[act-ma] art & activism: John Bell at MIT 2/24, 6:30pm

Susie Husted susie_husted at yahoo.com
Fri Feb 20 09:26:31 PST 2009

Artists Talk with John Bell   
Spectacle and the Street: Civic Rituals and Public Space
Tuesday, Feb. 24 - 6:30pm
Center for Advanced Visual Studies
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
265 Massachusetts Avenue, 3rd floor 
Cambridge, MA 02139 

"John Bell is a puppeteer, scholar, and teacher whose interests combine practice and theory. He started performing as a puppeteer with the Bread and Puppet Theater and as a member of that company for over a dozen years learned about the global breadth of puppetry. Recognized as one of the preeminent historians of puppet theater in the US, he performs, directs, and otherwise collaborates with Great Small Works, a Brooklyn-based theater collective. He is the author of Strings, Hands, Shadows: A Modern Puppet History (Detroit Institute of Art), edited Puppets, Masks, and Performing Objects (MIT Press), and is currently working on American Puppet Modernism, a study of US confrontations with puppet and object theater over the past 150 years. John will give an artists talk at MIT's Center for Advanced Visual Studies entitled "Spectacle and the Street: Civic Rituals and Public Space," at 6:30pm.
John Bell discusses his work as a creator of street spectacles with Bread and Puppet Theater, Great Small Works, and the Honk! Festival in Boston, New York, and other cities in North America and Europe. Street spectacle is one of the oldest forms of global performance, in which larger-than-life theatricality combines with urban architecture and public thoroughfare to articulate a community's ideas about politics, religion, and society. How have the rituals of street spectacle functioned in previous centuries, and how might they function in the 21st century?"
For more on John:  http://cavs.mit.edu/artists.html?id=264,565
For more on the presentation:  http://cavs.mit.edu/MEDIA/Center-2009-Bell.pdf
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