Joslin McKinney

Joslin McKinney
Panel 3: Light as Material

Paper title: Scenographic materality

Abstract: This presentation addresses scenography as a temporal and experiential event rather than a static image or a self-contained artefact. I propose that the way that scenography performs is rooted in its materiality: the ways that materials are utilised on the stage, the way that materials shape the performance space and afford opportunities for performers, and the way that spectators attend to that materiality.

The scenography of German scenographer Katrin Brack is a particularly striking instance of the materiality of scenography. I draw on concepts of “new” materialism to draw attention to the vitality of Brack’s stage materials. In her work, it is apparent that the aesthetics of scenography is founded not in reading a stage picture but in a co-creative and intra-active process (Karen Barad) that emerges from the operation of an assemblage of human and non-human entities (Jane Bennett).

Biog: Joslin McKinney is Associate Professor in Scenography at the University of Leeds. She has published The Cambridge Introduction to Scenography (2009) and several articles and chapters on the materiality and agency of scenography. With Scott Palmer, she is co-editor of Scenography Expanded: An Introduction to Contemporary Performance Design (forthcoming 2017).