Mutable Perception

Crawley, Greer (2016) Mutable Perception. In: Presenting the Theatrical Past, ITFR 2016, 13-17 June 2016, Stockholm.

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This paper will consider how the theatre and production designers recruited to the camouflage and reconnaissance units in the 2nd World War discovered new aesthetic possibilities not only applicable to their camouflage schemes but to future artistic developments. The perceptual theories associated with ideas of disguise and exposure will form the context for an expl oration of the deployment of similar strategies in post war scenographic practice. A notable example is the American theatre designer Jo Mielziner who had been president of the Camouflage Society of Professional Stage Designers and had seen active service in the US Army Air Force camouflage unit during the war. Liam Doona has described how in Jo Mielziner’s 1945 design for Tennessee Williams’s The Glass Menagerie, ‘reality as external and quantifiable matter is brought into question as character and scenogr aphy encounter and explore mutable perception’. This discussion of the wartime construction of performative spaces and experiences by professional scenographers including Mielziner will reveal the scenographic methods deployed to create the illusion of dim ensionality and to control the conditions of perception. In this critical context, scenography can refer to a multitude of processes, from the cognitive operations implied in the structuring of spatial knowledge to the discursive implications of a particul ar visual regime, stereoscopy. It will be shown how the camoufleur’s stereologic process can be understood to be a form of Ubersfeld’s scenographic engagement.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Depositing User: RED Unit Admin
Date Deposited: 25 Apr 2018 14:24
Last Modified: 25 Apr 2018 14:24

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