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(Re)Discovering the Body in Mentalism

Dean, Edward (2016) (Re)Discovering the Body in Mentalism. Journal of performance magic, 4 (1). ISSN 2051-6037

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Abstract

This paper argues that despite contemporary discoveries disproving Cartesian mind-body dualism – which falsely presupposed a separation between mind and body – contemporary performances of mentalism are still vastly impacted by this belief. I further argue that the long-supposed divide between mind and body has led many contemporary mentalists to underexplore and underemphasize bodies in performance, particularly their own. In the exploration of this topic, I examine notions of psychophysical acting and post-Cartesian character – in relation to the personas cultivated and projected by mentalists – proposing the terms metamentalism, inverse method acting, quasi-character, and anti-character to better capture the forms of role play and persona variously taken on and projected by mentalists. I next examine the archetype of the trickster as it relates to mentalists, including associations with shamans and buffoons. I conclude with an examination of the material properties of mentalism.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Mentalism, Metamentalism, Inverse Method Acting, Quasi-Character, Anti-Character, Post-Cartesian, Psychophysical, Bodymind, Postmodern, Trickster
Subjects: N Fine Arts > NX Arts in general
Schools: School of Music, Humanities and Media > Magic Research Group
Depositing User: Megan Taylor
Date Deposited: 31 Oct 2016 10:54
Last Modified: 31 Oct 2016 17:54
URI: http://eprints.hud.ac.uk/id/eprint/29937

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