Week 4- Special Collections at Goldsmiths Visit

Lecture Question– How can archival research be used for Archive-based performance?

For this week’s session we have three options of location, the aim of the session was to gain further research materials to develop our understanding of archives and their use but to also gain inspiration for a theatre piece. We had three archives to choose from the Hackney Empire at the University of East London, the Women’s Art Collection or Lift at Goldsmiths. We had to choose the archive that best suited our research interests. For this task I chose to visit the Women’s Art Collection at Goldsmiths as I had already become interested in it from our last visit and wanted to continue this intrigue further.

To start my research I asked to see Lucy X Exaqua’s box on her marriage to a piece of her art and then after looking into this in further detail I shortly looked at the project Wedding Bella’s. As one of the tasks for next week’s session is to create a presentation of what we found in the archive I am going to create a power point outlining these details and attach it to this blog as so not to be repeating myself.

Portfolio Task 4: Review Three modes Of: news clips, Photographs and Scripts (250 words per mode)

News Clips

When providing a view of how a production was received news clips are a very helpful source, they allow their audience to see a short section of the performance in question, allowing you to see the costumes, the set and the actors in action. News clips often also talk to audience members and actors to get the personal opinions of the production. News clips are not all good though they also have their down sides including they are mediated, this means that the producers of the news channel have the final say in who is spoken to, what topics they are questioned on and what part of the production we see. So although we feel we are being able to see the production what we are really seeing is a carefully selected segment of the production.


As a method to store a production in an archive photographs can be very resourceful, this is because unlike written dairies that take time hundreds of pictures can be taken throughout the process of creating a production to create a sense of what happened and how it came about. However, that is just the problem photographs capture an image they don’t provide the historical and social background to that image, yes we can see the emotions of the faces of the actors but they could have been told to stay like they are. Photographs do not allow you to understand the real emotions involved in the piece or the directors motivations; they are simply a snapshot in time.


When trying to explain the story of a production and the direction that the actors were given when performing a piece what better way than the actual script itself. A script shows its reader who said what at what time and the exact stage direction they were given. It allows you to imagine the music they played and the staging however despite that there is also a down side to a script.  Scripts tell you what was said and what was wanted but they do not show you whether the actor made the part his own or how a line was delivered or altered ab lib. A script cannot show you the costumes, the set or even the reaction on the audience’s faces when they saw this piece for the first time. Scripts provide the reader with an imagination but not the reality.

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