Performing lost space: discussing an exercise in recording architectural detail with the performing body

Bartram, Angela and Gittens, Douglas (2013) Performing lost space: discussing an exercise in recording architectural detail with the performing body. In: Becoming Nomad: Hybrid Spaces, Liquid Architectures and Online Domains, 9-10 April 2013, York St. John University.


Item Type:Conference or Workshop contribution (Paper)
Item Status:Live Archive


The interior of the contemporary art space provides its users with a sterilised laboratory for the placement and experience of art. Increasingly, its bleached interior presents an a priori condition for the legitimate assignment of artworks within the complex milieu of the contemporary city. Such interiors have become an architectural typology, a predetermined homogenous non-place within which artworks reside. In this sense we can look to Lefebvre to understand the condition of the gallery space for ‘inasmuch as abstract space tends towards homogeneity, towards the elimination of existing differences or peculiarities, a new space cannot be born (produced) unless it accentuates differences.’ (Lefebvre: 1991, 52) The work of the artist, by contrast, liberates difference. More specifically, the art of performance simultaneously generates and exposes marginal space within the gallery interior; a corporeal action that deposits residual stains and blemishes across the galleries internal skin, leaving marks and traces that resist homogeneity to create a temporary site of differential experience. The lost, forgotten or overlooked marginal zones and irregularities of a gallery space become a point of ephemeral spectacle and this paper addresses the impact of this spatial and corporeal collision.

The research that informs and situates these phenomena traces the irregularities, blemishes and scars that resist conventional mapping; marks that exist within an alternative, unconventional and unbleached space before, during and after a performance act. Recorded through orthographic drawing conventions, the research generated a narrative cartography of corporeal intervention within the interior of X Church Slumgothic, a heavily used semi-decayed community art space in Gainsborough. The co-authors of this research formed a practical collaboration that fused the dynamics and complexities of the performer’s body with the fixed conventions of architectural drawings. The discussion in this paper between performer and draughtsman explores how the body becomes an instrument to record and describe an arts interior beyond, yet from within, traditional architectural systems of representation.

Keywords:Fine Arts, architecture, orthographic, performance, Live Art, Drawing, Churches, interiors, sound art, sound and architecture
Subjects:W Creative Arts and Design > W100 Fine Art
K Architecture, Building and Planning > K110 Architectural Design Theory
K Architecture, Building and Planning > K100 Architecture
K Architecture, Building and Planning > K120 Interior Architecture
W Creative Arts and Design > W110 Drawing
Divisions:College of Arts > School of Fine & Performing Arts > School of Fine & Performing Arts (Fine Arts)
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ID Code:8821
Deposited On:08 Apr 2013 11:53

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