Thomas, Susanne (2006) Boxed. [Performance]

Item Type: Performance
Event Summary: Boxed/Oxford Street, London
Creators: Thomas, Susanne
Abstract / Summary:

Seven Sisters Group production. Commissioned and funded by The Mayor of London for the Big Dance Festival 2006.

‘Boxed’ was a site-specific performance project for a solo dancer performed in large display windows of department stores, including John Lewis, Debenhams and House of Fraser. The female performer was positioned within a life-size wooden box in an otherwise blacked-out window at street level. A combination of invited audience and passers-by walking along Oxford Street encountered the piece. The ambient noise of the environment - sounds from car traffic, pedestrians, shoppers - contributed to the muted impression of the woman behind the glass screen.

The piece explored roles conventionally constructed or proposed for women in our society: from multi-tasking ‘super organizer’ to clothes horse and sex goddess. The cage-like box operated as a metaphor for confinement and the coercive requirement ‘to fit in’, to conform to certain expected stereotypical roles, bodily types, behavioural codes, ‘appropriate’ environments etc. Through her movement score, the dancer created images which question or challenge her own, as well as the viewers’ positions in relation to this repertoire of received ideas. Marked by feminist and other enquiries into the politics and gendering of modalities of seeing/looking, the performance explored certain ambiguities related to spatial and viewing relations. Was the box a constraint, a place of privacy, a prison, a playground, a refuge-like protection, or a vantage point for the performer’s own perspective? Are spectators invited watchers, welcome viewers, unpleasant voyeurs, chance witnesses, or role players confined within a wider network of scenarios?

Falmouth ID
Thomas, Susanne
Jump, Sophie
McGuire, Kristin
Official URL:
Date: 15 July 2006
Depositing User: Ex Falmouth Staff
Date Deposited: 02 Sep 2014 14:43
Last Modified: 13 Oct 2017 16:03


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