Spatial performativity: what happened when we lost space?

9 December 2021, 10:00:00 pm

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Session Convenors

Dr Nevena Mrdjenovic, Independent Scholar

Session Moderators

Dr Nevena Mrdjenovic, Independent Scholar

Session Speakers

Dr Renato Bolelli Reboucas, Laboratory of Performative Practices / University of Sao Paulo + UAP art platform
Kate Brown, Artist who works as a technician at MCA, AGNSW, MAAS

Spatial performativity: what happened when we lost space? An empty space does not exist. All spaces are mise en scenes previously inscribed with traces of past and present narratives and events, notions of performativity and transformation. They also contain already established signals for future encounters. Space is thus always active. Conceptually speaking, space exercises its own agency and effect. It is performative, just like it allows for a performance to take place in it. In 2020, we collectively witnessed a wide range of spaces being emptied. At this unique moment of history, when we temporarily lost physical access to most spaces, the nature of spatial performativity changed. Public spaces suddenly became stages of newly devised choreographies, gestures, costumes, and scripts. Private spaces, on the other hand, emerged as virtually public mise en scenes of our active daily performances. This panel is interested in exploring contexts in which these events have affected spaces of and for performance. Did we lose the spatial performativity in this period? Or has it become active through the sound absence of human performers? Did we gain a new heightened sense of performativity? Did all spaces become more performative than ever before?

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PAPER #1
No stimulation; when the hussle stops.

PRESENTER
Kate Brown, Artist who works as a technician at MCA, AGNSW, MAAS

In the peak of the first pandemic lockdown, the world started turning to artists to comment on the changing environment with no stimulation or form. Public/urban spaces in particular became opportunistic sites or locations for potential performance actions. In June 2020, I presented a project for CRiSAP’s University of the Arts London’s Acts of Air; reshaping the urban sonic curated by Lisa Hall. ‘An online exhibition for offline participation with 14 relational sound art works that offer a means to explore and interrogate our cities of sound’. I’d like to share reflections/participation of At the Guts of it at the AAANZ conference. At the Guts of it is an instructional vocal score to be performed in a place of echo. Filmed and scored on location in a walkway tunnel under the Gladesville Bridge. I capture the vocal whir of the site, where the tunnel under the bridge collects the sounds of the machines driving and flying overhead. Within the performance instructions pedestrians became the performers, engaging in an interactive solo vocal piece. Acts of Air activated urban spaces, creating an international dialogue across urban sites replicated all around the world; in a sound simulacra.

PAPER #2
Poetics of Destruction: a scenographic perspective from the South

PRESENTER
Dr Renato Bolelli Reboucas, Laboratory of Performative Practices / University of Sao Paulo + UAP art platform

This proposal investigates the performative power of places, objects, and residual materials, taking creative destruction, renovation, and the clutter of discarded materials as characteristics of a "poetic of destruction," covering a trajectory of site-specific experiences conducted between 2009 and 2019 in Manchester and Salford (England). From the Brazilian reality, I present the concept of scenography expanded from a Global South approach to formulating this poetic built between ruins, rubble, and remains taken in their narrative powers as a starting point to construct performative situations in transdisciplinar languages (scenographic installations, performances). This "trilogy of destruction" offers a perspective and repertoire to reflect a southern scenographic epistemology.

Biographies

Dr Nevena Mrdjenovic, Independent Scholar

Nevena Mrdjenovic, PhD, is a researcher and designer with expertise in scenography and spatial design. Her creative work is primarily concerned with performative and poetic capacities of space - and is inspired by the concepts of memory, personal and collective identity, and entwined relationships between people and space. Nevena has previously worked across theatre, film, and installation art in Australia and Europe. She has taught in Design and Architecture faculties since 2011 and has been regularly invited as a guest critic, external examiner and presenter. She is a member of international performance design & design pedagogy research groups.


Dr Renato Bolelli Reboucas, Laboratory of Performative Practices / University of Sao Paulo + UAP art platform

Renato Bolelli Reboucas is a Brazilian art director, scenographer, researcher, and professor. His research, teaching, and artistic practice are based at the Laboratory of Performative Practices at the Universidade de São Paulo, and is currently working on a project about the poetics of destruction, which integrates the collecting, cataloguing, and creation of natural and artificial abandoned objects as installations, videos, and performances.


Kate Brown, Artist who works as a technician at MCA, AGNSW, MAAS

Kate Brown is a Sydney based interdisciplinary artist working specifically with the human voice. Kate’s focus is embedded in a body centred experimental practice, aiming to harness the body’s potential and capacity to produce sound across spaces and at times technology. Kate Brown is a MFA graduate from Sydney College of the Arts with exhibitions/performances at Artspace, MAAS, MCA, The Now now, Liquid Architecture, NEAF, Gaffa Gallery and Firstdraft Gallery.In 2016 she presented her MFA research at Sound Thought, Dialogues: Sound and Music across the Arts, Glasgow University's annual festival of music, sound and performance research.