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Scenographic screen space: bearing witness and performing resistance


Hannah, D, Scenographic screen space: bearing witness and performing resistance, Scenography Expanded, Bloomsbury Books, J McKinney and S Palmer (ed), United Kingdom, pp. 39-60. ISBN 9781474244381 (2017) [Research Book Chapter]

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Copyright 2017 Joslin McKinney, Scott Palmer and contributors

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In her 1987 essay 'The Place of Crime the Place of Pardon', French philosopher and playwright Helene Cixous wrote:

In truth we go as little to the theatre as to our heart and what we feel the lack of is going to the heart, our own and that of things. We live exterior to ourselves in a world whose walls are replaced by television screens, which has lost its thickness, its depths, its treasures, and we take the newspaper columns for our thoughts. We are printed daily. We lack even walls, true walls upon which divine messages are written. We lack earth and flesh. (1995: 341).
Although Cixous maintained that our mediated existence was diminishing lived space to a point where we lack the material communality critical for confronting the horrors of this world, she posited the theatre as a place for remedying such etiolation via the substance of earth (stage), flesh (bodies) and true walls (architecture): a site in which to gather and, through storytelling, mutually contact the compassion required to acknowledge, forgive and actively move forward. Three decades on, live performance is still capable of providing a restorative site for re-enacting traumatic events that continue to be played out on the world stage through global media. However, newspaper columns have been replaced by the increasingly perfected thinness of glowing screens - in our hands, on our desks and in the built environment - and theatre has generally left the building; not only challenging screen space but reconfiguring performance space itself as a dispersed multiplicity.

Item Details

Item Type:Research Book Chapter
Keywords:scenography, performance design, art
Research Division:Creative Arts and Writing
Research Group:Visual arts
Research Field:Performance art
Objective Division:Culture and Society
Objective Group:Arts
Objective Field:The creative arts
UTAS Author:Hannah, D (Professor Dorita Hannah)
ID Code:109577
Year Published:2017
Deposited By:Office of the School of Creative Arts and Media
Deposited On:2016-06-22
Last Modified:2018-05-18

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