Invited talk: Scenography symposium

My concept of Dream-Playing and the scenograpgic knowledge montage was discussed during the symposium. Photo Christine Sjöberg
My concept of Dream-Playing and the scenograpgic knowledge montage was discussed during the symposium. Photo Christine Sjöberg

I am very thankful to Dr Olga Nikolaeva for inviting me to participate in the Symposium: "Stage art in practice and theory: scenography in works of women theatre makers and researchers". 

The symposium took place 4 th of May 2023. Organizer: Dr. Olga Nikolaeva / Musikverket (Swedish Performing Art Agency).

This is the symposuim information: 

Over the past fifteen years the understanding of scenography in the context of

contemporary performance practice has developed and expanded towards new forms of

representational and analytical thinking (McKinney & Butterworth 2009; McKinney 2015;

McKinney & Palmer eds. 2017; Hann 2019; von Rosen & Kjellmer eds, 2021; Nikolaeva 2022).

This new thinking is challenging the notion of scenography as a technical or illustrative

support to a text and recognizing it as the operation of a performance's materials, creating a

set of potentialities in the construction, presentation, and perception of a performance's

meaning. Taking this as a ground, this symposium givesspace for a dialogue between the

practice of scenography and scenographic theory. It invites women scenographers and

researchers, with different backgrounds and experiences, to speak about their work, to

share their hands-on approaches to their practice and writing, and to engage in conversation

about meaning-making and affective potentials of scenography from a practical and

theoretical perspective.


Astrid von Rosen is Professor of Art History and Visual Studies at University of Gothenburg,

Sweden. Educated at the Royal Swedish Ballet School, she has a background as a classical

and contemporary dancer. Her research interests include activist, historiographic and digwhere-you-stand approaches to scenography, performing arts archives and archiving in our

digital age. She recently published Scenography and Art History: Performance Design and

Visual Culture (Bloomsbury 2021).

Ksenya (Oxana) Peretrukhina is a stage designer, visual artist, lecturer, contemporary

theatre theorist, author of a series of workshops about stage space, ecology in theatre, and

social theatre. Member of the independent theatre group Theatre of Mutual Operations. Her

most recent works are "The State of Things" (performative installation, New Theatre Helsinki

Festival, Helsinki), "Dalen" (Klockriketeatern, Porvoo), "Russian Death" (Meyerhold Center,

Moscow). She is currently based in Helsinki.

Ksenya Sorokina is a scenographer, costume designer, and visual artist. She produced more

than twenty performances for independent and state theatres in Russia and since 2018 she

is a chief scenographer of the independent theatre project Soso Daughters. Her most recent

works are "Night Before Christmas" (Mordovian State National Theatre, Saransk), "The

Storm" (Theatre "Masterskaya", Samara), "Snow Maiden" (Theatre "Revolver", Moscow).

Olga Nikolaeva is a postdoctoral researcher at Swedish Performing Arts Agency and senior

lecturer in visual communication at Linnaeus University. Her research interests include

scenographic materialism, scenographic ecology, representation of trauma and memory in

theatre and performance. Her present-day research focuses on scenography of trauma in

works of women theatre makers in contemporary Russian theatre.

Eleanor Field is a theatre designer with over a decade of professional experience. She is

currently completing a PhD at Northumbria University exploring mess and scenographic

processes. Her research is currently investigating what a study of mess can offer as a

challenge to current industry expectations of scenographic processes and possibilities. Her

recent works are "A Family Business" (Staatstheater, Mainz), "Finding Home" (Curve

Theatre, Leicester), "Gaze" (Northern Stage, Newcastle).

The symposium will take place on zoom and will be conducted in English.

Time schedule:

10:00 – 10:10 Introduction

10:10 – 10:30 Astrid von Rosen

10:30 – 10:50 Ksenia (Oxana) Peretrukhina

10:50 – 11:10 Ksenia Sorokina

11:10 – 11:25 Break

11:25 – 11:45 Olga Nikolaeva

11:45 – 12:05 Eleanor Fields

12:05 – 12:50 Questions/Discussion

12:50 – 12:55 Conclusive words