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In between the visible and the hidden: modalities of seeing in site-specific performance

posted on 2023-06-08, 20:54 authored by William McEvoyWilliam McEvoy
This chapter explores the relationship between the visual and the textual by proposing some ways for thinking about how site-specific performance can be conceptualized and theorized. It argues that site-specific performance turns us simultaneously into voyeurs, writers and critics, searching, inscribing and staging meaning through types of theatre that bring the verbal and the physical (objects, spaces) into dialogue with one another. My main contribution to this book’s theme of voyeurism is to suggest that the visible and the linguistic operate in dialectical tension with one another in site-specific work. The act of seeing in such contexts is never coincident with itself, but is displaced and restaged through the process of writing and critical restaging that accompany it. By looking at a site-specific production and some critical scenes of writing, I hope to construct a sense of the voyeuristic spectator-critic of site-specific theatre, one whose subjectivity is evoked, invoked and provoked by modes of performance that erode the barriers between self and work, between immanent and projected meanings, between found and fabricated objects and settings. The site-specific spectator looks for meaning, but such acts of looking are also acts of introspection, reversing the spectatorial gaze so that it also becomes a self-analytical one.


Publication status

  • Published


Palgrave Macmillan

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Book title

Theatre as voyeurism: the pleasures of watching



Department affiliated with

  • English Publications

Full text available

  • No

Peer reviewed?

  • Yes


George Rodosthenous

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