chapter  7
12 Pages

Cattle Call

Understanding Discrimination through Shadow Screen and Video
WithJoe Norris

“Cattle Call” was adapted from a live performance to a video on prejudice. The shadow screen version of “Cattle Call” raises the issue explicitly. In another scene of Shadows, a woman decides what to wear. In “Cattle Call,” the male responsibility is made evident. Although the context is a socially contracted one, owing to the expected nature of auditions, the phenomenon of the impact of clothing on public and personal perception extends well beyond this situation. The male fantasy is made explicit, making males complicit in the construction of the female identity. J. Culler’s point that women can read themselves only through the eyes of the male, and J. Baudrillard’s concept of simulacra, in which the map or concept defines the reality, are made evident in this scene. Unlike the “M-Word,” in which the shadow screen was used metaphorically to portray the shadow of guilt, the screen in “Cattle Call” had very different purposes.