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Palimpsest or Potential Space? Finding a Vocabulary for Site-Specific Performance

  • Cathy Turner

A recent preoccupation with space and place has drawn together theorists and workers in a wide range of disciplines, including human geographers, archaeologists, architects, cartographers, psychoanalysts, sociologists, poets, novelists – and theatre practitioners. There are therefore a range of lenses, a range of vocabularies, through which site-specific theatre and performance can be considered. In this article, Cathy Turner focuses on Mike Pearson's descriptions of site-specific work, particularly his involvement with archaeology, before proposing that we might find a useful, complementary vocabulary within psychoanalytic theories of object relations. She refers to performances by Lone Twin and to her own work with site-specific company Wrights & Sites, who created An Exeter Mis-Guide and A Courtauld Mis-Guide in 2003. Cathy Turner has produced a number of site-specific ‘mis-guided walks’, tours, and performances in her work with Wrights & Sites since 1998. She recently completed a Research Fellowship at Exeter University, investigating writing processes in contemporary performance, including site-specific work. She is now a Teaching Fellow at Exeter University and an Associate Lecturer at Dartington College of Arts.

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New Theatre Quarterly
  • ISSN: 0266-464X
  • EISSN: 1474-0613
  • URL: /core/journals/new-theatre-quarterly
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