Going out of bounds, from critical spectatorship to embodied performance: Putting Queer Feminist performance methodologies to work in Queer and Marginal cultural and environmental landscapes

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MacLatchy, Jennifer
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Mount Saint Vincent University
An investigation into the possibilities of performance art for affecting social change, this thesis explores the ways in which categories and theories often fail in the realities of human experiences. Beginning with an investigation into the version of a fantasy queer utopia that Lady Gaga’s presents in her pop-performance art, it finds that, when not rooted in realities of social structures and human limitations, fantasy worlds fall apart in the spaces of real life. Next, it explores the implications of Dempsey and Millan’s performance piece Lesbian National Parks and Services, which takes place outdoors and interacts with audiences in “wilderness” spaces of National Parks. After exploring the ways in which this work succeeds and fails at revealing gaps in dominant narratives of identity, it moves into an exploration of a personal practice of performance art as a research methodology that seeks to further investigate implications of gender, sexuality, and race in wilderness spaces.
Anne Macmillian , Art history , Canadian National identity , Banff national park , D'Arcy Wilson , National parks , Queer theory , Queer ecology , Performance art , Performativity