The corporeality of sound: drag performance, lip-synching and the popular critique of gendered theatrics in Australian film and television

Rob Cover, Ros Prosser, Duc Dau

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This article investigates the representation of male and trans drag performance in Australian film to interrogate drag’s continuing potential for gender subversion. We argue that while drag has become mundane through repetition and recognisability, attention to the disjuncture between the visual and the sound (or lip-synching’s non-sound) in drag opens new possibilities for film depictions to disrupt gender norms. We begin with an account of how lip-synching provides new critical ways to think about drag, identity and gender performativity, and then analyse how three Australian films represent drag performance in the context of sound. By showing how drag frames performance through layers of sound emanating from different corporeal sources (the body, the recording), we argue that contemporary drag subverts the cultural demand for the seamlessness of vocal sound and visual embodiment for authentic gender identity, thereby pointing to the precarity of gender normativity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-14
JournalMedia International Australia
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 17 Jul 2021

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'The corporeality of sound: drag performance, lip-synching and the popular critique of gendered theatrics in Australian film and television'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this