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22 FEBRUARY 2015

Eye Appeal: Spectacle on Stage and in Life

"From ancient times to the present 'spectacle' (the visual aspects of human performance–architecture, scenery, costumes, makeup, lighting, special effects, and staging) has been used to expressively embody and evoke meaning in rituals, ceremonies, and artistic performances. This course [Eye Appeal: Spectacle on Stage and in Life at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro] will examine the use of spectacle as an expressive mode of communication in human performance from antiquity to the present."

(Bob Hansen, 2004)

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2004 • aesthetician • antiquityart historyartifice • artistic performances • Ben Jonson • Bryan Holmes • ceremony • Cinquecento • circus • commanding form • costume design • court spectacles • creation of spectacle • dramatic literature • entertainment spectacle • expressive mode of communication • eyecatching • George Kernodle • high renaissance • human performance • Inigo Jones • Jean-Baptiste Poquelin • John Lahr • Jonathan Price • lecture programmeLeonardo da Vincilightingmake-upMichelangelo • Moliere • parade • Phyllis Hartnoll • physiological reactions • psychological reactions • public showsRaphael • religious rites • renaissanceritualscene designsceneryscenographysetting • Shakespeare • show (spectacle)special effectsspectacle • spectacles • spetakel • stage magic • stagecraft • staging • Susanne Langer • Sybil Rosenfeld • technical theatre • theatre architecture • Thomas Heck • TitianTiziano • Tiziano Vecelli • Tiziano Vecellio • University of North Carolina • University of North Carolina at Greensboro • visual and performance elements • visual spectaclevisual spectacular • visually striking

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
02 FEBRUARY 2013

MeTube: August sings Carmen 'Habanera'

"'MeTube', a homage to thousands of ambitious YouTube users and video bloggers, gifted and less gifted self–promoters on the Internet, has attracted international attention. No less than George Bizet's Habanera from 'Carmen' has been reinterpreted for MeTube and enhanced with electronic sounds. Behind the cross–over of musical styles are director Daniel Moshel as well as opera and oratorio tenor August Schram."

(Moshel Film & August Schram, 2013)

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2013artifice • August Schram • Austrian filmmaker • BDSM • bondage • Carmen • catsuit • costumes • cross-over • Daniel Moshel • deviancedigital narcissism • George Bizet • gifted and less gifted • gimp suit • Habanera • homage • latex • leather • MeTube • mouth gag • music videomusical stylesoctogenarianopera • oratorio • pasticheplayfulreinterpretationrobot • self-promoter • sexual fetishstylised • tenor • theatricalvideo bloggervideo bloggingvisual constructionvisual drama

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
05 AUGUST 2012

Hannah Starkey: reconstructed scenes from everyday life

"Using actors within carefully considered settings, Hannah Starkey's photographs reconstruct scenes from everyday life with the concentrated stylisation of film. Starkey's images picture women engaged in regular routines such as loitering in the street, sitting in cafes, or passively shopping. Starkey captures these generic 'in between' moments of daily life with a sense of relational detachment. Her still images operate as discomforting 'pauses'; where the banality of existence is freeze–framed in crisis point, creating reflective instances of inner contemplation, isolation, and conflicting emotion.

Through the staging of her scenes, Starkey's images evoke suggestive narratives through their appropriation of cultural templates: issues of class, race, gender, and identity are implied through the physical appearance of her models or places. Adopting the devices of filmography, Starkey's images are intensified with a pervasive voyeuristic intrusion, framing moments of intimacy for unapologetic consumption. Starkey often uses composition to heighten this sense of personal and emotional disconnection, with arrangements of lone figures separated from a group, or segregated with metaphoric physical divides such as tables or mirrors.

Often titling her work as Untitled, followed by a generalised date of creation, her photographs parallel the interconnected vagueness of memory, recalling suggestions of events and emotions without fixed location or context. Her work presents a platform where fiction and reality are blurred, illustrating the gap between personal fragility and social construction, and merging the experiences of strangers with our own."

(Saatchi Gallery)

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artificeawkwardnessbanalitycinematic conventionscultural appropriationcultural signals • cultural templates • daily lifedetachmentemotionlesseveryday life • fiction and reality • film stylisationframed momentsfreeze frame • Hannah Starkey • in-betweenin-between narratives • inner contemplation • intimacyintrospectionisolation • loitering • momentsnarrative photographynarrative scenesobservationpausephotographyplaceness • regular routines • routineSaatchi Galleryscene reconstructionsettingstagingstylisedsuggestive narrativesvignette • voyeuristic intrusion

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
24 OCTOBER 2008

Dogville: artificial and claustrophobic

"Von Trier begins by casually rejecting a fundamental tenet of the cinema. Even the most minimalist storytellers are obliged to place their actors in a physical space: back lots and painted sets may be deliberately artificial, but they always have walls and doors. Dogville is set on a pitch black sound stage with minimal props and schematic chalk outlines on the floor in lieu of walls. (It's like watching The Phantom Menace at a nascent stage, the actors adrift against bare blue walls before the backgrounds and animation are grafted on.) Whenever the camera pulls back for a wide shot, every inhabitant of the tiny hamlet is clearly visible, miming their daily tasks in their 'houses.' At first this archly theatrical staging, with its deadpan narration, ironic chapter headings and characters knocking on non–existent doors while we hear the thumping on the soundtrack, seems to be Brechtian alienation run amok. Yet as the story grinds grimly forward the inescapability of the townspeople in each shot shifts from a clever metaphor for small town claustrophobia to a palpably oppressive reality."

(Gary Mairs)

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2003artificeBertolt Brecht • chalk outlines • cinemaclaustrophobiacoherent space • Dogville (2003) • film designfilm stylisationLars von Triermise-en-scene • Nicole Kidman • production designset designsound stageterritorytheatrical staging

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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