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Operettas and their creation have long been considered a system of standardized production. This chapter examines the ‘operetta industry’ as it developed in Vienna around 1900 with a focus on theatrical production practice and the ways it shaped the genre’s artistic development. Sources include librettos, periodicals, archival sources and Operettenkönige, a backstage operetta novel of unknown authorship, published in 1911. Vienna’s operetta circle was a self-contained, vertically integrated system which controlled all aspects of operetta composition and production, from the mentorship of young composers to press reception and the publication and export of successful works. Critics saw this regulation as an impediment to artistic innovation, but to insiders the high level of control was necessary to set genre conventions. For them, innovation belonged in the small-scale, self-conscious manipulation of these norms. While lucrative and popular, the industry did not often easily respond to large-scale change, and eventually became so highly leveraged that a single unsuccessful season could put a major theatre out of business. As operetta declined in favour of the revue and film, the industry disintegrated.
In a continuation of the previous chapter, Chapter 3, which seals the book’s first section, explores how Iranian women’s magazines of the late Pahlavi era sought to co-opt new readership—culturally, socially and economically—and how circumstances of their production, cultural trends, technological innovations, and ensuing developments in the media industry affected their efforts. Understanding the circumstances under which these magazines developed and operated contributes to the assessment not only of their content, but also their approach to various categorizations of the woman of modernity. It reveals the complex structure and process of the magazines’ representation of women, the cultural and economic formations that supported it, and the social relations involved in the production of the gendered discourse and identity in the late Pahlavi era.
Studies exploring the link between the representation of judges, photography and mass media tend to focus on the appearance of cameras in courtrooms and the reproduction of the resulting photographs in the press at the beginning of the twentieth century. But more than fifty years separate these developments from the birth of photography in the late 1830s. This study examines a previously unexplored encounter between the English judiciary and photography that began in the 1860s. The pictures where known as ‘carte de visite’. They were the first type of photographic image capable of being mass produced. It is a form of photography that, for a period of almost twenty years, attracted a frenzy of interest. Drawing upon a number of archives, including the library of Lincoln's Inn, London's National Portrait Gallery and my own personal collection this paper has two objectives. The first is to examine the carte portraits of senior members of the judiciary that were produced during that time. What appears within the frame of this new form of judicial portraiture? Of particular interest is the impact the chemical and technological developments that come together in carte photographs had on what appears within the frame of portraits. The second objective is to examine the manner in which they were displayed. This engages a commonplace of scholarship on portraiture; the location and mode of display shape the meaning of what lies within the frame of the picture. Carte portraits were produced with a particular display in mind: the album. They were to be viewed not in isolation, but as part of an assemblage of portraits. Few albums survive. Those that do offer a rare opportunity to examine the way carte portraits of judges were used and the meanings they generated through their display. Three albums containing carte portraits of judges will be considered.
This essay examines the television viewing habits of Iranians since 2010, when the first of a series of crippling international sanctions were imposed on Iran after diplomatic efforts to curb the country's nuclear program stalled. Like many others in the region, viewers in Iran have been swept up by the recent wave of Turkish serials, which a new generation of offshore private networks dubbed into Persian and beamed to households with illegal satellite television dishes. These glossy melodramas provided access to consumerist utopias increasingly beyond the reach of Iranians living under the shadow of sanctions. Despite the enormous popularity of Turkish television imports with Iranian audiences, the Islamic Republic's networks managed to broadcast some successful “counter-programming” during this era of economic and political isolation. The comedy Paytakht/Capital (2011–15), more specifically, eschewed the glamour and glitz of many Turkish serials for ordinary characters living rather ordinary lives in small town Iran. In doing so, the series highlighted not only the problems that the sanctions regime created or exacerbated in Iranian society but also the virtues of remaining on the margins of a neoliberal global economic order. The essay concludes by asking how Iranian audiences might enjoy both Capital and Turkish melodramas simultaneously.
Focusing on the complexity of local spectators’ responses to the simple ideological formulae of colonial health and hygiene films, this article asks about the ways in which the presence of local aesthetic tastes and values represented a vital third space of mediation alongside film content and filmmakers’ “authorial” objectives in the much-studied media archives on public health and hygiene in colonial Africa. The article argues that a host of cognitive failures is encapsulated in colonial officials’ reports on the laughter of African audiences between the late 1920s and early 1950s. In attributing African laughter to unrefined “native” cruelty, colonial officials precluded the possibility of a politics of ridicule among audiences, among many other aesthetic and social practices affecting spectators’ reactions to films.
From the end of 1955 to the middle of 1959, the quiz programme Lascia o raddoppia? transformed the way that Italians watched television, attracting a mass audience and appealing to viewers of different class backgrounds and levels of education. The quiz, watched by 15 million Italians at its peak, was more than Italy’s first successful television show: Lascia o raddoppia? also reflected the social and cultural transformations of Italy’s economic ‘miracle’, and confirmed the growing importance of mass culture and education in modern Italy. Yet, the role and response of the viewer in this television phenomenon has been largely overlooked. Viewers, if discussed at all, are often represented as an ‘Everyman’, mediocre, or the victims of Americanisation. This article examines the audience responses to the quiz by connecting the Radiotelevisione Italiana (RAI) broadcaster’s audience enjoyment ratings to the programme transcripts, specific contestants and media coverage. The audience data, when linked to individual programmes and contestants, reflects important changes in society and education and challenges the myth of the passive viewer, demonstrating even that 1950s television audiences were not as malleable or as conservative as contemporary commentators and many histories suggest.
This chapter provides some hint of the richness and variety of the world's artistic traditions. Though art made in Europe since the Renaissance has had some distinctive features to make such recent and local developments an essential part of the definition would be ethnocentric and parochial. Royal art often functions as propaganda aimed at the people who pose the greatest threat to the king, those nearest him; it is his relatives and high nobles who must be made to feel the sanctity of his person. In Islamic art, writing occurs on all surfaces, from bowls to buildings, in a multiplicity of script variants, sometimes boldly legible, sometimes impenetrably patterned. Setting and audience matter because they are clues to the purposes that shaped a work, clues to the effect it was meant to have. The works of Buddhist art illustrates most of the functions on Seckel's list, and readers will probably have no difficulty supplying Christian counterparts for all of them.
In this article David Overend proposes a concept of ‘audience’ that accounts for a complex process of fluctuation between observing or spectating performance as part of a wider group, and becoming part of the aesthetic – forming individual relationships with the artwork and its environment. It is proposed that developing Nicolas Bourriaud's concept of ‘relational aesthetics’ as a model for ‘relational theatre practice’ responds to the continually shifting modes of engagement of those encountering and becoming part of a performance event. Focusing on the Arches arts centre in Glasgow, and drawing on the theory of clubbing, Overend develops a performance for a club night, comparing the experience of the clubbing crowd to that of a theatre audience in order to interrogate the relationship of two cultural practices that remain largely autonomous within the day-to-day operations of the site. Midland Street (September 2009) was a one-off performance for ‘Death Disco’, the monthly electro club night at the Arches. Using cars parked outside the venue, a chaotic poker game, and an array of overtly theatrical characters, including a clown and a pack of urban animals, the performance attempted to move outside the boundaries of the theatre programme as well as the studio theatre space, entering another dynamic relational realm, which is central to the Arches' cultural identity and funding structures. Combining a practical and theoretical approach, this research interrogates Bourriaud's relational aesthetic model through its application to the development of theatre practice within the specific context of an arts venue.
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