UNC's Process Series Presents DOLLY WILDE'S PICTURE SHOW Tonight
The Process Series at UNC kicks off its 2014/15 season with Dolly Wilde's Picture Show, a new work-in-progress by alumna playwright Rebecca Nesvet, tonight and tomorrow, August 21 and 22, in Studio 6 of Swain Hall at UNC-Chapel Hill.
"To begin our look at WWI, the process series is presenting a staged reading of UNC's successful Ph.D. recipient, Rebecca Nesvet, and her exploration of this little-known, colorful historical figure, Dolly Wilde - and her complicated relationship to the war, her famous uncle, her gender and sexuality," says Process Series founder and artistic director Joseph Megel. "Rebecca's work represents complicated portrait of this complicated figure, enhanced by the photographic essay work of UNC's own professor María DeGuzmán."
Combining live performance, multimedia, and the photographic series Oscaria/Oscar (1994), by SPIR Conceptual Photography (María DeGuzmán and Jill Casid), Dolly Wilde's Picture Show tells the story of Oscar Wilde's supposedly identical niece, one of the First World War's first female "motor-drivers." Dolly Wilde's notorious heritage and the outbreak of war give her unprecedented purpose and freedom, but also burden her with demanding ghosts. Traversing the no-man's-land between memory and photography, the nineteenth century and the twentieth, Dolly struggles to build a revolutionary life in the ruins of history-as did her postwar generation.
"I first encountered SPIR Conceptual Photography when researching the writing and legacy of Dolly Wilde for my Ph.D. dissertation in English at UNC-Chapel Hill," says Nesvet. "Later, Professor DeGuzmán joined my dissertation committee and gave me great advice for the further development of my Dolly Wilde chapter. Dolly Wilde's Picture Show grew out of my revisiting of SPIR's art in the context of my research."
Playwright Rebecca Nesvet was a PhD student in English 2010-2014. Her dissertation, "The Vanishing Voyager and the Emerging Outsider, 1818-1918," was directed by Professor Jeanne Moskal and won the Thomson Prize for the best nineteenth-century dissertation. She has had research articles published in The Review of English Studies, Women's Writing, The Keats-Shelley Journal, Prism(s): Essays in Romanticism, and The Shakespearean International Yearbook. She is now employed as an Assistant Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin, Green Bay. Learn more about her work at uwgb.acedmia.edu/RebeccaNesvet.
SPIR: Conceptual Photography was a photo-text-performance collaborative (1991 - 2013) established by Jill H. Casid and María DeGuzmán who, together, also worked with friends and colleagues to produce photo-tableau series. SPIR: Conceptual Photography's work has been shown at, among other venues, the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston, the Watershed Media Centre in Bristol, England, Pulse Art Gallery in New York City, the Center for Exploratory and Perceptual Art (CEPA Gallery) in Buffalo, New York, El Progreso Gallery in Madrid, Spain, and the June & John Allcott Gallery at UNC - Chapel Hill as well as the Joyner Library at East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina.