the ways it continues. this idea of a private life. To craft a private life. How private? In what venues private? what bare necessities of privacy? how do those shift? What ways of giving up privacy for other things like. . . the ways an audience imagined shaped something like a discourse, discordant perhaps. but a discourse.
thinking this work with work spaces, the soft architectural craftings that shape a way of seeing. How much of a way? and what benefits what losses in rambling in on-line spaces like this one? and to what degree can a person shape soemthing like a venue in which to try out, to realize the plays of audience, the ways the invocation of audience shapes and reshapes articulations of safety and danger.
Watching that documentary on south africa, the one about music and revolution on link, and these afrikaaner men, talking about the days of being on the streets of the townships, listening to the music rise in intensity, the toi toi. (sp!) the role they play as audience, as angry audience. the ways they represent. how bernhard moves around these issues of gender, race, class. what is she doing with the idea of being seen? the challenges of being recognized. the dangers of it, the desires some have for secrecy?
why this film? why still this film. out of all the ones.
- class framings
- missionary kid
- queer theory
- shadow economies
- soft architecture
- the business of
- thinking objects
- webspace architecture