Monthly Archives: September 2018

Staging the Real: Theatre Design Symposium

Wednesday 28 November 2018 , 9.30am – 6pm
Clore Learning Centre: Cottesloe Room, National Theatre
Upper Ground, Lambeth, London SE1 9PX

Join world leading designers, directors and playwrights, as well as academic experts, for a one-day symposium of talks and workshops considering the construction and representation of the real in theatre and performance.

Developed from initial research into Jocelyn Herbert’s designs for The Wesker Trilogy (1960), Staging the Real will explore historic and contemporary approaches to evoke or present the real or realisms in theatre and performance. From re-evaluating notable realist designs from theatre history to engaging with more recent stagings of the real in verbatim or documentary theatre, this symposium will consider the complex relationship theatre practitioners have in their attempts to access reality and represent social, personal and political actualities on stage.  Staging the Real will consider how realisms and variations of the real have been shaped and staged, as it examines critical and practical questions such as: how do designers, directors and writers approach and collaborate in the creation of the real for performance? What are the challenges or parameters for practitioners in constructing and visualising the real or realism?  And, to what extent can the theatre form or reframe the social and personal experiences of realities in performance?

As well as attending the symposium, participants will have the opportunity to explore Jocelyn Herbert’s designs with an archive handling session and a guided tour of the Playing with Scale exhibition.


Professor Arnold Aronson, Columbia University

Alex Eales, Designer and alumnus of Wimbledon College of Arts

Indhu Rubasingham, Artistic Director, Kiln Theatre

Roy Williams, Playwright

Convened by Dr Matthew McFrederick (Jocelyn Herbert Post-doctoral Fellow), Professor Jane Collins (Wimbledon College of Arts) and Professor Eileen Hogan (Wimbledon College of Arts).

Tickets: £55 (senior citizen £40, student/under 18s £15) booking is available on the National Theatre website.

*Special PROMO codes with discounts for UAL Staff and Students will be released in the Autumn Term 2018.*

Staging the Real is part of the Camberwell, Chelsea, Wimbledon Graduate School Public Programme 2018-19, and is organised in collaboration with the Jocelyn Herbert Archive, the National Theatre Archive and the National Theatre Learning Department.

Image: Jocelyn Herbert’s set design for Serjeant Musgrave’s Dance (1959) by John Arden at the Royal Court Theatre. JH0358. © Jocelyn Herbert Archive at the National Theatre.


Thu 25th Oct 18:30 – 20:00

The paintings of Adrian Morris (1929-2004) had their first major exposure forty years
ago at the 1978 Hayward Annual. Noted for its all-women selection committee and
predominantly female exhibitors, the ‘feminist’ annual also offered a cross-section of
art in Britain at the end of an uneasy, indeterminate decade. In the context of the
South Bank’s brutalist architecture, the exhibition explored – not least with Morris’s
highly individual work – zones between utopia and dystopia, public space and private
psychology, the human and the cosmic.

This seminar will revisit the ’78 Hayward Annual, tracing the subsequent trajectories
of some of its participants and reflecting on what such survey shows reveal from
current perspectives. Morris’s work, currently subject to rediscovery and
reinterpretation, will be a central focus

With Merlin James (Glasgow), Anna Susanna Woof (Berlin), Matthew Pang (London)
and Lillian Lijn (UK) and others to be announced

Convened by Daniel Sturgis

Organised by Camberwell College of Arts and 42 Carlton Place

VIS Issue 2, Open Call for Proposals: Estrangement

VIS – Nordic Journal for Artistic Research – opens its call for exposition proposals for Issue 2. The theme is “Estrangement”. The call is open between 1 September and 1 November 2018.

Theme for Issue 2: Estrangement

Svetlana Boym writes, in Architecture of the Off-Modern:

By making things strange, the artist does not simply displace them from an everyday context into an artistic framework; he also helps to “return sensation” to life itself, to reinvent the world, to experience it anew. Estrangement is what makes art artistic; but, by the same token, it makes life lively, or worth living. (Buell Center/FORUM Project & Princeton Architectural Press 2008, p. 18–19.)

This is a different notion of estrangement than the use of the term established by Bertolt Brecht in theatre – as a method of enhancing criticality and an awareness of the levels of fiction – as well as from the Marxist use of the term; an alienation of social relations due to wage labour and reification. Boym’s description seems to involve documentarism, collecting and archival activities – practices where things are isolated or combined in an unexpected way; they suggest a resisting of the erosion of memories and a perhaps vain attempt to postpone the slow and gradual disappearance of things.

In artistic research, there is an additional “double” or “second” estrangement that is crucial: after “making things strange” we, as artists and researchers, engage in another process of self-alienation (and self-understanding) in order to look at our own methods “from the outside”. This estrangement from the working process is vital as part of the attempt to find a language that is able to articulate experiences from artistic practice, and even to evolve theories about that practice.

VIS invites those wishing to submit artistic research material that manifests a reflection upon estrangement – be it from the perspective of Brecht, Marxism, Boym, “second strangement” or any other viewpoint. Art works and expositions should have a clear relation to the theme and be conceived for the benefit both of those within the field and those beyond the sphere of artistic research. Expositions in Norwegian, Swedish, Danish or English are all welcome.

How to apply?

Send your application to latest by 1 November 2018. Please, include the following:

  1. Written proposal (PDF-format) containing a short description of your exposition (1–2 A4 pages) including how it relates to the theme “Estrangement”. Also include language choice for the exposition (English, Swedish, Danish or Norwegian).
    2. CV (with country of residence and/or national context).
    3. 1–3 examples of previous artistic research/artistic projects/art work. High resolution images, movies and audio files can be sent through

Please note that your exposition should not have been published previously. If certain parts of the exposition have been published, please describe how and when in the application.

Read more!