Title

Performing Gertrude Stein: Faith Ringgold’s Signification on Primitivism in The French Collection

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1-1-2005

Abstract

No two performances of a play will ever be exactly the same. New directors, actors, and designers will inevitably bring a playwright's words to life in different ways. Likewise, as I demonstrate in "Performing Gertrude Stein: Faith Ringgold’s Signification on Primitivism in The French Collection," when Faith Ringgold casts the central figure in her series, Willia Marie Simone, in the role of Gertrude Stein in several of her story quilts, Willia Marie alters Stein considerably. Rather than copying Stein's image, Willia Marie transforms her, or Signifies on her. She repeats and revises aspects of primitivism, and as she does so, she not only performs a new version of Gertrude Stein, she expands her audience's perception of the important role African Americans played on the stage of modernism.

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