Posts Tagged ‘A WORKING TITLE’



Nicholls, Natasha 2013.

Nicholls, Natasha 2013.


*Retain imagistic element developed through costume; making and wearing dresses out of books, walking/ posing around the library in relation to the content of the books used.

*Spiritual and ritualistic as if we are:

* People brought from the past to live in the present

*People trapped in the present through modernisation

*Wearers of knowledge

*Statues – Craig’s idea of dehumanised figures-‘the actor must go, and in his place comes the inanimate figure…’1

*Dressed in white like the pages of a book, the black ink marking its history and language on the human.  Written on the body.  Inspiration from Payot: the body is the image.

*Keep podcast/audio visual performance

We could have moments in various poses, extending the ritualistic aspect of a day in the library which could become content.  Antonia Eleftheriou encourages us to ask the question, “Who are we in relation to the library?” The aim of her work for A WORKING TITLE in 2011 was ‘to explore and expose the role of people’2 and focused on bringing historical monuments to life ‘with people’s details’ (Warner 2011).  Bringing past to present.

A lot of the performance is beginning to be centered around ‘non acting…turning the actor into an element in a visual construction directed and produced by himself’3, a notion supported by Kantor, a theatre practitioner not unlike Craig who wished to preserve the art of the object.  This sense of stillness therefore becomes the object of the overall art.

‘the words he chooses are like visual objects’4.

Marina AbramovićThe Artist is Present has the effect of a spectacle without acting.  She exudes emotional intensity with Abramović sitting in one position, connection created with eye contact alone.

Solomons, Jason 2011,

Solomons, Jason 2012,

The slowing down of the body and the mind, achieving stillness, has a powerful effect in a moving landscape because of the performer –audience relationship that is relevant to the routines of the library because of the distant connection between many that enter and exit the building.  Trying to unite them through an internal, emotional and physical connection.

As part of A WORKING TITLE there was a performance called That Dark Horse of which I was a participant.  It was an audio tour about what Lincoln used to be like. There were various places around the city where the performers were based.  As the audience reached our destination, we would perform a small movement or gesture that related to the story being told on the  headphones.  I was on a little bridge just outside of the University, throwing confetti into the water.  It made me ask questions such as what did the bridge used to be used for and I felt nostalgic for what was.  It was the movement and leaving a trace or a mark that I can relate to what we are doing in terms of tearing books to create something new with their pages, leaving a trail of scattered pages, rediscovering them and bringing them back to the present, the ideas and words written on the page brought together as the ultimate object of a library; the book.

The performance is beginning to adopt the structure not unlike Joshua Sofaer’s performance lecture The Many Headed Monster in terms of ‘dealing with audiences’5 and encouraging them to become an ‘active participant’ ( 2009) in the way they interpret the content of the piece.

The Pre-Performance – the making of the dresses

The Performance -the exploration/posing around the library

The End Performance -creating a new book by sewing all of the pages off our dresses together.

Word Count: 607

Works Cited (in footnote order):

(1)    Huxley, Michael and Noel Witts (1996) Twentieth Century Performance Reader, London: Routledge, p.159.

(2)    Warner, Sophie (2011) A WORKING TITLE, 26-27 November:  Launch 25 November, programme,

(3)    Witts, Noel (2010) Tadeusz Kantor, London and New York: Routledge, p.35.

(4)    Witts, Noel (2010) Tadeusz Kantor, London and New York: Routledge, p.63.

(5) (2009) The Many Headed Monster/ Joshua Sofaer, Online: (accessed 6 May 2013).

  1. Huxley 1996, p.159 []
  2. Warner 2011 []
  3. Witts 2010, p.35 []
  4. Witts 2010, p.63 []
  5. 2009 []

Making the Content Site Specific– ‘Is architecture the concept of space, the space and the definition of space?’ (Tschumi 1995, p.32)






‘to develop work that responds to the environment’1 .

* The Bible: too broad a concept but in development.

