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Still Shakespeare and the Photography of Performance examines the place of photography in the reception of the Shakespeare canon since the invention of the camera, looking at how photographic images have shaped perceptions of historicity, performance, and Shakespearean character, and how their dissemination has affected Shakespearean authority. Barnden reveals how photography has conditioned the reception of Shakespeare's works in two key ways. Firstly, as a form of performance documentation, photographs shape the way individual performances are remembered and their positioning in relation to traditional and iconoclastic interpretations of the text. Secondly, photographs are vehicles of Shakespearean iconography, encouraging certain compositions and interpretations. Exploring both theatrical and staged art photographs, Still Shakespeare demonstrates the role of photography as a contributor to the calcification of Shakespearean quotation, advertising, and iconography, and to the attrition of the relationship between image and text whereby images become attached to narratives far beyond their original context.Read more
- Covers a long period of study that ranges from 1850 to 2016
- Including over thirty illustrations, Barnden offers detailed readings of specific images to anchor the book's argument in a range of examples
- The book's interdisciplinary approach combines art history, performance studies and media history
- Provides a model for thinking about Shakespeare performance in the context of media history
Reviews & endorsements
‘… Shakespeare and the Photography of Performance is a fascinating book for this photoshopping age … Still Shakespeare offers an enlightening and engaging introduction to the study of Shakespeare photography that should appeal to performance historians and theatre creators alike.’ Daniel Yabut, Cahiers Élisabéthains: A Journal of English Renaissance Studies
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- Date Published: August 2022
- format: Paperback
- isbn: 9781108738255
- length: 262 pages
- dimensions: 229 x 152 x 14 mm
- weight: 0.359kg
- contains: 34 b/w illus.
- availability: Available
Table of Contents
Introduction: leave not a rack behind
Part I. Photographing Performers:
1. Liveness, documentation, and the RSC's dreams, 1954–77
2. Photographing the past in the theatre of Charles Kean
3. Julia Margaret Cameron, sympathetic Shakespeare and photographic afterlives
Part II. Iconography, Photography, and Hamlet:
4. 'Too much of water': Ophelia, photography, dissolution
5. Poor Yorick: the photograph as memento mori
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