Theater of Revolt

MessHallUnfurling001

 

Theater of Revolt
A Structural Analysis and Reconstruction of Part 3 of the N.I.T. Journal (National Intellectual Television) project Be Black, Baby, as depicted in the 1970 film by Brian DePalma, Hi, Mom.
Multi-media installation and poster edition
2013
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This project is a research-centered mixed-media installation project, poster edition and mise en abyme presenting a mix of real and fictional materials. It is an attempt to complicate the already complicated discussion around the notion of experimental political theater as depicted in popular media.

This work is an re-interpretation of “Theater of Revolt” the third act of the project “Be Black, Baby” organized by the experimental theater group, The N.I.T. Journal (National Intellectual Television). The segment is nested within the early feature length fictional film Hi, Mom, by filmmaker Brian DePalma (creator of acclaimed film Scarface). It starred Robert DeNiro in one of his first roles, a character Jon Rubin, a scruffy New Yorker and Vietnam vet looking for a place to reintegrate into society.
Partway through the film, he meets the leaders of a black revolutionary theater group through a casting call for a police officer for their experimental theater project. Filmed in a cinema vérité style, the faux footage of the play within the movie confuses the stability of audience/actors, reality/fiction, and white/black.