Site-Specific Performance

Teaching Staff: Marini Charikleia (Hari)
Course Code: AVA448
Course Type: Elective
Course Level: Undergraduate
Course Language: Greek
Semester: 4th
Teaching Units: 3
Teaching Hours: 3

Teaching Structure:
ActivitySemester Workload
Lab Practice13
Literature Study and Analysis56
Practice and Preparation30
Course Total (ECTS: 5)125

Recquired / Recommended : (AVA232), (AVA342)
Prerequisite to / Recommended to: (AVA542)
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Short Description:

The module investigates the artistic, aesthetic and political expressions of contemporary site-specific performance in the urban environment. Spatial parameters play an important role in the production of meaning and in the process of knowledge production, both in the field of performance and theater, but also in the complex urban environment. Theorists and practitioners of performance, theater and the visual arts of the last century challenged established ideas that governed the space of the observer and the space of the actor, looking for the empowerment of the experience of the audience, and searching for a new language for the performing and visual arts.What is the importance of artistic site-specific performance in the contemporary urban landscape? How can artistic interventions in the city and performative events shape or change our relationship with the urban space? The module examines how, through site-specific performance and artistic interventions in the fabric of the city, issues of contemporary society and everyday life emerge, as well as how the city becomes a field of creative search.

Objectives - Learning Outcomes:
  • Understanding performance and space as interdependent fields of inquiry
  • Familiarity with basic terms and historical references of site-specific performance
  • Understanding the city and public space as a source and place of artistic works and interventions
  • Developing both theoretical and practical tools for analysis and fieldwork• Exploring methodology in practice-as-research, processing of archival material
  • Investigating the use of digital art and audiovisual media in artistic action in the fabric of the city
  • Developing the critical capacity to process ideas in relation to spectator-citizen-participant and practical embodied experiences• Independent practical work

1st Week - An introduction to concepts of space in performing arts and installations. 

2nd Week - From ritual to theater. From the circle to the semicircle. The place and time of theater place.

3rd Week - Performance space and scenographic approaches in contemporary theater in Greece.

4th Week - Theater and technology. Theater as spectacle. Site-specific performance: performances in spaces beyond theater stage space.

5th Week - Space, instalations, visual environments.

6th Week - The city as an archive. Walking and urban space. Public space, memory, identity.

7th Week - Methodological approaches to theoretical and practical research on site-specific performance.

8th Week - Fieldwork. Planning performative actions in the city.

9th Week - Practical investigation of artistic actions.

10th Week - Documenting observations – analysis and processing the material. Analysis of ideas and further guidance.

11th Week - Developing ideas in relation to the aim of artistic actions and interventions. Analysis of the role of spectator-citizen-participant.

12th Week - Summary of key terms, methodologies and objectives of the module. Analysis and discussion of the topics of the final assignments.

13th Week - Presentation of performative actions and feedback. Directions for further development of actions and their support with theoretical material and examples.

Suggested Bibliography:
  • Carlson, Marvin. Places of Performance: The Semiotics of Theatre Architecture. Ithaca, New York, and London: Cornell University Press, 1989.
  • De Certeau, Michael. The Practice of Everyday Life. Trans. Steven Rendall. Berkeley, Calif.: University of California Press, 1984.
  • Harvie, Jen. Theatre & the City. Basingstoke, Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009b.
  • Kwon, Miwon. One Place After Another: Site-Specific Art And Locational Identity. London: The MIT press, 2004
  • Lefebvre, Henri. The Production of Space. Trans. Donald Nicholson-Smith. Oxford: Blackwell, 1991.
  • Μαρτινίδης, Πέτρος. Μεταμορφώσεις του Θεατρικού Χώρου: Τυπικές Φάσεις Κατά την Εξέλιξη της Αρχιτεκτονικής των Θεάτρων στη Δύση. Αθήνα: Νεφέλη, 1999.
  • Massey, Doreen. Space, Place and Gender. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1994.
  • Tuan, Yi-Fu. Space and Place: The Perspective of Experience. Minneapolis and London: University of Minnesota Press, 1977.
  • Wiles, David. A Short History of Western Performance Space. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003.
  • Σταυρίδης, Σταύρος. Κοινός Χώρος: Η πόλη ως τόπος των κοινών. Mετάφραση: Δ. Παπαδάτος – Αναγνωστόπουλος. Βριλήσσια Aττικής: Angelus Novus 2018.

Online sources

Teaching Methods:
  • Experiential workshops, study, research, field tasks, practice
  • Lectures, viewing of audiovisual material and discussion/analysis
  • Practical and written assignments during the semester
  • Recording of artistic process and final work
  • Configuration, presentation and analysis of site-specific performance
New Technologies:

Audiovisual technology, Internet

Evaluation Methods:
  • Presentations of performative actions and theoretical approaches of site-specific performance during the semester
  • Practical work and presentations on a selected topic. Students are invited to produce and present a performance or artistic intervention in a pre-selected area of ​​the city. The topic, the format, the means to be used will arise from students’ interests in discussion and under the guidance of the tutors
  • Individual written work, theoretical support, analysis of methodology and aims of the final artistic project

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