Week 1

Pearson[i] describes calling site specific performance ‘that undertaken in non-theatrical spaces’ as ‘barely adequate’ (Pearson, 2010, p.66) and after my first week studying this module I have already realised just how accurate this description is. This week’s introductory workshops have demonstrated to us the vast amount of possibilities and complexities the experimentation with ‘site’ provides.

After practising Duncan Speakman’s ‘subtle mob’ outside the LPAC and watching a clip on his sound-walk piece “As If It Were The Last Time” I did some further research into the development and planning of this moving piece and learnt about the possible positive effects site specific performance can have upon participants and passers-by – with one Londoner saying how it had made them feel like they were in ‘a movie’. This research has also made me consider the possibilities of using audio in our own performances.

Furthermore, I also looked into the reading ‘Theatre and Architecture’[ii] that highlights how the relationship between architecture and theatre is often overlooked but for French Theatre Director Jacques Copeau ‘architecture is the most fundamental aspect of theatre’ (Harvie and Rebellato, 2015, p.2). As most of our possible sites are located close to many grand pieces of architecture e.g. The Cathedral, The Castle, The Gates etc I felt that this is a relationship that should be considered as we have the opportunity to incorporate these architectural pieces into our own performances; perhaps being influenced by their historical context, using them for aesthetic inspiration or for creating atmosphere. The extract also explains how we should consider that the site’s architecture may ‘establish a certain social code’ (ibid. p.5) and when staging a site specific performance it is also ‘about acting in architecture… it demands we pay attention to distance, scale, style… light, heat and sound’.(ibid. p.3/4)

Finally, after Wednesday’s workshop I was eager to look into more of Christo and Jeanne –Claude’s work and found this piece which I found particularly astonishing and worth sharing.

‘Wrapped Coast’

Christo and Jeanne-Claude

One Million Square Feet, Little Bay, Sydney, Australia

Blog Photo 3, Blog Photo 2Blog Photo 1

[i] Pearson, M, Site Specific Performance (Basingtone: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010)

[ii] Jen Harvie and Dan Rebellato, Theatre and Architecture, (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015)

First ever site blog

Firstly hello everyone!!

This is my first ever time writing a blog, guess I better get started. I experienced my first Site Specific seminar on Monday, and I’m not going to lie I wasn’t really looking forward to it. However after reading the introduction of Site Specific performance by Mike Pearson got me thinking that any place in the world could be a performance.

A quote that I liked from the reading was ‘the play-as-event belongs to the space, and makes the space perform as much as it makes actors perform’ (Wiles, 2003, p.1).

Within the seminar we as a group were set a task outside the lincoln performing arts centre, to see how we as performers would react with set rules. The start of site specific module had really begun. From people watching to trying remain invisible. Yes I did say invisible? When I first read that on the piece of paper Rachel (our tutor) had given us I had no clue how to become invisible. Having bright pink hair is a dead give away of where I was, so my only chance of hiding went out of the window.

But towards the end of this task as a group we naturally all ended up being tall and staring at the LPAC sign, while doing this other students were starting to look to see what we were looking at. Then I realised we had done the start of a performance!! It was that easy.

Well I think I’m going to enjoy this module. Ideas have already started rolling around in my head. For now I’m looking forward to exploring more of lincoln on Monday.

Bye x

Wiles, D. (2003) A Short History of Western Performance Space. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Social practises and space

Yesterdays seminar opened my eyes to the boundaries of performance. Looking at work by Adrian Howells has particularly played on my mind because I think the idea behind taking on a persona of a hairdresser is genius. Hairdressing is a very unique environment which Howells quite rightly recognises the unspoken relationship that seems to appear between hairdresser and client, and that is the exchange of personal information between two people in a seemingly confidential environment. I think Howells to recognise this environment and use it as  a form of ‘therapy’  is indeed very clever. This led me to contemplate site in relation to The Place of the Artist text where it is stated that: “What becomes important is not just the geographical place in which the work is sited but also the social practises that are engendered as part of the space” (Govan et al, 2007, 121). This is because it is not the building of the hairdressers that makes people open up, it is the social practise and the trust that happens between people there that allow people to be comfortable. This has led me to focus more on the social practises of a place as well as the site itself as both help make the site unique.

Govan, E. Nicholson, H. Normington, K. (2007) Making a performance: Devising Histories and Contemporary Practises. Oxon: Routledge.

First Time Blogger, First Lesson.

Not sure if you’re supposed to say hello, but…. Hello!

So, here goes, my first post. I don’t really know if there’s a right or wrong way to do this as people just kind of jumped straight in so, I hope this is right.

To start off I really enjoyed Mondays lesson, I think a change of scenery was great for our creative outlook as it allows you to interact with the public without involving them. For example, when following someone across the way, I really took into detail what they could be thinking about or where they were going. What purpose did they have walking across like that? This immediately interested me as I wondered what kind of people would be around when we eventually did our performance in our Sited area and how they would reacted when watching.

At first I was worried about Site Specific. It was something completely new to me and as I have read, it is to a lot of other people as well. Like a lot of things, (including this blog) I didn’t really understand what it was going to be like until I tried it and then its not so bad. I love the fact that we are going to be working outside for the majority of our lessons. For me, being cramped up in a studio with 20 other people trying to work, just does not appeal to me, as we have done so much work like that and I do feel its time for a change so, Castle Square, what a perfect place.

2. The Gates

The Gates, an installation for New York Central Park that began in 1979 and was completed in February 2005, was created by Christo and Jeanne-Claude. A total of 7503 saffron coloured fabric gates were placed in the park, seeming like “a golden river appearing and disappearing through the bare branches of the trees”.  (Christo, 2015) When asked what inspired the pair, aside from the basic aesthetic beauty, they said their “attention turned toward the vast flow of people walking through the streets”. (Christo and Jeanne-Claude, 2007) In the simplicity of their ode to a city they loved and the people within it, the beauty of their work can be appreciated up close or from a far. This has shown me how a site specific piece of work needn’t be grand in design or meaning to be appreciated. I really love the way they transform a space using just material, and hope that I will be able to take one of the places up Steep Hill and bring the space alive as they do.


(Inkeri, 1979, cited in christoandjeanneclaude.net, undated)

Christo. (2015) The Gates. [online] Christo and Jeanne-Claude. Available from: http://www.christojeanneclaude.net/projects/the-gates#.VMopb2isUb2 [Accessed 29 January 2015].

Christo and Jeanne-Claude. (2007) Christo and Jeanne-Claude in Their Own Words. [online] New York: New York City. Available from: http://www.nyc.gov/html/thegates/html/qanda.html [Accessed 29 January 2015].

Inkeri, E. (1979) The Thousand Gates (Project). [online] Christo and Jeanne-Claude. Available from http://christojeanneclaude.net/projects/the-gates#.VMorimisUb0 [Accessed 29 January 2015].