What do I mean by "meta"? Well its art which in some fashion acknowledges that it is art and in effect looks back at itself and comments upon itself or the medium in some way. Simple, eh? No. Not really, but perhaps a few examples might help.
|A very good place to start.|
The Truman Show is vaguely meta.
John Cage's 4:33 is meta-music.
The Purple Rose of Cairo and Sherlock Jr. from which Purple Rose... steals a central premise are both excellent examples.
Ferris Bueller's Day Off with it's fourth wall breaking goes from mild-meta to heavy-meta in the closing credits as Ferris actually shoos the audience out of the theatre.
The movie Adaptation is quite sly meta. As is much of Charlie Kaufmann's work
Are we beginning to get a sense of what I mean?
For some reason this has been an on going theme in much of my art. The Juanabees' most successful show, Sitcom featured an exposition that engaged the audience first in the form of a diary, then with the admission that the diary was a clunky device, by direct address. In university I was involved in a collective show that was entirely about meta-theatre. My friend Matthew and I won the National Sketch Writing Competition with a piece called Le Grande Y-Grec which stretches the bounds of logic with it's performance within a performance structure. But Matthew and I had much further to go. In a 48 hour play-writing festival we wrote a piece called variously Moebius Play or Oroborus Play which we feared was so far up our own asses that we were going to be eaten alive by the audience, but ended up being selected as the best of the best a year later at the festival's 10 year anniversary. Both these works are far too structurally elaborate to effectively distill into a few sentences. Even Beast of Bottomless Lake features roughly 1/3 the narrative told through the eye of a documentary crew who we actually see filming parts of the movie we are watching - and Beast... is a fairly straight forward narrative. Suffice to say, meta is part and parcel of who I have been (and may continue to be) as an artist.
Yesterday the buzzer rang. It was UPS. We had a delivery from Amazon. I knew exactly what it was. We had ordered one of my favourite books from when I was a kid. The Monster at the End of this Book.
|Poor Grover... not at all happy with you. You turned another page!|