Nordic scenography in London


Astrid went to London to present a research paper on scenography, drawing on her explorations of dance in public space in Gothenburg.  

I talked about "Scenographing sound in the dance archive: Affective atmospheres and transformative materialities" at an Association for Art History conference, using empirical materials after the Swedish dance group Rubicon. Documentary film, photograps, some press clippings and intervjues with choreographers and dancers, helped creating what I call a critical montage, a scenographic script of sorts. In the 1980's Rubicon - led by three female choreographers - performed outdoors in public space, an activity that had a lasting impact on the local dance scene but has paradoxically not been subject to any in-depth academic research.

My aim was to look into the ways in which sound forms part of scenography as a site of relational, affective and material experience in visual and multimodal records (including the body as archive). I draw on recent scenographical concepts such as "affective atmospheres" and "transformative materialities" to explore how audial resources can co-create and shape dance interventions into public space. I also had a chance to test my own work on scenographic montages as explorative tools in the dance archive.

Did this work? Well, the paper leaves behind static conceptualizations of scenography and the dance archive to offer clear arguments for a multimodal, spatial and audial approach as a key method for critical analysis of performance records.

More about the conference here:

Liquid art history. Photo credit: Astrid von Rosen
Liquid art history. Photo credit: Astrid von Rosen