Oblique Intimacies: The Scenographic Body's Ethics of Desire

Donger, Simon (2011) Oblique Intimacies: The Scenographic Body's Ethics of Desire. In: Space and Desire. Monitoring Scenography (3). Zürich University of the Arts, Zürich, pp. 30-45. ISBN 9783906437354


Striking parallels upsurge between events happening in white cube galleries and the emergent black-box theatre of 1960s Europe. This essay seeks to unveil an understanding of those parallels according to a renewal of spatial design beyond mere architectural precepts, breaching away from perspective and proposing instead a bodily space or 'bodied spatiality': a "phenomenal space, governed by the body and its spatial concerns, a non-Cartesian field of habitation which undermines the stance of objectivity and in which the categories of subject and object gives way to a relationship of mutual implication" (Garner 1994:4). This essay strives to articulate the continuing anticipatory position of scenography with respect to the constitution of a bodily space paradigmatically substantiated in the black-box environment. More importantly, the work intends to inquire philosophically into such a spatio-corporeal dimension of phenomenon as one that disentangles normative conceptions of 'perception and the constitution of meaning, objects and their appearances, subjectivity and otherness, presence and absence, body and world' (Garner 1994:3). In particular, it will argue that bodily spaces compel the sensory and cognitive renovation of the body into the formation of an environmental organism: a 'scenographic body' where space and body cannot be apprehended and conceived separately but as an orgasmic entity that propels unsettled, oblique, affects and an ethics of desire.

This essay considers historical and conceptual frameworks part of a contextual research in which I have engaged with the re-appraisal of twentieth century's scenography beyond theatre, within broader fields of spatial design such as visual arts and architecture. However, here I will focus on the intersection of scenography and visual arts to demonstrate a part of the contextual research that underlines on-going practical research I am conducting and will present at the end of the essay.


01 STATIC LX.mp4 - Video (MP4)
02 KINETIC LX1.mp4 - Video (MP4)
03 KINETIC LX2.mp4 - Video (MP4)
04 KINETIC LX3.mp4 - Video (MP4)
05 KINETIC LX4.mp4 - Video (MP4)
06 WEARABLE SHADOWS.mp4 - Video (MP4)

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