*I offered the idea of blending in with the library’s architecture, making our actions parallel to the building.  Rather than focus on what is contained on the insides of the library, examine its outside.  The building is a modern development and we could examine its development over time.  Could we bring the outside inside or vice versa? Reverse the unexpected.  This image was taken during a Practitioners class when studying Edward Gordon Craig.  He focussed on the architecture of theatrical sets and the symbolism of simple gestures to produce Kinetic Theatre; a combination of architecture and dance, concentrating on the ‘actors movement and body in space’2 that would create the intended image, whatever that may be, without emotion but with physical intensity.  For Craig, this was just as effective, as together the elements would create an illusory world far away from Naturalism.  It was all based on artistic meaning, to ‘mystify’3 the audience and help them search for meaning, to reinvent a space anew.

Nicholls, Natasha 28/02/13, University of Lincoln Library.

Nicholls, Natasha 28/02/13, University of Lincoln Library.

With this in mind, I can see each one of us on a different floor travelling up/down the stairs, being with and in close proximity to the building as if one, to reach our destination.  It would be aesthetically pleasing to outside audience members and would integrate 3 different types of audience which for Peter Brook is described as ‘links between the actor and his inner life, his partners and the audience’4; the audience performer, the audience that chooses to come and watch and the audience who observes unintentionally.   Distancing the audience but enlightening them simultaneously to the structure of the building and its functionality.

‘The real power of site specific work is that it somehow activates or engages with…the formal architecture or history of the building’5 .

The walking = Sharing MY personal experience.

Looking at the exterior of a building in a different light reminded me of a past performance created by Laurence Payot who, in 2011, covered houses in Lincoln in mesh giving the ‘building a new poetic meaning.  By placing an image over the façade of scaffolding, she asks us to consider what may have been there, what the city should become, or what it may never be’6, entering other realms beyond what we perceive to be there.  We are the façade.

Payot, Laurence 2011

Payot, Laurence 2011

Payot’s work was created as part of a series of site specific performances around Lincoln by A WORKING TITLE, who aim ‘to explore the modernisation of situation, exploring how situations develop as a consequence of modernisation’7 .

This is not unlike the work created by Christo and Jean Claude who, in 1970, wrapped monuments in Milano out of fabric and rope that lasted from 2 days-1 week.  For Pearson, this is an ‘interruption of human activity [on the environment] by employing man made materials to draw attention to frame or harness natural elements’8 .  Integration into the site.

Word Count: 534

Works Cited (in footnote order):

(Title)    Tschumi, Bernard (1995) Questions on Space: Lectures on Architecture, London: E.G. Bond Ltd, p.32.

(1)    Govan, Emma, Helen Nicholson and Kate Normington (2007) Making a Performance: Devising Histories and Contemporary Practices, Oxon: Routledge, p.120.

(2)    Allain Paul and Jen Harvie (2006) ‘Craig, Edward Gordon’, The Routledge Companion to Theatre and Performance, London and New York: Routledge, p.40.

(3)    Allain Paul and Jen Harvie (2006) ‘Craig, Edward Gordon’, The Routledge Companion to Theatre and Performance, London and New York: Routledge, p.40.

(4)    Brook, Peter (1993) The Open Door: Thoughts on Acting and Theatre, New York: Anchor Books Ltd, p.37.

(5)    Pearson, Mike (2010) Site Specific Performance, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, p.35.

(6)    Warner, Sophie (2011) A WORKING TITLE, 26-27 November:  Launch 25 November, programme,

(7)    Warner, Sophie (2011) A WORKING TITLE, 26-27 November:  Launch 25 November, programme,

(8)    Pearson, Mike (2010) Site Specific Performance, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, p.33.

  1. Govan 2007, p.120 []
  2. Allain 2006, p.40 []
  3. Allain 2006, p.40 []
  4. Brook 1993, p.37 []
  5. Pearson 2010, p.35 []
  6. Warner 2011 []
  7. Warner 2011 []
  8. Pearson 2010, p.33 []
Posted: February 28th, 2013
Categories: Les dames des livres, Library
Tags: , , , ,
Comments: No Comments.
© 2018 Babel. Hosted by University of Lincoln Blogs.