Method Art

Martha Wilson

1973, 06:15 minutes, B&W, English


The method actor uses imaginary stimuli, developing a repertoire of images that he can rely upon to evoke emotional responses. He tries to relive stimuli of the past, not merely recall. “The method actor, in contrast to the traditional one, is more concerned with selecting the proper evocative stimuli than with predetermining the precise movements of his body or the tone of his voice.” I will attempt to portray nine emotional states. I have found that reading aloud or talking aloud about my imaginary stimuli short-circuits the emotion. I will read silently some notes that hopefully will touch off a train of fantasy; I will allow a few minutes for the production of each emotion: tears, fury, blush, laughter, apathy, fear, compulsion, sexual arousal, physical pain.

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