1st Edition

Theatre, Exhibition, and Curation Displayed & Performed

By Georgina Guy Copyright 2016
    224 Pages 11 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    226 Pages 11 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Examining the artistic, intellectual, and social life of performance, this book interrogates Theatre and Performance Studies through the lens of display and modern visual art. Moving beyond the exhibition of immaterial art and its documents, as well as re-enactment in gallery contexts, Guy's book articulates an emerging field of arts practice distinct from but related to increasing curatorial provision for ‘live’ performance. Drawing on a recent proliferation of object-centric events of display that interconnect with theatre, the book approaches artworks in terms of their curation together and re-theorizes the exhibition as a dynamic context in which established traditions of display and performance interact. By examining the current traffic of ideas and aesthetics moving between theatricality and curatorial practice, the study reveals how the reception of a specific form is often mediated via the ontological expectations of another. It asks how contemporary visual arts and exhibition practices display performance and what it means to generalize the ‘theatrical’ as the optic or directive of a curatorial concept. Proposing a symbiotic relation between theatricality and display, Guy presents cases from international arts institutions which are both displayed and performed, including Tate Modern and the Guggenheim, and assesses their significance to the enduring relation between theatre and the visual arts. The book progresses from the conventional alignment of theatricality and ephemerality within performance research and teases out a new temporality for performance with which contemporary exhibitions implicitly experiment, thereby identifying supplementary modes of performance which other discourses exclude. This important study joins the fields of Theatre and Performance Studies with exciting new directions in curation, aesthetics, sociology of the arts, visual arts, the creative industries, the digital humanities, cultural heritage, and reception and audience theories.

    List of Illustrations


    Introduction: Displaying Performance

    1 Performer & Exhibit: Theatrical Conditions

    2 Theatre & Gallery: Turning Away from Performance

    3 Visitor & Performer: The Return of the Relational

    4 Gesture & Object: Digital Display and Arrested Attention

    Conclusion: Final Movement

    Primary Curated Exhibition and Performance Sources




    Georgina Guy is Lecturer in Theatre and Performance in the Department of Drama, Theatre & Dance at Royal Holloway, University of London.

    "Guy draws together the connecting threads of space, time, and audience to offer a thought-provoking account of the works of artists, curators, and commentators on the shared and often contested territory of the event and the audience in theatre, performance, and modern art."

    -- Kate Dorney, New Theatre Quarterly


    'Theatre, Exhibition, and Curation is a remarkable contribution to the field of theatre and performance studies'

    -- Bryony White, Theatre Journal


    "Where Guy attempts a new trajectory of discourse is in establishing an "optic" for exhibitions and performances that shrug off… the discrete categories of displayed and performed, plumbing instead the blurry and dynamic space of "productive frictions" in between."

    -- Scott Magelssen, Theatre Survey


    Theatre, Exhibition, and Curation contributes with clarity and rigour to a growing field of scholarship and curatorial practice that seeks to explore the complex connections between performance and visual arts practice.’

    -- Harriet Curtis, Contemporary Theatre Review