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Mapping the Terrain: a Survey of Site-Specific Performance in Britain

  • Fiona Wilkie

Abstract

Who is producing site-specific performance in Britain? Who sees it? Where do these performances occur, or, more particularly, ‘take place’? What tools are used to construct a performance of place? Why is the site-specific mode chosen? And, crucially, how is it variously defined? Drawing on a survey of British practitioners conducted between November 2000 and December 2001, Fiona Wilkie sets out to explore these questions. While pointing to the wide variety of practices that might be delineated by the term ‘site-specific’, she analyzes the implications of such generalizations as can be made – about the types of performance site chosen, the effects of funding policy on the character of work being made, the possibilities for identifying a ‘site-specific’ audience, and the debates surrounding the terminology itself. Fiona Wilkie is currently completing a PhD at the University of Surrey, on which this article is based, which aims to develop a theoretical model for site-specific performance, with particular reference to the spectatorial role.

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