Επαναπροσδιορισμός του αστικού χώρου μέσω της θεατρικής παράστασηςΓιάννης Κουκουλάς
Μαρίνη, Χαρίκλεια 2012
Queen Mary University of London. School of English and Drama. Department of Drama
This thesis contributes to discourses concerned with urban space and performancepractice. It identifies ways in which built environments become performative; how thebuilt environment performs meaning(s) within the urban context and how spatialpractices of contemporary performance engage with city-spaces. The programmingand order of urban space tends to fix meanings; increasingly regulated and singlepurposecity-spaces seem unable to react to informal or unplanned activities. However,this thesis suggests that urban space entails inherent opportunities for conceiving andpractising space otherwise and looks at a spatial spectrum – from leftover spaces toLondon’s landmarks. It analyses incomplete presences in the built environment andtheir unexpected (re)uses, which make urban space an arena of ideas, interaction andcreativity. It examines how spatial practices of performance, such as site-specificperformance, audio-walks and installations, inform our (re)thinking of space, itsmeaning and its re-appropriation. It argues that through performative concepts andactions, space manifests a changeable and dynamic quality, rather than motionlessness and inertia.The thesis involves an interdisciplinary approach employing geography, urban,architectural and performance studies. It looks at four types of built spaces that havebeen used for performance purposes; a disused warehouse at 21 Wapping Lane, theconverted power station housing the Tate Modern art gallery, the exterior of theNational Theatre’s building and the London district of Wapping. All of these sites areawaiting, or are undergoing, major alterations in their design or planning, involvingreconstruction and expansion, or total demolition. The uncertain future of these sitesand buildings, the inevitable decay of their material, and the temporality of the builtenvironment invite questions of architectural design and urban planning in terms ofperformance. The examination of these sites at this moment of change and thepotential impact of the redevelopment plans on city life make this research timely,since the thesis emphasises the imperative of re-defining concepts of space, planningstrategies, and design processes so as to imagine a less determinate, more creative urban space.