Event-Space Theatre Architecture and the Historical Avant-Garde
As the symbolists, constructivists and surrealists of the historical avant-garde began to abandon traditional theatre spaces and embrace the more contingent locations of the theatrical and political ‘event’, the built environment of a performance became not only part of the event, but an event in and of itself.
Event-Space radically re-evaluates the avant garde’s championing of nonrepresentational spaces, drawing on the specific fields of performance studies and architectural studies to establish a theory of ‘performative architecture’.
‘Event’ was of immense significance to modernism’s revolutionary agenda, resisting realism and naturalism – and, simultaneously, the monumentality of architecture itself. Event-Space analyzes a number of spatiotemporal models central to that revolution, both illuminating the history of avant-garde performance and inspiring contemporary approaches to performance space.
TOWARD A THEORY OF ‘SPACING’ THROUGH AVANT-GARDE ACTION
INTRODUCTION: EVENT-SPACE: A PERFORMANCE MODEL FOR ARCHITECTURE
Architecture as Event
Event-Space: A Useful Paradigm In Motion
Space (becoming-performance of architecture)
Event (becoming-architecture of performance)
(Re)Birth of the Will-to-Destruction
Avant-gardism and Modernism
CHAPTER 1: DISCIPLINING THE BOURGEOIS GLORY MACHINE
"Our provisional theatre at Bayreuth"
The Baroque Model and Post-Revolutionary Performativity
Garnier’s Architecture as Mise-en-scène
The Glory Machine
The Case of Bayreuth
A New Public
The Invisible Theatre
CHAPTER 2: ABSOLUTE SPACE: UNIVERSAL LANDSCAPES
"The Beginning… The Birth…"
Absolute Stage Space
Symbolist "Theatre of the Mind"
Spatial Rhythm and Universal Landscapes
Architecture as Temple-Laboratory
Resisting the Black Void
The New Monumentality of Absolute Space
CHAPTER 3: ABSTRACT SPACE: TOWARD AN ARCHITECTURE OF ALIENATION
The "Troubled Art": Avant-gardism Divided
City as a "Montage of Attractions"
Stage Space – Space Stage
Total Theatre: The "Great Stage Machine"
Architectures of Alienation
Ghost in the Machine
CHAPTER 4: ABJECT SPACE: TOWARD AN ARCHITECTURE OF CRUELTY
Violence Takes Centre Stage
Bravo! And Boom, Boom!
Abjection: eROTic Object
Palace of Culture
Enter Artaud (Flinging Bombs)
An Architecture against Architecture
A Site of Recovery
CONCLUSION: MAKING ARCHITECTURE TREMBLE
"At the volatile threshold between architecture and performance today, Event-Space sets out a vital historical framework and introduces a much-needed set of conceptual tools for engaging with the interaction between spatial performativity and performance space. Introducing the transdisciplinary term, ‘Performance Design’, Hannah has established herself as a leading authority in this area, building on the work of such eminent theorists as Gilles Deleuze, Elizabeth Grosz and Bernard Tschumi. Here in Event-Space, Hannah explores three distinctive spatial models – absolute, abstract and abject – through which she forges correspondences between theatrical movements associated with symbolism, constructivism and surrealism, and architectural archetypes like the black box, industrial site and found space. Sparking with energy and a passionate commitment to both architecture and theatre, Event-Space is a must-read for all those making the spatial politics of performance their future."
- Jane Rendell, The Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London
"Fifty years ago Peter Brook introduced us to the 'empty space'. Now, the outstanding scenographic theorist Dorita Hannah, in this important work of scholarship, gives us the 'event-space'. Drawing upon architecture and philosophy, Hannah demonstrates how space itself performs and thus must be understood as an active and dynamic aspect of theatrical, social, and political events. Ranging authoritatively from Wagner and Nietzsche through Artaud to Derrida and Eisenman, she examines the Modernist use—and misuse—of space and what that means today. This is a crucial work for understanding the complexities of contemporary performance."
- Arnold Aronson, Columbia University