Hello Stranger East Midlands (phase 2), Exhibition, UK Festival of Performance Design

Exhibition


Penna, X. 2023. Hello Stranger East Midlands (phase 2), Exhibition, UK Festival of Performance Design .
CreatorsPenna, X.
Description

Hello Stranger East Midlands phase 2 (the Exhibition), took place at Nottingham Playhouse over three days (16th-18th March 2023). A video display of performance designers’ work from the region featured in the theatre's foyer, together with video recordings of the process of the making of the dwelling during the Workshop from Phase 1 (see relevant output). Furthermore, visitors were able to enter an installation which I crafted as a making-response to the collective dwelling created by the East Midlands designers during phase 1 at Derby Theatre (see relevant output). Inside this new installation (like a tent or tipi) at Nottingham Playhouse the visitors were invited to sit and listen to the conversations of local designers (the recordings of the conversations from Phase 1). These recordings were accessed via QR codes that were part of the dwelling (find the QR code attached below). The song Hello Stranger by Barbara Lewis was heard through a speaker on a loop, and a number of papers and pens lay on a table. This was another invitation for the visitors to relax in the dwelling and respond with a word or phrase about the future of performance design in the region. These words were then tied onto the dwelling creating an interweaved assemblage of materials and words with the potential of the creation of multiple manifestos on the future of performance design. These iterative processes between me, as the designer-curator, the designers (from both phases) and the visitors/participants, form part of my methodology of creating participatory scenography and relational performance. They contribute to my exploration of participation not ‘as an action or activity but as an assemblage of peoples, objects and environments’ (HARPIN and NICHOLSON 2017: 12). My understanding of the ‘assemblage’ however looks more like a ‘contraption’. The scenographic contraption (PENNA 2013; 2017; 2023; 2024) as method initiates a playful relation with the audience by embedding in the design ‘prediction errors’ (mis-match of expectations, unpredictability) that invite the audience to resolve these by continuously re-framing their expectations of a certain experience and conversing with their co-audience-participants for resolving any tensions. In this curatorial design however, it was unclear who was the audience and who was the designer. After the workshop in Phase 1, I simplified some parts of the dwelling, producing more subtle aesthetics, while new ideas took form following on from ‘stuff’ that the audience participants had generated. By working on the artefact-dwelling I had to continuously re-frame my expectations and work with the ‘error’, the unexpected ways with which the workshop participants had worked with the found materials. This active looking at other people’s interventions and doings developed a conversation-through-making with the participants from Phase 1. ‘I designed a ‘disciplined’ process, using the method of the scenographic contraption, which is itself an undisciplined notion, meaning that it does not follow the cookie-cutter idea of imposing a shape or having only one shape, but allows for flexibility in creating top-down, bottom-up, and distributed interactions and interpretations from the part of the audience’ (Penna, 2024 (forthcoming):30).

KeywordsScenography; participation; Hello Stranger; future of performance design
Date18 Mar 2023
Exhibition titleUK Festival of Performance Design, Hello Stranger East Midlands Exhibition
Web address (URL)https://www.hellostrangernationalexhibition.org.uk/east-midlands
FunderSociety of British Theatre Designers
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Audio
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All rights reserved
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Open
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Image credit
Xristina Penna
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All Rights Reserved
Media type
Image
File Access Level
Open
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Image credit
Xristina Penna
Rights
All Rights Reserved
Media type
Image
Publication process dates
Deposited27 Mar 2024
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https://repository.derby.ac.uk/item/q5432/hello-stranger-east-midlands-phase-2-exhibition-uk-festival-of-performance-design

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Related outputs

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