Object/Fetish, Storrs (Talk)

Marsian De Lellis, 2011, Photo: Uconn Puppetry Department
Marsian De Lellis, 2011, Photo: Uconn Puppetry Department

In Friday, April 1st, 2011, I presented my artist-talk, Object/Fetish: Staging the Suspension of Disbelief in Every Day Life at the University of Connecticut in Storrs for the Puppetry and Postdramatic Performance Conference.

How does fantasy fuel the way we interact and perform with objects in our daily lives? Why do some people fall in love with objects or end up marrying the Eifel tower? Where do sex toys and animism intersect? In Object/Fetish, I examined the underpinnings of the suspension of disbelief and how objects can and are fetishized in everyday life.

In Object/Fetish, I presented media from the margins of what is traditionally thought of as puppetry and object theater for the consumption of theatrical audiences in areas that include masking, furrie fandom, object sexuality,  and the rise of artificial companions.

Object/Fetish was part of the a session called “Analytical Approaches to Particular Objects/Puppets”,  chaired by Claudia Orenstein, of Hunter College and  The Graduate Center CUNY. Also as part of the session, Eleanor Margolies, an independent artist from the UK,  presented “Gleaning, Cooking and Consuming”. Andrew Bielski, from Cornell University presented “Kantor’s Waxworks”. Meron Langsner from Tufts University, “What a Piece of Work is Punch: Distortion of Appearance and Palatability of Distorted Behavior in Puppets”

More about the Puppetry and Postdramatic Performance Conference from their website:

Contemporary developments in theatre, the visual arts, and new media are transforming the artistic, critical, conceptual, and commercial landscape for puppetry, one of the world’s oldest art forms. Today, the term puppetry can be applied to a wide range of objects and images presented in live and mediated performance. These performing objects and animated images continue to appear in traditional venues, but are also exploiting new territories, crossing between artistic worlds, even as traditional boundaries between the arts themselves break down. While theatrical theory is just awakening to the post-dramatic, puppetry has always thrived independently of a dependence on dramatic text. This conference seeks to explore new approaches to critical thinking and theorizing about puppetry and performing objects of all kinds and to bring new multidisciplinary views to bear on the subject of puppetry—conceived in the broadest terms—in order to enrich, expand, and enliven the field of discourse.  This conference is the first international scholarly puppetry conference in the U.S.