Stop Acting

David Levine in conversation with Shonni Enelow

Friday, September 25, 2015, 6:30pm

This quasi-participatory performative lecture examines Lee Strasberg’s “Method Acting” – the American acting technique made famous by Brando, Meryl Streep, Daniel Day-Lewis and countless others – and its connections to psychoanalysis, performance art, cult activity, regression therapy, the performance of authenticity, and whatever else America has/had to offer. The centrepiece of the event will be a demonstration of the Method’s emotional memory exercise, the controversial core of Strasberg’s technique. You’re the most yourself at your most traumatic moment. Show it to us. No, do it better.

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Shonni Enelow is the author of Method Acting and Its Discontents: On American Psycho-Drama (Northwestern University Press, 2015). She is an assistant professor of English at Fordham University, where she teaches courses in drama, performance studies, and comparative literature, and is currently collaborating with Katherine and Taylor Brook on a new opera called The Power of Emotion.

David Levine divides his time between New York and Berlin. His performance and exhibition work have been presented by Creative Time, MoMA, Documenta XII, Mass MoCA, PS122, the Luminato Festival, the Watermill Center, The Luma Foundation (Arles), Tanya Leighton Gallery (Berlin), Blum and Poe (Los Angeles), and Untitled (New York) among others. He was a 2012-13 Radcliffe Fellow in Visual Arts at Harvard University, and is Professor of Art at Bard College Berlin, where he is the Director of Visual and Performing Arts. His work has been featured in Artforum, Frieze, and the New York Times, and his writing has appeared in Parkett, Mousse, Cabinet and Triple Canopy. He recently spoke about Bruce Nauman’s work for the DIA Foundation’s Artists on Artists lecture series, and will participate in the exhibition Hotel Theory at REDCAT this October.