Staging dis-placement

Conference Presentation


Penna, X. 2019. Staging dis-placement. Theatre and Performance Research Association 2019. University of Exeter, UK 04 - 06 Sep 2019
AuthorsPenna, X.
TypeConference Presentation
Abstract

In the project ‘To You, To You, To You: Love Letters to a (Post)Europe’ (2018) (https://www.toyoutoyoutoyou.com/ ), curator-researcher Lisa Alexander invited artists to gather and to respond with the action, idea or form of a love letter. My action-response: ‘To You <-> To Me’ (2018) used cord, fabric, and trust, inviting the audience to perform an unconditional act of love towards me, the performer on stage. My ‘love letter’ acknowledged my feeling of displacement and also acknowledged my need to overcome this feeling by being unconditionally lifted and supported as a European citizen living in the UK during this precarious historical moment.
If places are shaped by significant historic moments (Hannah, 2011: 56), they are also shaped by the language and the words we choose to define those moments. Cognitive psychologist Raymond Gibbs, based on a series of empirical experiments, concludes that the imaginative way we understand metaphors is contained by our felt experience so we ‘recreate what it must be like to engage in similar actions’ (2006: 438). This sensorimotor and felt understanding of ‘imagining of metaphorical actions’ applies to all actions in metaphors, even physically impossible ones (2006: 444). With To You <-> To Me’, I am situating this imaginative understanding between metaphorical language of feelings and the performance space and I am embodying or rather en-spacing the metaphor of my feeling of dis-placement.
By doing so this action-scenography developed as a conceptual engagement with the control of a place, one that is generously shared but becomes awkwardly uncomfortable when the weight of the ropes in the hands starts feeling heavy. As a scenography making strategy, en-spacing the metaphor of dis-placement on stage has transformed it from a feeling to an action.

Keywordsscenography; felt experience; metaphors; feelings
Year2019
ConferenceTheatre and Performance Research Association 2019
Web address (URL)http://tapra.org/2019conference/
Publication process dates
Deposited27 Mar 2024
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https://repository.derby.ac.uk/item/q5429/staging-dis-placement

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